Press Releases

ICYMI: No Labels Deception and Grift Exposed in New Back-to-Back Reports

Nov 17, 2023

In damning back-to-back exposes from Sludge and the Daily Beast, No Labels has again been outed as fraudulent liars and corporate shills padding their pockets at the expense of the American people.

“No Labels is the definition of Washington corruption and grift,” said Tiffany Muller, President of End Citizens United // Let America Vote. “It’s clearly a dark money front for billionaires and corporate special interests and the only ones benefiting are the No Labels executives who continue to line their pockets while undermining democracy.”

Sludge: No Labels Says it Doesn’t Take Corporate Money, but Company Disclosures Show Otherwise

David Moore

Key Sections:

  • The political group No Labels says it does not take corporate money, but disclosures from several companies indicate it has received corporate donations, including some received as recently as last year.

  • Based on available disclosures, No Labels has received at least hundreds of thousands of dollars from corporate donors, and at least hundreds of thousands of dollars from business lobbying groups. Some corporate donations to No Labels were made in 2021 and 2022 as the group was preparing its presidential ticket for 2024.

  • In 2021 and 2022, utility company Sempra donated a total of $50,000 to No Labels, according to its disclosures. The holding company says its mission is to be “a leader in North America’s growing liquefied natural gas (LNG) export market,” and last year it lobbied Congress and bodies like the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on a number of LNG export issues and permitting reform topics.

  • During the 2020 election cycle, Coca-Cola donated $25,000 to No Labels, according to its contributions report. In 2020, the company lobbied Congress frequently on “OECD negotiations on the taxation of global income,” among other tax issues. The company’s trade association memberships include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable, which teamed up in what the Washington Post called a “massive lobbying blitz” to block the Democrats’ Build Back Better agenda in the first year under President Biden.

  • Utility giant PG&E donated $50,000 to No Labels in 2015 and 2016, according to archived pages of its political contribution reports. Also in 2015, Johnson & Johnson donated $50,000 to No Labels, according to an archived copy of its investor report.

  • Fortune 500 semiconductor manufacturer Qualcomm donated $50,000 to No Labels in 2012 and 2014, according to its political disclosures.

  • According to records maintained by the nonprofit Center for Political Accountability, more donations to No Labels were listed in past corporate disclosures that can no longer be found online: General Electric is reported to have given $25,000 in 2018, and oil company Pioneer Natural Resources is reported to have given $50,000 in 2015.

  • The Real Estate Roundtable, an industry lobbying group, donated $50,000 to No Labels in 2021 and 2022, according to its tax returns. The think tank’s board includes employees of Blackstone, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo, as well as numerous real estate executives. One of them is the CEO of Trammel Crow Residential, a subsidiary of real estate firm Crow Holdings, chaired by Republican megadonor Harlan Crow. In June, Crow donated $5,000 to a newly-formed No Labels super PAC to help underwrite its planned nominating convention in Dallas.

  • The American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA), which bills itself as the “leading voice” for home, auto, and business insurers, has donated $125,000 to No Labels, giving each year from 2018 through 2021, according to its tax returns. The group’s revenue in 2021 hit a new high of nearly $60 million, and last year it shelled out $5.8 million in federal lobbying.

  • The deep-pocketed Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) donated $40,000 to No Labels in 2017 and 2018, according to its tax returns…BIO is a lobbying organization and spent $13.2 million on federal lobbying in 2022.

  • The Consumer Technology Association, a lobbying organization whose members include dozens of Fortune 500 companies, donated $125,000 to No Labels in 2016, according to its tax return.

  • Other No Labels affiliates have also taken corporate money: on May 30, 2019, the Madison Square Garden Company contributed a combined $1 million to the super PAC No Labels Action, according to FEC records.

Daily Beast: ‘No Labels’ Tax Forms Reveal Execs Cashing In on 2024 Hype

Jake Lahut

Key Sections: 

  • According to its most recent annual 990 tax form obtained by The Daily Beast, No Labels is flush with cash. It raised $21.2 million in 2022, a huge jump from the $11.3 million it raised in 2021, per the 990 that was reported by Politico last December. The group ended 2022 with about $20 million in the tank.

  • What they may prefer to keep quiet, however, are the lucrative paydays being doled out to the No Labels’ leadership team, which appear in the tax documents.

  • Nancy Jacobson, the group’s CEO, did not receive any salary in 2021, according to the 990 for that year. But the latest federal tax form shows Jacobson pulled in $300,000 last year.

  • The disgraced campaign journalist Mark Halperin—who was fired for alleged sexual harassment and sexual assault in 2017—has served as a “chief strategist” for No Labels. He got a nearly $100,000 raise, going from a salary of $240,753 in 2021 to $336,879 in 2022.

  • Then there are the co-executive directors, with Margaret White making $315,440 for No Labels last year and Elizabeth Morrison taking home $203,975. The next highest earners were Megan Shannon at $160,833 for her work as the VP of development and McKinley Scholtz, the deputy director, at $134,723.

  • All told, No Labels’ top six officials pulled in $1.5 million in salary—averaging just over $240,000 per person—amounting to about half what the group spent on efforts for its candidate to qualify for the ballot next year.

  • The latest No Labels tax filing is also notable for what it doesn’t include. Strategist Ryan Clancy—whose firm received $300,000 for “strategy services” according to the 2021 forms—is nowhere to be found on the No Labels tax returns from last year. But curiously, he is still prominently featured on the group’s homepage.

  • On top of Clancy’s firm, Capitol Advisors LLC—a Virginia-based firm led by Michael Arno, a consultant with expertise in ballot access, whose involvement with No Labels was first reported by Mother Jones—got in on the strategic consultant action, pulling in more than $2.1 million for its services compared to Clancy’s six-figure sum the previous year.

  • But the group’s sizable paychecks for executives, combined with its opaque finances, do not lend themselves to an optimistic view about its mission of changing politics as usual.

  • Even though it is acting increasingly like a political party—fielding a candidate and attempting to qualify for the ballot in states for 2024—No Labels’ nonprofit status means it doesn’t have to disclose its donors or share detailed information on how it spends its funds, contrary to the requirements for traditional campaigns.

  • The press has highlighted this discrepancy and has put scrutiny on No Labels to pull back the curtain on its books just like any other party. But the group’s leadership has steadfastly refused to do so.

  • Unless No Labels changes its status, its 2022 nonprofit tax form obtained by The Daily Beast will be the clearest glimpse at its finances before the 2024 election in November.