David Axelrod is a Chicago-based political consultant who, through his company AKP&D Message & Media, is a top-level strategist and media advisor for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. Axelrod first met Obama in 1992 and eventually worked on the latter’s 2004 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Illinois. He had previously worked as a political consultant for Democrats Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Chris Dodd, and Tom Vilsack. In 2007 Axelrod said he saw Obama as a “trailblazing” figure who “represents the future.” “I thought that if I could help Barack Obama get to Washington, then I would have accomplished something great in my life,” Axelrod told The Washington Post.
Axelrod also operates a second media company, ASK Public Strategies, which discreetly produces advertising campaigns for corporate clients seeking to swing negative public opinion in their favor. Though Axelrod and his partners refuse to reveal the identity of any of their clients, public records confirm that ASK’s client list includes the Chicago Children's Museum, Cablevision, AT&T, and the Chicago-based utility ComEd. According to Business Week magazine, one particular ASK ad campaign in 2005 resulted in ComEd customers being “more supportive of a rate hike than customers served by other electric utilities elsewhere in Illinois.” “Axelrod's public and private efforts bump into each other at ComEd, too,” adds Business Week. “Illinois employees of the utility and its parent, Exelon, have contributed $181,711 to [Barack] Obama's presidential bid -- more than workers at any other company in the state.”
In addition to his aforementioned duties, Axelrod sits on the finance board of Chicago’s St. Sabina Catholic church, where longtime Obama supporter Michael Pfleger serves as pastor. As of June 2, 2008, St. Sabina’s official website listed Axelrod as a member of its “Raise the Roof” committee, which was tasked with raising funds for structural repairs on the church. Alongside Axelrod’s name was an open letter from Pfleger asking for some $1 million in contributions.
Additional resources about David Axelrod are listed below:
Obama Strategist Raises Money for Hillary’s “I’m White” Pastor
By Aaron Klein
June 1, 2008
By Ben Wallace-Wells
The New York Times
April 1, 2007
Is Penn Mightier Than Axe?
By Jonathan Alter
January 12, 2008
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