During a Twitter feud Wednesday, President Obama’s re-election campaign manager Jim Messina inadvertently revealed Obama for America has hired Sergio Bendixen, a pollster who also represents an organization founded by left-wing billionaire George Soros.
Messina drew fire Wednesday for tweeting a controversial joke made by Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank on Republican efforts to attract Latino voters. Messina tweeted at 9:04 AM from his account @Messina2012:
Line of the day from WAPO's Dana Milbank: "The chimichanga? It may be the only thing Republicans have left to offer Latinos."
— Jim Messina (@Messina2012) February 15, 2012
Jennifer Sevilla Korn, executive director of the conservative Hispanic Leadership Network, and Alexandra Franceschi, a Latina press spokesman for the Republican National Committee (RNC), both denounced Messina’s tweet in separate statements as racially insensitive. Messina’s tweet was also mocked by the RNC’s Latino Twitter account and criticized by a Mitt Romney consultant.
In response, Messina tweeted, "Tweeting someone else’s words caused a stir, but the GOP is on the wrong side of every Hispanic voter priority." That follow-up tweet featured a link to an Obama campaign strategy memo entitled "Republicans Seal Their Fate with Hispanic Voters in 2012." Bendixen, listed in the document as an Obama for America pollster, prepared that memo.
Bendixen is the president and principal of Bendixen & Amandi International, a research and communication strategy firm whose clients include the Open Society Institute. The Open Society Institute, a private grant-making foundation that aims to "shape public policies that assure greater fairness in political, legal, and economic systems," recently changed its name to "Open Society Foundations." George Soros founded it in 1984.
Bendixen & Amandi International also represents the Ford Foundation, which contributed more than $2.5 million to the liberal Center for American Progress between 2009 and 2010.