DCI Group

DCI Group

Background

DCI Group, LLC. is a Republican lobbying and public relations firm with offices in Washington, Brussels, and Houston. DCI group has been associated with the telemarketing company Feather Larson & Synhorst DCI and the direct-mail firm FYI Messaging. DCI Group describes itself as an “independent public affairs consulting firm that specializes in public relations, crisis management, grassroots engagement, and digital advocacy.”1DCI Group,” OpenSecrets.org. Accessed November 6, 2015. 2Our Work,” DCI Group. Archived November 6, 2015. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/8mO4R

DCI Group was founded in 1996 by Tom Synhorst, Doug Goodyear and Tim Hyde as a “grassroots” consulting firm. They developed into a “full-service company” providing media relations, “coalition and third party work,” digital services, and field work for clients that need support for their public policy campaigns. DCI manages issues for clients at local, state, federal, and international levels of government. DCI’s clients include corporations, trade associations, coalitions, and non-profits. Initially operating in Washington, they opened a Brussels, Beligum location in 2010.3About,” DCI Group. Archived November 6, 2015. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/rrslH

In 2000, DCI Group began publishing the (now-defunct) online magazine Tech Central Station (TCS), “hosted” by James K. Glassman. It was run by DCI Group until fall of 2006 when it was sold to its editor, Nick Schulz. TCS has been a forum for climate change skeptics, and has itself received funding directly from ExxonMobil for “climate change support.” Some reporters have described TCS as being at the forefront of new field of “journo-lobbying.4About TCS Daily,” TCS Daily. Archived November 19, 2006. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/61qZO 5Kevin Grandia. “ABC News: Gore spoof video linked to Republican/Exxon Spinster,” DeSmog, August 4, 2006. 6Nicholas Confessore. “Meet the Press: How James Glassman reinvented journalism–as lobbying,” Washington Monthly, December, 2003. Archived September 26, 2004. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/p54gE

DCI Group also has connections to the Tea Party, having done lobbying for both Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks. DCI Group has also done significant lobbying for the tobacco industry including Altria (previously Phillip Morris).7Amanda Fallin, Rachel Grana and Stanton A Glantz. “‘To quarterback behind the scenes, third-party efforts’: the tobacco industry and the Tea Party,” Tobacco Control, February 8, 2013. Archived November 6, 2015. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/kz18P

DCI Group & Tobacco

All three of DCI’s founders have a history working with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco: Tim Hynde was Senior Director of Public Issues at RJR (1988-1997), Tom Synhorst was a past “Field Coordinator” for RJR, and Douglas Goodyear was past vice president at Walt Klein and Associates who worked for RJR in the 1980s. Goodyear also helped form Ramhurst Corporation, which received over $2.6 million for work done on behalf of RJR.8Tim Hyde,” DCI Group. Archived November 6, 2015. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/d1k0j 9“Magazine Looks Inside the Smokers’ Rights Movement” (PDF – Media Release)Mother Jones, April 17, 1996. Retrieved from Legacy Tobacco Documents Library. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.  10PUBLIC ISSUES 1994 (940000) PLANS,” Retrieved from Legacy Tobacco Documents Library. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

DCI Group has also lobbied on behalf of Altria Client Services (previously Phillip Morris Companies Inc.) as recently as 2017–2018. Lobbyists have included Douglas Goodyear and James Murphy.11NYC Lobbyist Search. Accessed November 6, 2015. 12Lobbyist query for “DCI,” New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics: Lobbying Online Filing System. Search performed December 11, 2023. Archived .png on file at DeSmog.

Stance on Climate Change

DCI Group was originally behind TCS Daily, which regularly publishes articles by authors skeptical of man-made climate change. However, DCI group does not appear to have an official statement reflecting their views on climate change.

Funding

Lobbying Income

Below is a list of DCI Group’s lobbying income between the years of 2001 and 2016, as reported by OpenSecrets.org.13DCI Group,” OpenSecrets.org. Data retrieved June 10, 2016.

