State campaign records show that a progressive group based in California -led by former Bernie Sanders campaign employees – is financing the efforts of campaign consultant Max Herrle who is helping the Adner Marcelin Tallahassee City Commission.
Herrle is a former local lobbyist who has close ties with City Commissioner Jack Porter and Jeremy Matlow. He also provided campaign consulting to current Leon County Comissioner Brian Welch, who upset Leon County Commissioner Bryan Desolge in the 2020 election cycle.
Currently, Herrle is co-founder of the online political blog Our Tallahassee.
Tallahassee Report recently published a story documenting how City Commissioners Jeremy Matlow and Jack Porter are working to defeat their colleague, City Commissioner Dianne Williams-Cox.
Tracking the Money
Records show that the Green Advocacy Project , located in Palo Alto, California, donated $50,000 to the Florida Young Democrats PAC on July 15, 2022.
Ten days later, on July 25, 2022, the Florida Young Democrats PAC transferred $25,000 to Dude Where’s My Park? PAC and $23,500 to THG Consulting LLC.
Documents show that Max Herrle oversees the operations of the two organizations..
On July 29, 2022, the Dude Where’s My Park? PAC donated $7,500 to another PAC called “Say No 2 Doak.” This PAC is also controlled by Herrle.
A recent mailer supporting Adner Marcelin in his campaign to unseat City Commissioner Dianne Williams-Cox – shown below – was paid for by “Say No 2 Doak.”
Ironically, Our Tallahassee, Porter, and Matlow have been publicly critical of the use of “dark money”. Our Tallahassee has published articles critical of dark money
Dark money is money spent on political activity that comes from undisclosed donors.
Max Herrle told TR, “People are seeing more and more the influence of private utility companies in our elections. I believe that Florida Power & Light has an interest in our public utilities. Groups like the Green Advocacy Project have backed efforts to protect publicly owned utilities and defend them against hostile takeovers attempts like the ones we’ve seen in Jacksonville.”
The Green Advocacy Project
This is not the first time the Green Advocacy Project has been tied to Tallahassee elections.
The Tallahassee Democrat reported in 2018 that the Green Advocacy Project gave $12,500 directly to Herrle’s North Florida Leadership Fund PC. That committee then gave $10,500 to Florida Young Democrats, which paid Herrle $10,000 before YouTube ads ran attacking Matlow’s opponent, Lisa Brown.
In 2020, the Green Advocacy Project gave $50,000 to the Florida Young Democrats.
Interestingly, the donation on July 20, 2020, was made in the same week – two years ago – as the recent $50,000 donation by the Green Advocacy Project, which was made on July 15,2022.
The Green Advocacy Project lists a leadership team with significant political experience with the national progressive movement.
Michael Kieschnick, President and Board member “helped to found Real Justice Pac, which works to elect progressive district attorneys around the country.”
Becky Bond, a board member, was formerly a senior advisor to the Bernie Sanders 2016 presidential campaign and political director of CREDO Mobile.
Zack Malitz, a board member, helped lead the digital organizing department for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.