Politico on the NRA’s payments to the consulting firm Starboard Strategic:
It was not unusual for the NRA to spend large sums of cash in an election cycle. What was odd was where the money was going. Before 2013, Starboard Strategic had never appeared in Federal Election Commission reports. Someone curious about the firm would have found a skeletal website that listed no staff, clients, address, phone number or previous work…. Yet at a moment when the stakes were high—Republicans needed six seats to claim a majority—the firm had come out of nowhere to become the NRA’s top election contractor.
Acquiring business of this magnitude would be an incredible feat for a firm with no reputation. The question is whether it was really accomplished by Starboard, or another outfit called OnMessage.
Well-established and well-connected, OnMessage is as transparent as Starboard is opaque. What the Federal Election Commission and the public do not know is that the two entities appear to be functionally one and the same.