DCI Group has received more than $3,230,000 for lobbying in the Oil and Gas Industry, with $3,090,000 of this coming from ExxonMobil. They have also received $745,000 from the pharmaceutical industry, and have worked with major defense and weapons manufacturers like Lockheed Martin.

View attached spreadsheet on DCI Group’s Lobbying Income (.xlsx) for additional information. 

ClientTotal
Verizon Communications$3,660,000
Exxon Mobil$3,090,000
US Telecom Assn$1,411,000
Colorado State University$1,410,000
Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assn$850,000
AT&T$840,000
American Roll-On Roll-Off Carrier$760,000
General Motors$750,000
Mortgage Insurance Companies of America$740,000
K-12 Inc$690,000
National Assn of Waterfront Employers$670,000
Gilead Sciences$650,000
Council of Amer Survey Research Orgs$620,000
Lockheed Martin$620,000
Applied Digital$560,000
GTECH Holdings$560,000
American Task Force Argentina$550,000
Teamsters Union$460,000
Catholic Healthcare West$440,000
Ironworkers Union$440,000
AT&T Inc$410,000
Federal Home Loan Bank$380,000
National Louis University$380,000
Denver Children’s Hospital$360,000
CEMEX SA de CV$350,000
Gannett Fleming Inc$340,000
Lipscomb University$320,000
B&D Holding Di Marco Drago e C Sapa$310,000
Coral Bay Community Council$300,000
EchoStar Communications$300,000
Lincoln Memorial University$280,000
National Assn of Business PACs$280,000
University of Arizona$280,000
Lakeview Museum$260,000
City of Maryville, TN$250,000
Central Wyoming College$220,000
Coe College$200,000
Goldman Sachs$200,000
St Rose Dominican Hospitals$200,000
United Airlines-EC-ALPA$200,000
United Medical Center$200,000
Inspire STEM USA$195,000
City of Cheyenne, WY$180,000
Health Partners$180,000
St Ambrose University$180,000
Alliant Techsystems$170,000
Great River Economic Development Fdtn$160,000
MedCath Inc$160,000
National Assn of Air Traffic Specialists$160,000
Scottsdale Healthcare$160,000
Hiwassee College$150,000
AG Spanos Companies$140,000
Nipmuc Nation Tribal Council$140,000
Shenandoah Electronic Intelligence$140,000
Srq Inc$140,000
Welldog Inc$140,000
City of Harrogate, TN$130,000
Aqua Sciences$120,000
City of Cedar Rapids, IA$120,000
Smartlink Radio Networks$120,000
St Louis Regional Chamber & Growth Assoc$120,000
GridPoint Inc$110,000
Avue Technologies$100,000
Bose Corp$100,000
CalAmp Inc$100,000
EchoStar Corp$100,000
Iowa American Water Co$100,000
Northern Arizona University$100,000
Akins Crisp Public Strategies$90,000
Aunt Millie’s$90,000
Winning Strategies Washington$90,000
Toolchex Inc$85,000
Blackboard Inc$80,000
ELLIS$80,000
Mvp Group International$80,000
Stamats$80,000
ITT Educational Services$60,000
Visa International$60,000
Alliance Surgical Distributors$55,000
American Iris$40,000
Bay Area Addiction Research & Treatment$40,000
Brown, Winick et al$40,000
Calumet College of St Joseph$40,000
Delorme Publishing$40,000
Intelligent Car Coalition$40,000
Maryville College$40,000
MC Technologies$40,000
Metropolitan College of New York$40,000
National Pork Producers Council$40,000
Pharmaceutical Rsrch & Mfrs of America$40,000
State of Louisiana$40,000
Blount County, TN$20,000
International Genomics Consortium$20,000
National Semiconductor Corp$20,000
Qualcomm Inc$20,000
Rock Island Arsenal Development Group$20,000
Washington Strategies$20,000
Grand Total$30,956,000

