A data firm backed by Eric Schmidt, the former executive chairman of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has been paid millions of dollars by Democratic committees and is currently working for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign.
The idea for what became Civis Analytics emerged in the wake of President Obama’s 2012 re-election when Schmidt pitched Dan Wagner, the campaign’s chief analytics officer, on creating a lasting political data and website services firm. Schmidt, who remained an executive at Google and Alphabet, went on to quietly aid Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Less than one month after the elections it was announced that he had helped round up $22 million for Civis, where he is also a partial owner and sits on the group’s board of directors. In June, Schmidt stepped away as executive chairman of Alphabet, although he now acts as a technical advisor to the company’s leadership on policy issues.
Civis has provided data and tech services for a number of Democratic committees in recent years, with its most recent payments coming from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), which paid $63,400 for polling and website services during the first quarter of the 2020 cycle; the Democratic National Committee (DNC), which dished $33,900 to the firm for data analytics; Planned Parenthood Votes, which also pushed $33,900 to Civis for data analytics; and NextGen Climate Action, liberal billionaire Tom Steyer’s committee, which paid $16,000 for data and consulting services.
In addition to the committees, the presidential campaigns of Sens. Cory Booker (D., NJ), Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), and failed Senate candidate Robert “Beto” O’Rourke have also combined to pay tens of thousands for its services during the first three months of the year. Civis Analytics announced in late April that it will be working with Joe Biden’s presidential campaign for the 2020 election cycle, Bloomberg reported. Civis appears to be expanding its political team in Washington and New York, according to job postings on its website. – READ MORE