The founders of Rokk Solutions, a new political consulting firm that serves corporate trade associations and other lobbying ventures, offer their clients an unusual value proposition: whichever party triumphs, they’ll have had a hand in a big-money group that can claim victory.
While bipartisan political consulting firms are a dime a dozen in Washington, D.C., what makes Rokk noteworthy is that it is comprised of campaign operatives with major roles in two big-money groups — one Democratic, one Republican — expected to play major roles in the 2016 elections.
Rokk co-founder Rodell Mollineau was the first president of American Bridge 21st Century, one of the primary Super PACs supporting the bid of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Though he stepped down as president of American Bridge last year, Federal Election Commission reports show that Mollineau is still the treasurer of the group — and his LinkedIn profile describes him as being on the group’s board. Mollineau is also on the board of Working America Education Fund, an organized labor-backed campaign group that helps to elect Democrats.
Rokk co-founder Brian J. Walsh, meanwhile, is leading a nonprofit campaign group called Our Next America, which was formed to support the Republican policy agenda in the Senate. Politico described the group as following in the footsteps of GOP Super PACs that have worked in recent years to elect congressional Republicans. Rob Jesmer, a partner with FP1 Strategies, a consulting firm retained by Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign, will also advise Our Next America. Walsh is the former communications director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
The other Rokk co-founder is Ron Bonjean, a Republican consultant who has worked for Koch Industries to help develop political attacks against company critics.
Rokk, which formally launched in May of this year, says it has already signed clients across a diverse range of industries, including the financial services, healthcare, manufacturing and retail sectors, according to a company press release. For clients, the Rokk team will use “campaign tactics to promote the interests of corporate clients,” according to a story about the firm in CQ Weekly.
Neither Bridge nor Mollineau responded to a request for comment.
The consultants, who fashion themselves professional spin artists, chose the name Rokk because it is Norwegian for “spinning wheel.”
Correction, August 21, 2015
Brian J. Walsh is one of the founders of Rokk, and leader of Our Next America. Brian O. Walsh is leading a new Super PAC called Future45, devoted to supporting the eventual Republican presidential nominee in the general election. An earlier version of this story mistook one for the other. As a result, it mistakenly reported that Rokk’s founders included founders of two rival Super PACs that would play key roles in the presidential election.