Lobbying Income by Industry

IndustryTotal
Telephone Utilities$6,321,000
Education$4,390,000
Oil & Gas$3,230,000
Hospitals/Nurs Homes$1,520,000
Real Estate$1,260,000
Business Assns$1,160,000
Electronics Mfg/Eqp$1,000,000
Casinos/Gambling$870,000
Trucking$850,000
Transport Unions$820,000
Business Services$810,000
Automotive$750,000
Pharm/Health Prod$745,000
Civil Servants$740,000
Sea Transport$670,000
Defense Aerospace$620,000
Foreign Policy$550,000
Securities/Invest$500,000
Telecom Svcs$500,000
Construction Svcs$480,000
Bldg Trade Unions$440,000
Non-Profits$420,000
Unknown Business$360,000
Building Materials$350,000
Human Rights$335,000
Misc Energy$210,000
Misc Defense$190,000
Health Services$180,000
Environmental Svcs$120,000
TV/Movies/Music$120,000
Food Process/Sales$90,000
Lobbyists$90,000
Misc Services$85,000
Finance/Credit$60,000
Livestock$40,000
Publishing$40,000
Waste Management$40,000
Grand Total$30,956,000

Key People

Partners

Name200920102011201320162018
Brian MccabeYYYYYY
Dan CombsYYYYYY
Doug GoodyearYYYYYY
Justin PetersonYYYYYY
Tim HydeYYYYYY
Tom SynhorstYYYYYY
Jennifer Cutler YYYYY
Kelley Robertson YYYYY
Paul Ryan YYYYY
Susan Reiche YYYYY
Andrew O’Brien  YYYY
Christian Myers  YYYY
Ryan Grillo   YYY
Jon Kemp    YY
Megan Bloomgren    Y 
Diane Miller YYY  
Jim MurphyYYY   
Michael Reilly  Y   
Emily Lampkin Y    
Jim Prendergast      
Todd Baustert      

