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Goddard Gunster is an American lobbying firm and referendum specialist founded by the late Ben Goddard. Its current President is Gerry Gunster.[1][2]

Goddard Gunster
Goddard Gunster logo.png
FounderBen Goddard
Headquarters2121 K Street NW Suite 850
Washington, DC 20037
United States
President
Gerry Gunster
Chief Strategy Officer / Dir: Lobbying
Daniel Colegrove
Websitegoddardgunster.com

Leave.EUEdit

In 2016 Goddard Gunster were engaged (through businessman Arron Banks) by Leave.EU,[3][4][5] a political campaign group that supported the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union (Brexit) in the June 2016 referendum.[6]

"A Goddard Gunster employee told PRWeek: "the firm had some of its staff embedded in the Leave.EU office in London, and that 10 staff in the US were assigned to the account, while CEO Gerry Gunster regularly travelled to the UK. The agency has two offices in the US, plus London, Switzerland and Egypt bases."[1]

In May 2018 Leave.EU was fined £70,000 for breaches of UK election law in the referendum. According to BBC News: "[Leave.EU's] spending return did not include services [Leave.EU] had received from Goddard Gunster."[7]

A year later, in May 2019, an report by Matt Frei for Channel 4 News in the UK stated that invoices showed Goddard Gunster billed Banks' company Southern Rock £108,684 for a party held in Nigel Farage's honour in July 2016 at the Hay-Adams Hotel, Washington DC. This included paying Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson £11,305.41 to interview Farage at the event.[8][9]

Farage also had meetings with Republican Senator Bob Corker and US National Security Advisor, John Bolton at that year's Republican National Convention. The meetings were coordinated by Goddard Gunster.[2][8]

Yes California Independence CampaignEdit

Yes California logo
Yes Scotland logo
The Yes California campaign borrows its name and logo from the Yes Scotland campaign of 2014.

In March 2017, the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) gave an "International Consultant of the Year" award to Farage and Leave.EU at Huntington Beach, California.[10] While in Orange County, California, Farage and Banks attended GOP gatherings at Scott Baugh's invitation. Splitting California into two states was discussed at two of the gatherings.[11] Afterwards the The Washington Times and The Sunday Times, London reported that Baugh and Gerry Gunster were hiring Farage and Banks to help fundraise in California for the "Yes California Independence Campaign", a political action committee founded by Louis J. Marinelli, which is campaiging to split the state in two.[12][13] Baugh denied the story saying he only, "asked Farage if he would be interested in talking to some of the county’s GOP movers and shakers.".[14]

Proposal for Goddard Gunster InternationalEdit

Channel 4 News reported that an e-mail from Gerry Gunster proposed building a new "political powerhouse", Goddard Gunster International, to provide “strategy, lobbying, creative services and paid advocacy to companies, organizations and individuals. With staff that are closely aligned with the new administration and with UK political leaders," with "counsel provided by Mr Nigel Farage". The proposal went on to suggest a 50/50 "division of profits" between Gerry Gunster and Arron Banks, with a "separate agreement with Nigel Farage".[2][15] Gunster declined to provide a statement for the news item but claimed Channel 4 News′ information was "not credible".[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Burne James, Sam (June 29, 2016). "Brexit group thanks US agency for social media and target-messaging support". PRWeek. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Frei, Matt (May 16, 2019). "Nigel Farage's funding secrets revealed". Channel 4 News. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  3. ^ Fletcher, Martin (October 13, 2016). "Arron Banks: the man who bought Brexit". New Statesman. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  4. ^ Reuters (October 9, 2015). "American referendum veteran hired to persuade Britons to leave EU". The Guardian. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  5. ^ Ben Brown (presenter) and Gerry Gunster (guest) (November 17, 2016). Gerry Gunster Speaking to BBC News (Video). BBC News. Retrieved May 17, 2019. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  6. ^ "Our campaign: love Europe, leave EU". leave.eu. Leave.EU. Archived from the original on 13 October 2015. Retrieved May 17, 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  7. ^ Staff writer (May 11, 2018). "Brexit: Leave.EU fined £70,000 for breaking electoral law during referendum". BBC News. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  8. ^ a b Matt Frei (reporter) (May 16, 2019). Nigel Farage’s funding secrets revealed (Video). Channel 4 News via YouTube. 5.35 minutes in. Retrieved May 17, 2019. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  9. ^ Pickard, Jim (May 16, 2019). "Channel 4 News claims Arron Banks funded Nigel Farage's lifestyle". Financial Times. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  10. ^ "AAPC awards Tony Fabrizio as Pollster of the Year". fabriziolee.com. Fabrizio Lee. March 17, 2017. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  11. ^ Robinson, Melia (November 9, 2016). "Californians are calling for a 'Calexit' from the US — here's how a secession could work". Business Insider. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  12. ^ Shipman, Tim (March 26, 2017). "The bad boys of Brexit join fight to break up California". The Sunday Times. London. Retrieved May 20, 2019 – via The Weekend Australian.
  13. ^ Chumley, Cheryl K. (March 28, 2017). "Brexit chiefs eye 2-state solution for California -- Calexit". The Washington Times. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  14. ^ Wisckol, Martin (April 1, 2017). "California split overplayed, says Scott Baugh, former Orange County GOP chairman". Orange County Register. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  15. ^ Matt Frei (reporter) (May 16, 2019). Nigel Farage’s funding secrets revealed (Video). Channel 4 News via YouTube. 7.33 minutes in. Retrieved May 17, 2019. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)

External linksEdit