Voter ID, DNA swabs and the implosion of a GOP consulting firm with ties to Huck, Boozman | Arkansas Blog

Monday, June 3, 2013

Voter ID, DNA swabs and the implosion of a GOP consulting firm with ties to Huck, Boozman

Posted By on Mon, Jun 3, 2013 at 5:06 PM

Consider this an open line.

*SECRETARY OF STATE'S OFFICE RELEASES DRAFT OF VOTER ID RULES: Talk Business has a rundown and a link to the draft rules.

*EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE, SCALIA GETS ONE RIGHT: Nice explainer from Slate's Emily Bazelon on the Supreme Court's split ruling today allowing police to continue to collect DNA information from people they arrest without first obtaining a warrant.

*INFIGHTING AT 'CHRISTIAN' POLITICAL CONSULTING GROUP: Buzzfeed has a big takeout on an actual come-to-Jesus meeting that led to firings and lawsuits at the Strategy Group for Media, a conservative messaging group that's worked with the likes of Todd Akin, Michelle Bachmann and Newt Gingrich. Two other clients not mentioned in this story: Mike Huckabee and Sen. John Boozman.

The Strategy Group doesn’t just use Christianity as a sales tool. Current and former employees describe an overtly religious company culture, cultivated by [founder Rex] Elsass, with Biblical paintings lining the office walls, and prayers uttered regularly by staffers in the office.

Elsass has been heard more than once referring to the office as a “church.”

Every Monday begins with a Bible study for the managers, usually led by Elsass. These meetings can sometimes run longer than two hours, with the CEO delivering long sermons that combine scripture and spiritual musings with lofty rhetoric about the company’s divine mission to defend American culture and fight evil.

Among his favorite themes to visit in his preaching are man’s need for humility and repentance — “We are all products of our brokenness” — and the ungodly greed and corruption that plagues his industry. In Elsass’ telling, the Strategy Group is the shining city on a hill, a singular force for good in a national Republican apparatus otherwise comprising crooks and con artists. He rails against the perceived sins of other Republican strategists, counseling his employees to be wary of their wiles.

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