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Posted on February 23, 2017
Tallahassee Reports has learned that Mayor Andrew Gillum’s office has spent approximately $5,000 in city tax revenue with a campaign vendor, NGP VAN, that advertises “our new tech tools can help grow the resistance.”
NGP VAN’s website states that it “is the leading technology provider to Democratic and progressive campaigns and organizations, offering clients an integrated platform of the best fundraising, compliance, field, organizing, digital, and social networking products.”
The site also advertises that “the organizers, fundraisers, and strategists that use our tools work tirelessly to advance important causes and elect inspiring leaders, like President Barack Obama and Senator Elizabeth Warren.”
Public records obtained by TR shows that the Mayor’s Office spent $4,950 in four different transactions with NGP VAN since January 12, 2016. The transactions are categorized as General Fund expenditures.
The amount of the transactions and dates are listed below.
The details associated with the transactions contain the following description: “quarterly fee for DMO Tier 1 package.”
TR called NGP VAN and asked about the description. TR was told that the DMO is an acronym for “Democratic Municipal Officials” and that the software is used for tracking contacts in political campaigns. The software purchased by Mayor Gillum’s office has the capacity to handle 30,000 contacts.
What is the software being used for? TR called the Mayor’s office and they did not respond to our questions about the software.
However, Mayor Gillum could be using the software for the “Campaign to Defend Local Solutions” he launched in January.
In addition, there has a been a number of stories published in the local and state-wide media about Mayor Gillum running for Governor. Is the software being used to gather information for a future gubernatorial campaign?
If the software is being used for these activities, is it an appropriate use of city tax dollars?
TR has requested the records currently loaded in the NGP VAN software and will continue to investigate.