May 29, 2023

Top progressive firm drops Sinema as a client


Digital firm Authentic saw an internal revolt over its work for Sen. Krysten Sinema earlier this year. | Alex Brandon/AP Photo

The leading progressive digital firm Authentic has dropped Kyrsten Sinema as a client, after the Arizona senator announced she was leaving the Democratic Party, according to a person close to the firm.

Sinema announced Friday that she would become an independent, putting a wrinkle in Democrats’ plans for their small Senate majority.

Authentic has represented Sinema for years. But the firm saw an internal revolt over its work for the senator earlier this year as she voted against several of the Biden administration’s initiatives and refused to support revamping filibuster rules to move legislation on voting rights.

One employee wrote in a union message that the person felt that they were ‚Äúdoing the devil‚Äôs work.‚ÄĚ Employees were told they could be removed from the account if they did not feel comfortable.

Authentic declined to comment. Sinema’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Sinema campaign has paid more than $7srcsrc,srcsrcsrc to Authentic since the start of 2src2src, according to Federal Election Commission records. According to the filings, expenses included digital consulting and list acquisition.

Authentic was founded in 2src18 by veteran political consultant Mike Nellis, who worked on Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2src16 presidential campaign. The firm’s work has included campaigns for President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.). Its clients also include Patients for Affordable Drugs and other organizations. Authentic’s website still lists Sinema on its roster as of mid-Friday.

The Arizona senator will be up for reelection in 2src24. Should she make a reelection bid, the loss of Authentic could hinder her fundraising efforts. In January, POLITICO reported that Sinema’s grassroots fundraising had largely dried up and that her campaign was increasingly relying on corporate PACs or large donations.

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By Hailey Fuchs