Probably one of the worst things a campaign consultant has done in recent memory happened when Forma Group, which had been hired by Peter Svarzbein decided to switch candidates and go work for the opposition in the same election cycle.
Total dick move.
Well it appears that may have happened again, but this time not involving Forma Group. Although in a strange twist of irony, the person who allegedly did it was part of Svarzbein's campaign when it happened to them.
It all started with this screen shot I came across on social media last night.
It obviously caught my attention for a couple of reasons, one because I knew that Daniel Lopez had a falling out with Nevarez and two, because I didn't know Josh Dagda had been hired to do Nevarez's social media and website.
It also caught my eye because of how they both responded to it:
I guess Dagda rethought his comment and he eventually deleted his comment.
Dagda is now working for Nevarez's opponent, Cemelli De Aztlán.
I inboxed Nevarez to ask him about the post and if it was true that Dagda had helped him out. He said yes and I asked if he could prove it.
He said, "its on my 30 day report".
I have to confess...I didn't even bother looking at his report. I wish I had, I would've seen three interesting contributions. One, he received money from John Mimbela, he's the guy who has bank-rolled the Villegas defense case. Two, former County Commissioner and not-so-subtly sexual poet Sergio Lewis also contributed to him. And three, former El Paso County Housing Authority Connie Vazquez. She's a Republican.
But sure enough, there was this expenditure listed, just like he said:
After talking with Nevarez, he indicated that his original campaign team was Daniel Lopez, Josh Dagda, and Ernesto Bustillos. That is really interesting for a lot of reasons. Bustillos, who is in the media in a Juarez station and who's family is apparently involved in Mexican campaigns and advertising, was part of Peter Svarzbein's campaign for D1. In that race, Svarzbein came in first, Lopez came in last.
Like behind Manny Hinojosa last.
He's since basically lost it and aligns himself closely with Martin Paredes. Speaking of which, Paredes is apparently taking "credit" for Nevarez's campaign money drying up but actually the credit belongs to CDA.
Her entrance into the race coincides with the drop in his contributions and also, the break-up of his team. Dagda and Ernesto Bustillos ended up going to the CDA campaign.
Can't blame them, they wanna make a buck and earn a reputation and they felt that CDA had a better shot against Tolbert that Nevarez.
They are right.
But still, you'd think Ernesto Bustillos would be hesitant to pull a dick move like Forma did to them. Especially because when you're a fledgling consultant trying to make a name for yourself, you don't want word getting out that you'll ditch a candidate if there's a better opportunity that presents itself.
For his part, Bustillos denies Nevarez's version of the story completely. Here is what he had to say.
"I sat down for coffee once with David Nevarez on a Saturday morning I believe. I said I was interested based on the information he gave me. I had never heard of him before. After I looked at some background info I found some things I found troubling but most importantly that had not been discussed much less explained in any reasonable way. I decided that this wasn't a candidate I wanted to work with. I asked Josh to tell them I had no interest in working in anyway at any time with them because I didn't think they were serious people. I had confirmation that that happened.
This happened in a matter of 2 or 3 days. Nothing was ever put on paper. Money never touched hands between us.
I cannot speak for Josh or the IT thing, I was surprised to hear he rendered a service before he knew Cemelli was running. I didn't know that.
He is in the report in the way that he is because we are donating different services as itemized in our respective lines, and because we have different business structures. It makes more comparable sense for Intelia USA to quantify the 5 weeks as 125% of an account Intelia USA already has that has similar time demands—at the end of the campaign. Intelia USA charges by retainer. That is not unlike the way Intelia USA figures out rates for other clients.
Cemelli is and has been aware since the time she announced , more so even, than I was. She was not surprised, but she was not pleased either when she saw that post."
As you can see, someone isn't telling the truth, but that is for you to decide. You have to very different accounts of what went down. On the one hand I was skeptical that Ernesto would even entertain the idea of working on his campaign because I figured he wouldn't want to work with just anyone considering he's trying to make a name for himself.
On the other hand, Nevarez had proof that at least Dagda worked for him by pointing out the campaign finance report and by sending me this money order receipt just this morning.
So who know what the real story is.
Bottom line, its interesting that at least one fledgling consultant goes from one campaign to another in the same campaign cycle, especially after what Forma pulled in the Svarzbein race.
FYI, I did attempt to reach CDA for comment and get her input but she failed to respond by the time of this post (which is actually over an hour longer than I told her it would be because I wanted to afford her every opportunity).
If Bustillos' characterization is accurate though, CDA is undesirably upset. That was a pretty big screw-up on the part of Dagda not to disclose that he worked for her competition in the same cycle. Even if it were only for $100.
Either way... Zas! Thats gacho!