Leadership

Name20072009201020112012201320142015201620172018
Skip Joslin YYYYYYYYYY
Stacey Chamberlin YYYYYYYYYY
Craig Stevens  YYYYYYYYY
Genevieve Wilkins  YYYYYYYYY
Allison Welch   YYYYYYYY
Ed Patru   YYYYYYYY
Aaron Gardner    YYYYYYY
Keith Newman    YYYYYYY
Miriam Warren    YYYYYYY
Oliver Wolf    YYYYYYY
Caroline Haun     YYYYYY
Teresa Valentine     YYYYYY
Emily Covington      YYYYY
John Gentzel      YYYYY
Mark Szalay      YYYYY
Adria Stoliar       YYYY
Chad Horrell       YYYY
E. Monique Hall       YYYY
Emily Davenport       YYYY
Erin Hughes       YYYY
Jennifer Hanks       YYYY
Raymond Hernandez       YYYY
Shant Nahapetian       YYYY
Steve Norton       YYYY
Steve Stesney       YYYY
Alena Anderson        YYY
Chris Rowe        YYY
Kevin Ivers        YYY
Katherine Rodriguez         YY
Frank Craddock YYYYYYYYY 
Dan Meyers   YYYYYYY 
Patrick W. Smith   YYY YYY 
Kelsey Zahourek        YY 
Frank Edwards  YYYYYYY  
Suzanne Zurn       YY  
Kent Lassman YYYYYYY   
Gwen Holliday  YYYYYY   
Jane Frazer   YYYYY   
Nick Mueller   YYYYY   
Patrick Rogan   YYYYY   
Grant Olson     YYY   
Margaret Taylor     YYY   
Ted Greener       Y   
Amanda O’Malley YYYYYY    
Ann McCain YYYYYY    
Carl Bentzel YYYYYY    
Colin Leyden YYYYYY    
Monique Hall  YYYYY    
Diane Laviolette   YYYY    
Janet Wootten   YYYY    
Jay Hauck   YYYY    
Nick Meads   YYYY    
Robert Scott   YYYY    
Jim O’Connell      Y    
Ray Hernandez      Y    
Jason Lilly YYYYY     
Madelyn Lawson YYYYY     
Rouel de Guzman YYYYY     
Jon Kemp  YYYY     
Catherine McCullough   YYY     
Emily Fuleihan   YYY     
Julie Germany   YYY     
Megan Bloomgren   YYY     
Chris Burger     Y     
Lauren Consky     Y     
Jennifer Stewart YYYY      
Patrick Pannett  YYY      
Heidi Kotzian   YY      
Travis Worl   YY      
Tricia Waite   YY      
Alyson O’Connell    Y      
Gary Feld YYY       
Scott Migli  YY       
Amanda Phraner   Y       
Beneva Schulte   Y       
Brian Harrison   Y       
Brian Lyle   Y       
Campbell Spencer   Y       
Catherine Bray   Y       
Daniel Nelson   Y       
Derrick Johnson   Y       
Jacquelyn Puente   Y       
Julie Nelson   Y       
Kevin McLaughlin   Y       
Laura Lilly   Y       
Lisa Burgess   Y       
Michael Hamilton   Y       
Michael Pepe   Y       
Noralisa Leo   Y       
Rick Shapiro   Y       
Rose Rougeau   Y       
Sarah Hoffman   Y       
Tom Kise   Y       
Andrew O’Brien YY        
Angela Flood YY        
Christian Myers YY        
Duane Freese YY        
Geoffrey Basye YY        
Hillary Maxwell YY        
Joe Quigley YY        
Ted Newton YY        
Anna Bell Farrar YY        
Michael Reilly YY        
Ray Patnaude YY        
Belen Mendoza  Y        
Chip Griffin  Y        
Henrik Rasmussen  Y        
Julie Barko Germany  Y        
Carole Braithwaite Y         
Diane Miller Y         
Emily Lampkin Y         
Heidi Schauer Y         
Katie Harbath Y         
Kelley Robertson Y         
Paul Ryan Y         
Scot Crockett Y         
Sonya Clay Y         
Susan Reiche Y         
Teri Grier Y         
Evan Yost Y         
Jennifer Cutler Y         
Lindsay Videnieks Y         
Matt Rhoades Y         
Nicole Philbin Y         
Amanda Deatherage           
Bill Clark           
Colin Tooze           
David Pearce           
Drew Cole           
Gavin Clingham           
Jennifer Cush           
Ken Schulz           
Lindsay Lawrence           
Melissa Kelly           
Robert Paduchik           
Ryan Grillo           
Steven Susens           
Brian MccabeY          
Doug GoodyearY          
Jim MurphyY          
Tom SynhorstY          

Senior Counselors

Name200920102014201520162018
Michael J. StrattonYYYYYY
Rick Shapiro  YYYY
Charles C. Francis   YYY
Frank Edwards     Y
Amb. Robert Blackwill  YY  
Lou Ann Linehan  YY  
Charles FrancisYYY   
Beneva Schulte  Y   
Mickey Ibarra Y    

Actions

January 25, 2018

2018 profile in Bloomberg outlined how Glassman and DCI group have worked with large hedge funds to influence lawmakers. Bloomberg identified at least six major influence campaigns that DCI group had conducted on behalf of investors in stocks or bonds since 2006.14Zachary Mider and Ben Elgin. “How Hedge Funds (Secretly) Get Their Way in Washington,” Bloomberg, January 25, 2018. Archived January 28, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/ev2zY

