May 10th, 2023
Brian Heywood and Sharon Hanek have formed an LLC to provide paid signature gathering services to right wing causes
Two individuals active in local right wing causes have formed a limited liability company, known as an LLC for short) to provide signature gathering services to right wing causes and are now actively recruiting signature gatherers for part time seasonal work, according to postings on the Facebook pages of right wing groups they are involved with.
Brian Heywood, fifty-six, is a wealthy right wing resident of Redmond, NPI’s hometown, with an estimated net worth of between $10 and $25 million. He created a political committee called Let’s Go Washington to try to qualify a slew of right wing initiatives to the ballot in 2022, with the backing of right wing operatives like Glen Morgan and Tim Eyman.
The initiatives all flopped because Heywood tried to rely on volunteer signature gatherers, only to discover that model doesn’t work for statewide initiatives (well, at least unless you have a tremendously popular idea and really know what you’re doing, which they didn’t).
Having (sort of) learned that lesson, Heywood and ally Sharon Hanek are now trying to recruit paid signature gatherers for a second attempt, which consists of a slate of four initiatives to the 2024 Washington Stat – not as grandiose as last year’s unrealistic plan of trying to get eleven measures qualified simultaneously, but still extremely ambitious.
The Secretary of State’s Corporations database shows they created their LLC on April 27th, 2023. Hanek is the registered agent, with a Bonney Lake post office box listed as the primary mailing address. Hanek and Heywood are the governors — the named directors of the entity. The nature of its business is described as “administration & business support services.”
On May 2nd, Let’s Go Washington’s Facebook page posted an image advertising people to apply for employment with TDM Strategies.
The posting reads, in part:
TDM Strategies is offering temporary, part-time positions, with the potential of full-time, to collect signatures for multiple ballot measures. Experience is preferred but training will be provided.
The ideal candidate should be familiar with grassroots canvassing and gathering signatures in front of stores, at events, or going door to door. Job will require the use of “apps” on your phone or device and reliable transportation. Must have the ability to submit pictures on a phone or device at the end of each work day.
Signature gathering will occur throughout Washington State with a focus in the Puget Sound area. Working hours will include evenings, weekends, and holidays since you will be sent to events and crowds to get maximum exposure to potential signers.
You must be able to provide a passport or a form of identification (Driver’s license or valid identification card) and proof of citizenship (social security card or birth certificate.)
June 1st is listed as the start date. Interestingly, the advertised pay structure is by the hour ($18.00 to $20.00 / hour), not by the signature, and unusually, there are benefits listed: “Sick pay” and “health benefits for employees that qualify under federal and state law.” (It is rare in the industry for signature gathering companies to provide any benefits to their workers.)
Although they are actively recruiting for workers, TDM Strategies doesn’t appear to have a business license with the Department of Revenue yet:
They also aren’t registered with the Department of Labor & Industries:
In a report submitted today, Let’s Go Washington reported having a balance of just $1,472.32. It has accepted a slew of in-kind contributions from Heywood recently — for graphic design work, web hosting, wireless services, and booths at Republican events like the Clark County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner and the Pierce County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner.
There are various four figure in-kind contributions in Let’s Go Washington’s PDC reports that contain descriptions ending in “Voter Science,” which is a company that describes itself as providing tech expertise to right wing candidates. Former blogger Bryan Myrick and former state legislator Chad Magendanz are both listed as “managing partners” of the firm.
In 2015, a group of Washington state grass-roots activists formed Voter Science to redefine how right-of-center candidates run for office. We have deep experience in technology, data science, machine learning, campaign management, communications strategy, political consulting, digital media, and marketing research. Our goal is to change how right-of-center candidates run for office utilizing a holistic approach to voter engagement. We’ve helped elect fiscally conservative candidates in tight, highly contested local and state legislative races using battle-tested voter management technology and machine learning solutions.
Almost all of Let’s Go Washington’s spending is occurring through in-kind contributions made by Heywood. He spent a small fortune last year trying and failing last year to qualify eleven initiatives. Now he’s trying again with just four. But does he realize it’s going to take millions of dollars to make his multi-initiative project successful? A few hundred thousand dollars just isn’t going to be enough. Heywood does have means, but he’ll have to put up millions of dollars to do more than make a few noises, as Tim Eyman could tell him.