Brad Parscale gained notoriety for his role as the digital director for Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and then as the campaign manager and digital lead for Trump’s 2020 campaign. I started reporting on Parscale’s network in 2017, along with Cambridge Analytica and other media and influence companies linked to Trump’s 2016 campaign.
New research provides insight into Parscale’s latest ventures, his work for the Trump 2024 campaign and how Parscale and Texas billionaire Tim Dunn are linked to a company piloting technology to detect school shootings.
AiAdvertising, Parscale, Hexagon Partners and Tim Dunn
In 2017, riding on the success of the Trump campaign and election, Brad Parscale sold his companies Parscale Digital and Parscale Media to Cloud Commerce for $9 million, for a majority stake and board seat.
Cloud Commerce, later renamed AiAdvertising, is based in Texas and touts itself as a ‘data-driven marketing agency’. Shares in the company trade over-the-counter (OTC) under the symbol AIAD. In March 2022 Brad Parscale’s company Campaign Nucleus signed a licensing agreement to use AiAdvertising’s platform.
In April 2023, AiAdvertising announced they had received $5 million, with an option for another $4.25 million investment, from Hexagon Partners, a Texas company run by oil billionaire Tim Dunn and that Brad Parscale had a new role as a strategic advisor.
AiAdvertising also announced the return of strategic advisor Brad Parscale to lead a plan to deliver additional technology services and strategic relationships to a growing trend of businesses nationwide that embrace foundational American values and self-governance principles such as freedom, faith, and equality.
As of April 2023, Parscale owned 5 million shares of common stock of AiAdvertising (recently trading near $0.006 and worth approximately $30,000) and he is identified as ‘Member of 10% owner group.’ An August 2022 consultant agreement shows that Parscale was to be paid $10,000 per month plus $120,000 per year in stock.
A Texas Monthly article described how Parscale recruited ‘billionaire and right-wing Christian nationalist’ Tim Dunn to invest in AiAdvertising and the vision of how the company planned to use artificial intelligence to create targeted ad campaigns:
Essentially, this is an evolution of the work Parscale did for Trump…The company plans to use AI to amplify that model, rapidly building “hyper-personalized campaigns” so that the messages voters see will increase in frequency and be even more specifically tailored to their interests, prejudices, and fears.
AiAdvertising and Hexagon’s two board seats
As part of the $5 million investment by Tim Dunn’s Hexagon Partners, he was able to designate two AiAdvertising board directors; James B. Renacci and Thomas O. Hicks, Jr.
James Renacci served in Congress as a representative for Ohio from 2011-2019, founded LTC Management Services in 1985, ran dozens of businesses, and served as a board member at various companies including Hill International, Alithya Group, Custom Glass and the Franklin Center for Global Policy Exchange.
Tom Hicks Jr. is the CEO of 90 Degree North Holdings LLC. He is also reportedly a close friend of Donald Trump Jr., and was previously chairman of the pro-Trump super PAC America First Action and a co-chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Tom Hicks Jr. was also involved in efforts to dig up dirt on Biden in Ukraine.
A 2020 New York Times story reported that text messages and call logs showed how Giuliani’s associate Lev Parnas had been in contact with Tom Hicks Jr. about developments in the Ukraine pressure campaign to disseminate damaging information on Biden and on other targets of Trump and Giuliani.
In an AP story on how Giuliani’s pals Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman tried to negotiate a gas deal in Ukraine, Parnas introduced Tom Hicks Jr. as ‘the money guy’.
AiAdvertising’s new CFO John Small
He is currently COO of Big Watt Digital (since April 2022), a bitcoin mining company using only renewable energy, the CFO of Invest.Inc (since December 2022), a company developing a platform to help retail investors make better decisions, the CFO of the Roman DBDR Tech Acquisition Corp (NASDAQ: DBDR) (since August 2020), Roman DBDR Tech Acquisition Corp II (since December 2020), and Roman DBDR Tech Acquisition Corp III (since January 2021).
