No Labels, a group that works to elect centrist candidates from both parties, has been grappling internally with conflicts of interest tied to its use of political consulting firms linked to the group’s leadership, according to documents and email correspondence obtained by The Intercept.
It’s been a rough few weeks of public scrutiny for No Labels. A Daily Beast investigation published earlier this month revealed that despite the group’s professed interest in reducing partisanship, it had solicited money from wealthy, partisan donors, many of them from the world of finance, on both sides of the political spectrum, and had considered making Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi a “bogeyman.”
The group was also in the news because the No Labels-backed House Problem Solvers Caucus, comprised of 24 Democrats and 24 Republicans, was organizing to block Pelosi’s bid for speaker of the House unless she agreed to a series of their proposed legislative reforms. The Democratic chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus is New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer, a protégé of Mark Penn, who urged Hillary Clinton to attack Barack Obama as un-American in the 2008 presidential primary. As The Intercept previously reported, Penn, a longtime partisan and the husband of No Labels’s head Nancy Jacobson, is closely involved with the group’s work.