One example, according to Bloomberg, was July 2014 testimony by Glassman that “meshed perfectly” with the talking points of an affiliate of DCI group he was working for at the time. In his testimony, Glassman argued that Argentina was trying to renege on its debt, and also accused Puerto Rico of the same thing. Glassman never mentioned that he was working for an affiliate of DCI group whose clients at the time included a $25 billion hedge fund that had a dispute with Argentina, and another that was suing Puerto Rico.15Zachary Mider and Ben Elgin. “How Hedge Funds (Secretly) Get Their Way in Washington,” Bloomberg, January 25, 2018. Archived January 28, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/ev2zY

It was a pattern of campaigns where DCI group worked with large hedge funds by crafting what appeared as grass-roots support. Without disclosure, “the targets of these campaigns—administration officials, media ‘thought leaders,’ and lawmakers—didn’t know they were being lobbied, much less who paid for it.”16Zachary Mider and Ben Elgin. “How Hedge Funds (Secretly) Get Their Way in Washington,” Bloomberg, January 25, 2018. Archived January 28, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/ev2zY

“DCI rounded up ordinary Americans who agreed with its clients and marched them into lawmakers’ offices to lend a veneer of grass-roots support. Meanwhile, Glassman and other ostensibly independent intellectuals blanketed panels, hearings, and press conferences with the same storyline, without ever mentioning their connection to DCI or the hedge funds.”17Zachary Mider and Ben Elgin. “How Hedge Funds (Secretly) Get Their Way in Washington,” Bloomberg, January 25, 2018. Archived January 28, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/ev2zY

”[…] That’s where DCI comes in, providing credible-seeming voices to speak up for the funds’ interests—voices like Glassman’s. It’s not illegal, but it undermines basic principles of transparency and trust.”18Zachary Mider and Ben Elgin. “How Hedge Funds (Secretly) Get Their Way in Washington,” Bloomberg, January 25, 2018. Archived January 28, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/ev2zY

June 13, 2016

DCI Group was listed as a creditor in Peabody Energy’s 2016 bankruptcy filings, reports the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD/PRWatch).19Nick Surgey. “Peabody Coal Bankruptcy Reveals Climate Denial Network Funding,” PRWatch, June 13, 2016. Archived June 20, 2016. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/a73wj

While the available bankruptcy documents do not list the scale or dates of funding, they outline Peabody Energy’s financial ties to a large network of groups promoting climate change denial.20In re: Peabody Energy Corporation, et al. Debtors,” United States Bankruptcy Court Eastern District of Missouri Eastern Division,  Case 16-42529, May 27, 2016. Retrieved from DocumentCloud.

Prominent individuals appearing in the documents include climate deniers Willie SoonRichard LindzenRoy Spencer and Richard Berman. The long list of organizations also includes groups such as Americans for ProsperityAmerican Legislative Exchange CouncilCFACTInstitute for Energy ResearchState Policy Network, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and dozens more.21Farron Cousins. “Court Documents Show Coal Giant Peabody Energy Funded Dozens Of Climate Denial Groups,” DeSmog, June 13, 2016. 

The Guardian also analysed and reported on the Peabody bankruptcy findings:22Suzanne Goldenberg and Helena Bengtsson. “Biggest US coal company funded dozens of groups questioning climate change,” The Guardian, June 13, 2016. Archived June 20, 2016. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/pw7On

“These groups collectively are the heart and soul of climate denial,” said Kert Davies, founder of the Climate Investigation Center, who has spent 20 years tracking funding for climate denial. “It’s the broadest list I have seen of one company funding so many nodes in the denial machine.”

The company’s filings reveal funding for a range of organisations which have fought Barack Obama’s plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions, and denied the very existence of climate change. […]

Among Peabody’s beneficiaries, the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change has insisted – wrongly – that carbon emissions are not a threat but “the elixir of life” while the American Legislative Exchange Council is trying to overturn Environmental Protection Agency rules cutting emissions from power plants. Meanwhile, Americans for Prosperity campaigns against carbon pricing. The Oklahoma chapter was on the list. […]

“The breadth of the groups with financial ties to Peabody is extraordinary. Thinktanks, litigation groups, climate scientists, political organisations, dozens of organisations blocking action on climate all receiving funding from the coal industry,” said Nick Surgey, director of research for the Center for Media and Democracy.