While Small is the CFO of AiAdvertising he is also the COO of Big Watt Digital, a bitcoin company developing a mining operation in South Dakota. Small is also the CFO of Invest Inc. which recently announced a new CEO, Jas Mathur, who is currently being sued by Oprah Winfrey’s company Harpo Inc. for using her name to sell weight loss CBD gummies.
It is interesting that Small has an executive role
AiAdvertising and Candace Owens’ GloriFi
Last year AiAdvertising announced a partnership with GloriFi, a company co-founded by Candace Owens. The press release described Brad Parscale as a GloriFi Advisor.
GloriFi had been co-founded by Candace Owens and Toby Neugebauer as a pro-America, pro-freedom, pro-capitalism financial technology company. Neugebauer resigned after a Wall Street Journal exposé detailed GloriFi’s turbulent start. The AiAdvertising press release said that GloriFi had planned to merge with DHC Acquisition Corp and potentially list on Nasdaq, but a later DHC filing noted that the deal was terminated and GloriFi was winding down its operations.
I wrote this story on the financials and major funders of the right-wing nonprofit Prager University, recently approved for K-12 schools in Florida. PragerU paid Candace Owens just under half a million dollars in 2019, and that same year Turning Point USA, where Candace Owens had previously worked, paid Prager University $500,000.
The largest early funders of Prager University were right-wing billionaires Farris and Dan Wilks who, along with Tim Dunn, have been turbocharging funding for religious right wing politics in Texas.
AiAdvertising and The Chosen (produced by Angel Studios)
Earlier this year a Twitter user named ‘Elonment’ notified me that Jerry Hug, the CEO of AiAdvertising, had tweeted out an announcement of a new client ‘The Chosen,’ a film produced by Angel Studios.
In July Brad Parscale tweeted out support for another film produced by Angel Studios, “Sound of Freedom,” about an anti-sex trafficking organization founded by Tim Ballard.
It is not known if there is any connection between AiAdvertising and Angel Studios other than the announcement that The Chosen was a client. However, a recent story describes how Parscale and Tim Dunn were involved in an event that promoted the film about Ballard, several months before the accusations of sexual misconduct become public.
Brad Parscale, Tim Dunn and Influenceable
A recent article by Robert Downen in the Texas Tribune described a company called Influenceable LLC that “recruits young, conservative social media figures to promote political campaigns and films without disclosing their business relationship.” The Influenceable website touts a partnership with Parscale’s company Campaign Nucleus.
Influenceable sponsored a June event in Fort Worth, Texas for conservative Gen Z influencers who met for a few days with speakers including Brad Parscale and Tim Dunn, before they took to social media to support Ken Paxton and the film ‘Sound of Freedom.’
And then they took to social media to rally their many followers behind a new, controversial film about human trafficking before turning their support to impeached Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton… Since leaving the Fort Worth event, Parscale and nine other attendees posted about “Sound of Freedom” at least 50 times, often using the same talking points, promotional hashtags and studio-quality movie clips.
Two of the influencers that attended the Fort Worth event, CJ Pearson and Xaviaer DuRousseau, are also presenters who have worked with Prager University.
Brad Parscale, Tim Dunn and Angel Protection
Angel Protection pilot for Texas schools
The Angel Protection website states they are a ‘solution provider for life-saving technology to protect children from security threats. Their products AngelAlert, AngelGuard and AngelProtect provide features including panic buttons, bodycams, facial recognition, keycard locks and door sensors.
In October 2022, a segment on KTAB news reported that Wylie High School in Texas was the first location to test new alert services from Angel Protection.
After a nearly $100 million investment by a private company to the state of Texas, Wylie ISD has been chosen to test the new Angel Protection system.
Craig Bessent, The Assistant Superintendent of Wylie ISD, described the benefits of Angel Protection, and how it could potentially be facilitated by the state and made available for free to 9,000 school districts in Texas.
It is not known what the results were from the pilot of Angel Protection at Wylie High School or if there were further developments at the state level.
