DCI Group

DCI Group

Background

The 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.” [1], [2]

The 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. [3]

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. [4], [5][6] 

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). [7]

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. [8], [9], [10]

DCI Group has also lobbied on behalf of Altria Client Services (previously Phillip Morris Companies Inc.) as recently as January, 2015. Lobbyists included Douglas Goodyear and James Murphy. [11]

Stance on Climate Change

The 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 the DCI Group's lobbying income between the years of 2001 and 2016, as reported by OpenSecrets.org. [12]

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. 

Client Total
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

Industry Total
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

As of November, 2015, the following people were listed on the DCI Group Website: [13]

Partners

Leadership

  • Stacey Chamberlin
  • Emily Covington
  • Frank Craddock
  • Emily Davenport
  • Frank Edwards
  • Jane Frazer
  • Aaron Gardner
  • John Gentzel
  • Ted Greener
  • E. Monique Hall
  • Jennifer Hanks
  • Caroline Haun
  • Raymond Hernandez
  • Gwen Moore Holliday
  • Chad Horrell
  • Erin Hughes
  • Skip Joslin
  • Kent Lassman
  • Dan Meyers
  • Nick Mueller
  • Shant Nahapetian
  • Keith Newman
  • Steve Norton
  • Grant Olson
  • Ed Patru
  • Patrick Rogan
  • Patrick W. Smith
  • Steve Stesney
  • Craig Stevens
  • Adria Stoliar
  • Mark Szalay
  • Margaret Taylor
  • Teresa Valentine
  • Miriam Warren
  • Allison Welch
  • Genevieve Wilkins
  • Oliver Wolf
  • Suzanne Zurn

Senior Counselors

Actions

June 13, 2016

The DCI Group was listed as a creditor in Peabody Energy's 2016 bankruptcy filings, reports the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD/PRWatch). [21]

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. [22]

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. [23]

The Guardian also analysed and reported on the Peabody bankruptcy findings: [24]

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: [39]

“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. [11]

August, 2006

News sources including ABC News and the Wall Street Journal reported that the DCI Group appeared to be behind a popular YouTube.com video mocking Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth. Video below. [14], [15]

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

The 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. [16]

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.” [17]

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. [16]

March, 2005

The DCI Group worked with Republicans to form various “grassroots” front-groups to amplify President Bush’s call to privatize Social Security. [18]

December, 2003

The 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. [6]

DCI Group Contact & Location

As of June 2016, the DCI Group listed the following contact information on their website: [20]

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: INFO@DCIGROUP.COM

Related Organizations

Resources

  1. DCI Group,” OpenSecrets.org. Accessed November 6, 2015.

  2. Our Work,” DCI Group. Archived November 6, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cqLqRBag

  3. About,” DCI Group. Archived November 6, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cqMEimlS

  4. About TCS Daily,” TCS Daily. Archived November 19, 2006.

  5. Kevin Grandia. “ABC News: Gore spoof video linked to Republican/Exxon Spinster,” DeSmogBlog, August 4, 2006.

  6. Nicholas Confessore. “Meet the Press: How James Glassman reinvented journalism–as lobbying,” Washington Monthly, December, 2003. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cqSqgRbe

  7. Amanda 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. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cqSu9f4V

  8. Tim Hyde,” Profile at DCI Group. Archived November 6, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cqMMTyuo

  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. 

  10. PUBLIC ISSUES 1994 (940000) PLANS,” Retrieved from Legacy Tobacco Documents Library. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.

  11. NYC Lobbyist Search. Accessed November 6, 2015.

  12. DCI Group,” OpenSecrets.org. Data retrieved June 10, 2016.

  13. Leadership,” DCI Group. Archived November 6, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cqRzdmuz

  14. Jake Tapper and Max Culhane. “Al Gore YouTube Spoof Not So Amateurish,” ABC News, August 4, 2006. Archived November 6, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cqT2uc9A

  15. Antonio Regaldo and Dionne Searcey. “Where Did That Video Spoofing Gore's Film Come From?“ The Wall Street Journal, August 3, 2006. View full article (PDFhere.

  16. Dr. Willie Soon: A Career Fueled by Big Oil and Coal,” Greenpeace. Archived November 6, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cqTfQzrF

  17. About Us,” Tech Central Station. Archived October 29, 2005.

  18. Laura Miller. “The Fix Behind Fixing Social Security,” PR Watch, March 8, 2005. Archived November 6, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cqUzffnY

  19. Lee Fang. “EXCLUSIVE: Infamous Astroturf Lobbying Firm Behind New Anti-Health Reform Group,” ThinkProgress, Jul 29, 2009. Archived November 6, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cqVHRaJT

  20. DCI Group Homepage. Archived image on file at DeSmogBlog.

  21. Nick Surgey. “Peabody Coal Bankruptcy Reveals Climate Denial Network Funding,” PRWatch, June 13, 2016. Archived June 20, 2016. WebCite URL: http://www.webcitation.org/6iPmXjc4W

  22. In 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.

  23. Farron Cousins. “Court Documents Show Coal Giant Peabody Energy Funded Dozens Of Climate Denial Groups,” DeSmogBlog, June 13, 2016. 

  24. Suzanne Goldenberg and Helena Bengtsson. “Biggest US coal company funded dozens of groups questioning climate change,” The Guardian, June 13, 2016. Archived June 20, 2016. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6iPnEUG1o

Other Resources