Winner & Mandabach Campaigns
According to its website, it is a "national political consulting firm specializing in ballot measure campaigns." They report that in the 2005-2006 election cycle, they won "five major ballot measure campaigns in four states." The organization also says that they become involved with "all aspects of ballot measure campaigns, including strategic planning, advertising, direct mail, phone banks, public opinion research, earned media and grassroots activities."
W&M Campaigns was founded in 1985 as an affiliate of Winner, Wagner & Associates, which itself was founded in 1975. According to PRWeek, "Winner, whose experience in politics extends back to a 1950s stint as an aide to [California] governor Pat Brown, set up Winner/ Wagner & Associates in 1975 with fellow political aide Ethan Wagner."
Publicis Consultants purchased a 60% interest in W&M in 2000, which was at that time described as a "7.3 million, 43-strong public affairs shop."
Ballot measure work
In 2010, Winner & Mandabach consulted for three of the statewide propositions on the California ballot.
And two measures in other states:
- California Proposition 98 (2008)
- California Proposition 99 (2008)
- California Proposition 94 (2008)
- California Proposition 95 (2008)
- California Proposition 96 (2008)
- California Proposition 97 (2008)
Reporters Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross wrote in February 2008:
- "And the winner, please: Bar none, the biggest winners in Tuesday's California elections were a couple of guys named Chuck Winner (no joke) and Paul Mandabach - and not just because their ballot measures were ahead.
- Winner and Mandabach's Santa Monica media firm rang up millions of dollars in fees for its work producing TV, radio and direct mail ads for the four Indian gambling initiatives on Tuesday's ballot, which waged a record-breaking $109 million campaign.
- The firm isn't required to report its profits on campaign disclosure reports, but political consultant Garry South - who helped direct the rival campaign against Propositions 94 through 97 - estimates Winner & Mandabach's take (based on the standard 15 percent commission) at $15 million to $17 million.
- The intensely private Mandabach declined to discuss the company's compensation, saying it is 'between us and our client.'
- But he and Winner must be doing pretty well - because they do own a stable of racehorses."
- Missouri Stem Cell Research Act, Amendment 2 (2006), authorizing stem cell research in Missouri. W&M worked for the measure.
- California Proposition 90 (2006). W&M worked against this eminent domain reform measure.
- California Proposition 84 (2006) W&M worked for the measure.
- Arkansas Expanded Gaming at Oaklawn (2006). Hired by a casino that wanted to add more slot machines, W&M worked for the casino interests.
- Rhode Island Question 1 (2006). Hired by racetrack owners, W&M worked against this casino expansion measure.
- Massachusetts Sale of Wine by Food Stores Initiative, Question 1 (2006). W&M's side of this campaign lost.
Paul Mandabach worked on behalf of the campaign to allow the continued operation of the Maine Yankee, a nuclear power plant in Maine. According to a November 5, 1987 article in the Bangor Daily News, "The consultant behind the massive save-Maine Yankee drive, Paul Mandabach of Winner, Wagner & Associates, masterminded a similar nuclear-industry financed campaign last year in Oregon that defeated a referendum to close that state's Trojan reactor. Mandabach has been involved in nearly a half dozen shutdown elections."
- California political consultants
- Vendors and consultants to California's 2010 ballot proposition campaigns
- The Southern California-based ballot measure firm Winner/Wagner & Mandabach Campaigns has changed its name
- Winner & Mandabach website, accessed January 22, 2011
- PRWeek, "Publicis Consultants gobbles up stake in Winner & Associates," April 3, 2000
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Battle over Proposition A pits cities against Sinquefield," October 10, 2010
- State Dems still have delegates for the taking February 6, 2008; San Francisco Chronicle
- Bangor Daily News, "Referendum defeat felt nationwide," November 5, 1987