Angel Protection’s CEO used to work for Tim Dunn
The CEO of Angel Protection is Lewis Matthews who, according to his LinkedIn page is the CEO and co-founder of Project Geminae which provides software products and services to the oil and gas industry. From 2016 to 2021 Matthews was a senior Data Scientist at CrownQuest Operating, LLC, owned by Tim Dunn.
An article in the Midland Reporter-Telegram described how Matthews had impressed Tim Dunn.
Matthews found his way to Midland, working as a senior data scientist for CrownQuest Operating after he impressed Chief Executive Officer Tim Dunn with a presentation on how analysis of big data, machine learning and artificial intelligence could benefit the company. He left last July to cofound Project Geminae.
It is not clear how Brad Parscale is involved with Angel Protection, but he includes them in his twitter profile and the company has the same address as Parscale’s other companies in Florida. The CEO of Angel Protection Lewis Matthews perviously worked for Tim Dunn, who is now majority owner of AiAdvertising where Parscale is an investor and senior advisor.
Angel Protection hired lobbyist Miller Strategies
According to ProPublica’s records Angel Protection System hired Miller Strategies, LLC in 2022 and 2023 to lobby on issues related to school safety. The 2022 filing shows a payment of $60,000 and lists Jeffrey Miller and George Caram as the lobbyists.
Kelsey Gorman is a former employee of Miller Strategies, who worked there from 2017 to 2021 when she had been the Chief Operating Officer. Gorman is now a Principal at 90 Degree North Holdings — the company run by Tom Hicks Jr., the new board director at AiAdvertising designated by Tim Dunn.
Campaign Nucleus and Trump’s 2024 Campaign
In addition to Brad Parscale’s work with AiAdvertising, his interactions with Tim Dunn and support for far-right conservative values and politics, Parscale continues to do work supporting Donald Trump.
On the bottom right side of the campaign website for DonaldJTrump.com there is a link saying the site is Powered by Nucleus. And according to FEC filings, Parscale’s company Campaign Nucleus and several companies that share the same address, have been paid over $1 million for work on Trump’s 2024 campaign.
FEC reporting shows that in 2023 Campaign Nucleus received $387,482 from four committees. Of that amount $325,000 was paid to Campaign Nucleus by three committees supporting Trump 2024:
- $180,000 from Trump Save America Joint Fundraising Committee for ‘fundraising software’
- $120,000 from Donald J. Trump for President 2024 for ‘fundraising software’
- $25,000 from Make America Great Again Inc. for Web hosting and Email Marketing.
Another $62,482 was paid by the NRSC (National Republican Senatorial Committee) to Campaign Nucleus for ‘list rental’ and ‘email messaging’.
In 2021 HuffPost reported that Parscale Strategy had earned almost $40 million for Trump’s 2016 and 2020 campaigns. The story mentions two companies with the same address as Parscale Strategy, Dyspatchit and BCVM Services:
And Brad Parscale, whose Parscale Strategy LLC took in $35.9 million from Trump’s 2016 and 2020 campaign runs, received $55,000 from the post-presidency Trump groups — although two other businesses at the same Fort Lauderdale address, Dyspatchit and BCVM Services, received $38,484 and $452,843, respectively. Parscale did not respond to HuffPost’s queries.
FEC filings show that in 2023 Dyspatchit Email and Text Services, which shares the same address as Campaign Nucleus (and Angel Protection), was paid $635,605 by Donald J Trump for President 2024, Inc and Trump Save America Joint Fundraising Committee for ‘Email Services.’ And FEC filings show that BCVM Services, at the same address, received $67,670 for digital consulting, website development, design services and videography.
If Dyspatchit and BCVM are run by Parscale along with Campaign Nucleus, this would bring his total to $1.1 million paid by Trump 2024 committees in 2023.
Given the many intertwined connections among Brad Parscale, Tim Dunn, AiAdvertising, Angel Protection and a wider conservative far-right network, it’s notable that Parscale is once again working for Trump’s 2024 campaign, even if on a smaller scale than during the last two presidential elections.
It is more important than ever to provide transparency on the money and networks supporting extreme far-right candidates and causes — especially in the unbelievable, yet likely, case that Trump becomes the GOP nominee.