“We expected to see some denial money, but it looks like Peabody is the treasury for a very substantial part of the climate denial movement.”

Notable organizations listed in the initial documents include:

Notable individuals named in the initial documents include the following:

December 13, 2015

Writing as a guest blogger on Watts Up With That, CFACT’s executive director Craig Rucker denounced the latest UN climate change agreement:23“Paris #COP21 agreement – Watered down but still dangerous,” WattsUpWithThat, December 13, 2015. Archived March 14, 2016. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/oSsTw

“This agreement will not meaningfully alter the temperature of the Earth, even under the U.N.’s own computer models.

“The bad news is that it plants the seeds of a new UN climate regime that left unchecked will swell into a bureaucratic behemoth.”

January 2015

DCI Group is a registered lobbyist for the Altria Client Services, Inc., previously known as the tobacco company Phillip Morris. Their most recent contract was listed as beginning in January of 2015, and will end December 31, 2015. Douglas Goodyear is their currently registered lobbyist officer on the case.24NYC Lobbyist Search. Accessed November 6, 2015.

August 2006

News sources including ABC News and the Wall Street Journal reported that DCI Group appeared to be behind a popular YouTube.com video mocking Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth. Video below.25Jake Tapper and Max Culhane. “Al Gore YouTube Spoof Not So Amateurish,” ABC News, August 4, 2006. Archived November 6, 2015. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/2ZgKF 26Antonio Regaldo and Dionne Searcey. “Where Did That Video Spoofing Gore’s Film Come From?“ The Wall Street Journal, August 3, 2006. View full article (PDF) here.

ABC reports a DCI representative as stating:

“We do not disclose the names of our clients, nor do we discuss the work we do on behalf of our clients.”

2000–2006

DCI Group ran the online magazine Tech Central Station (TCS). Among other issues, TCS has heavily published the views of numerous climate change skeptics, including Willie Soon who, according to his C.V., wrote 43 articles for TCS from 2001-2004.27Dr. Willie Soon: A Career Fueled by Big Oil and Coal,” Greenpeace. Archived November 6, 2015. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/YvTDx

TCS describes itself as “here to help provide the right answers to many of those questions with the news, analysis, research, and commentary you need to understand how technology is changing and shaping our world, and how you can make sense of it all.”28About Us,” Tech Central Station. Archived October 29, 2005. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/xeTuX

Some notable funders of TCS have included ExxonMobil, General Motors Corporation, Microsoft, and PhRMA. According to a Greenpeace document, ExxonMobil gave $95,000 to TCS in 2003.29Dr. Willie Soon: A Career Fueled by Big Oil and Coal,” Greenpeace. Archived November 6, 2015. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/YvTDx

March 2005

DCI Group worked with Republicans to form various “grassroots” front-groups to amplify President Bush’s call to privatize Social Security.30Laura Miller. “The Fix Behind Fixing Social Security,” PR Watch, March 8, 2005. Archived November 6, 2015. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/HdRjJ

December 2003

DCI Group was retained by the pharmaceutical industry to create public opposition against House legislation that would permit the reimportation of FDA-approved drugs from Canada and elsewhere.31Nicholas Confessore. “Meet the Press: How James Glassman reinvented journalism–as lobbying,” Washington Monthly, December, 2003. Archived September 26, 2004. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/p54gE

DCI Group Contact & Location

As of June 2016, DCI Group listed the following contact information on their website:32DCI Group Homepage, Archived June 11, 2016. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/3qtCE

Washington, DC
1828 L Street, NW
Suite 400
Washington, DC 20036

Brussels, Belgium
Square de Meeus 37
1000 Brussels
Belgium

Phone: +1 (202) 546-4242
Email: [email protected]

Social Media

Other Resources

Resources

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