What exactly was House candidate Shawna Vercher’s role on the Obama campaign?

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Shawna Vercher, the Democrat candidate for House District 67, has repeatedly claimed she was a “hard-working and important cog” in Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential campaign.

But was she?

Upon further examination of the records, it seems Vercher’s declaration of her role as a consultant for the Obama campaign is questionable.

The author, public speaker and radio host is seeking the seat held by term-limited Republican Rep. Ed Hooper, which covers much of North Pinellas County, including Clearwater and Largo.

In a May 14 interview with Creative Loafing Tampa, Vercher told Mitch Perry that she was “a consultant to Barack Obama’s 2008 [Presidential] election campaign,” and specifically that she “played a vital role on the Obama Presidential Campaign in Florida, implementing the Web Publicity tools and techniques that she now provides — and teaches — to small business owners.”

During the initial stages of the Obama campaign, Vercher professed to have coordinated press coverage and ensured accurate reporting as web liaison between the campaign and various national publications and journalists.

According to her bio on Zoominfo.com:

“During the Primary and General Election (Vercher) was responsible for monitoring, shaping and enhancing viral web coverage on hundreds of blogs and news sites, as well as assisting with the coordination and management of four events for the Senator”

On her campaign website, Vercher also says she “worked . . . on the National Rapid Response Team for the Obama 2008 campaign.”

Page 116 of Vercher’s book, A Fearless Voice:  How a National Scandal Made Me an Advocate for Building a Better America says that in 2008, she spent “countless hours . . . working on the Obama presidential campaign.”

Later in the book, Vercher asserts that she had “pretty much every major newspaper and television station in the country on speed dial” (page 151).

At the trial in the case filed by former NBA referee Tim Donaghy, who sued Vercher and her company, VTi Media, for $1.3 million in a civil trial, she testified the firm used for media consulting and the like was called Indigo Media (Trial Transcript, page 1247, lines 2-5).

So why is there no record of payment from Obama’s campaign to Vercher or any of the companies she references in public documents.

 The Obama campaign’s 2007-08 operating expenses are available online at www.fec.gov.  There are no recorded disbursement to Indigo Media, Shawna Vercher, VTi or any other firm associated with her.

Vercher’s claim to have been a consultant to the 2008 Obama campaign is questionable at best.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.