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Conflicting Interests Split Top Democratic Firm

“Kevin Mack was not involved in the work for this client and had no knowledge of the work,” Crounse said.

He added that the company was only directly involved in one side of these races — opponents challenging Butler and Allen — and therefore no conflict of interest existed. He went on to vouch for the liberal credentials of the two Democratic candidates that his mailers supported.

“Both candidates we did mail on behalf of won, both are progressive and both are backed by progressive elements of the Democratic Party,” he added.

Mack said the reason his address came up in public records is because Blue Works was one of several Mack|Crounse shell companies that existed long before 2012 or these California races. But as a result of this incident, Mack decided it was time to end the partnership.

“I am the labor and progressive community’s No. 1 mail consultant,” he said. “And no firm I can be associated with can do this type of work. It crossed a line that I am not willing to cross for anyone.”

The duo , which has been in business together since 2005, notified colleagues of their split in separate emails last week. Mack is forming a new firm, Mack Sumner, with one of the firm’s employees, Dylan Sumner, and eight other staffers from the now-disbanded firm. The two remaining employees will join Crounse.

Back in California, Butler expressed disbelief in a phone interview when she read through the Mack|Crounse client list filled with groups that supported her bid. She questioned how a firm aligned with these groups could work to defeat her.

“Seems like this firm lacks a moral compass,” she said in an email. “Profits over values. Very disappointing.”

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