While you've likely never heard of him, chances are good you know his clients. Name a conservative firebrand and Elsass has likely been on his or her payroll. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich—he's worked with all of them, as well as a slew of Republican agitators who aren't yet household names but are doing everything in their power to change that. Elsass now counts more than 60 members of Congress on his client roster, many of whom belong to the rebellious Freedom Caucus that last fall hounded the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, into early retirement. This year, while most eyes are ﬁxed on the presidential race, he's quietly obsessing over the Republicans' control of Congress, guiding the fortunes of 15 ﬁrst-time candidates whom he hopes will join his small army already wreaking havoc in Washington.
Not surprisingly, Elsass's electoral success has made for a lucrative business, as the fleet of late-model Mercedes sitting outside his firm's headquarters attests. During the 2014 elections, the Strategy Group grossed more than $150 million—a figure that would be stunning even if the firm was located in the Beltway and not out among the mega-churches and big-box stores of exurban Columbus.
Sunday, February 21, 2016
The Secret Wizard of the Far Right