ASK Public Strategies
This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.
ASK Public Strategies is a business run by Barack Obama's chief campaign strategist David Axelrod from the same office as Axelrod's AKP&D Message & Media firm. ASK Public Strategies "discreetly plots strategy and advertising campaigns for corporate clients," reported BusinessWeek. Axelrod's ASK partners are John Kupper and Eric Sedler, the latter previously of AT&T and Edelman. 
ASK is known for creating front groups. Chicago Alder Brendan Reilly called ASK "the gold standard in Astroturf organizing." In 2005, as ComEd was "preparing to ask [Illinois] state regulators for higher electricity prices," ASK advised the company to form "Consumers Organized for Reliable Electricity." The front group, which described itself as "a coalition of individuals, businesses and organizations," funded ads that warned of blackouts unless rates were raised. Around the same time, ASK helped Cablevision, which owns Madison Square Garden, oppose the New York Jets's plans to build a new stadium in Manhattan. Cablevision formed the "New York Association for Better Choices," and ran anti-stadium ads in its name. ASK's other work includes helping AT&T with municipal broadband referenda. 
The firm's website says it specializes in "providing campaign management, communications strategy and advertising to private sector and nonprofit organizations seeking to influence stakeholder opinion."  The three partners do all the firm's work, according to the website: "Each partner takes a lead role in serving clients. We don’t have any junior staff do work for our clients." 
From their website: 
ASK Public Strategies
730 North Franklin, Suite 404
Chicago, IL 60610
Email: info AT askps.com
Articles and resources
Related SourceWatch articles
- AKP&D Message & Media
- Barack Obama
- Consumers Organized for Reliable Electricity
- David Axelrod
- Front groups
- Howard Wolinsky, "The Secret Side of David Axelrod," BusinessWeek, March 14, 2008.
- "Who we are," ASK Public Strategies, accessed March 2008.
- "How we work," ASK Public Strategies, accessed March 2008.
- "Partner bios," ASK Public Strategies, accessed March 2008.
- Mike McIntire, "For Obama Strategist, Ties to Corporations and Nonprofits as a Consultant," New York Times, October 17, 2008.
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