Creative Response Concepts | CRC Advisors

Sources  |  Wikipedia  |  other sources (cited in situ)
Date published 2021-08-13
Curator Dr. Victoria A. Stuart, Ph.D.
Curation date 2021-08-13
Editorial practice Refer here  |  Dates: yyyy-mm-dd
Summary CRC is a full service public relations company specializing in earned and digital media as well as political advocacy and issues management. CRC's clients include corporations, public policy organizations, associations as well as non-profits.
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Creative Response Concepts
Name Creative Response Concepts
Abbreviation CRC
Founded 1989
Location Alexandria, Virginia, USA
Description Dark-money-linked public relations firm
Known for
  • Conservative, right-wind disinformation source.
Former President 2009: Greg Mueller, former press secretary, Pat Buchanan presidential campaign
Employees 41
Revenue $27.9M
Rebranded as CRC Advisors
Rebranding date 2020
CRC Advisors
crc_advisors.png   crc_advisors.jpg
Name CRC Advisors
Aliases CRC Public Relations  |  Creative Response Concepts
Founded 2020
CEO [2020-11] Greg Mueller, Communications Executive, CRC Strategies
Chairman [2020-11] Leonard A. Leo
Executive director (President) [2020-11] Jonathan Bunch
Account executive John Gage
Description Right wing US political consulting firm
Prominent clients
[ redirects here ]

Background: Creative Response Concepts

  • Source: Wikipedia
  • Creative Response Concepts (CRC) Public Relations is an American public relations firm best known for helping to devise the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign attacking John Kerry's Vietnam War record in the 2004 presidential race. CRC has also lobbied against climate change mitigation policies [climate change denial].

    Prominent clients include the Federalist Society, the Judicial Crisis Network, and Chevron Corporation.

    History: Creative Response Concepts

  • Source [Wikipedia]
  • Creative Response Concepts (CRC) was founded in 1989 by Leif E. Noren, a former executive director of the National Conservative Political Action Committee. Its longtime President was Greg Mueller, who in 2020 founded CRC Advisors with Leonard A. Leo. Mueller was the communications director for the unsuccessful presidential campaigns of Pat Buchanan in 1992 and 1996.

    In 1994, CRC was hired by Newt Gingrich's   Contract with America effort.

    Creative Response Concepts (CRC) was hired by the Discovery Institute during the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial over teaching intelligent design in public schools.

    In 2006, CRC were retained to help promote the 2006 film "World Trade Center," directed by Oliver Stone.

    The CRC was hired to promote The Case Against Barack Obama, a 2008 book by David Freddoso and put out by Regnery Publishing">.

    CRC is also the agency of record for the National Organization for Marriage.

    CRC advocated on behalf of Supreme Court of the United States justice nominee Neil Gorsuch. In 2018, CRC was involved in pushing unsubstantiated allegations made by activist Edward Whelan that the sexual assault accuser of Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh had confused Kavanaugh with someone who allegedly looked like Kavanaugh.

    In 2018, Creative Response Concepts' (CRC) clients included the Federalist Society, and the Judicial Crisis Network. In 2019, CRC helped promote conservative pundit Stephen Moore's nomination to serve on the board of the United States Federal Reserve. CRC said it had not been paid to advocate on Moore's behalf. CRC is closely associated with the conservative activist Leonard A. Leo.

    CRC's past clients include Newt Gingrich,   Michelle Malkin, and Matt Drudge.

    CRC Advisors

  • Source:
  • At CRC Advisors, we don't just represent you. We work with you to build winning ventures."

  • "We incubate public policy projects, coalitions, and groups: mission-driven, focused, results-oriented."

  • "We connect best-in-class professionals, successful non-profits, and savvy philanthropists, forging partnerships tailored for success."

  • "We strengthen our clients by helping them identify and bring together the capabilities they need to win, whether in public policy or private enterprise."

  • Background: CRC Advisors

  • Source:
  • CRC Advisors was founded in 2020 by Leonard Leo and Greg Mueller. At the time of CRC Advisors' founding, Leo had worked for 25 years at the Federalist Society, including as co-chairman and executive vice president. As of March 2020, the Federalist Society described itself as "a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in the current state of the legal order," that was "founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be." Leo remained co-chair of the Federalist Society's board after CRC Advisors' founding.

    Before forming CRC Advisors, Mueller was a communications executive for CRC Strategies and a former President of CRC Public Relations. He also worked as an aide for the presidential campaigns of Pat Buchanan (R) and Steve Forbes (R).

    According to Axios, Leo and Mueller "studied tax filings that led them to Arabella Advisors, a little-known yet powerful consulting firm that advises liberal donors and nonprofits about where to spend their money." The two indicated that they were influenced by the business structure of Arabella Advisors "and saw the opportunity to build a replica on the right."

    In a joint statement, Leo and Mueller said, "We have both worked for over three decades to build winning ventures, and our many partnerships have brought success across a wide range of challenges, most notably the many judicial confirmation battles undertaken as part of a broad effort to reshape the federal judiciary, reform our legal system, advance the rule of law, and protect our country's freedoms." The Washington Times reported that the two "recently worked together in support of the Senate confirmations of Supreme Court Justices Brett M. Kavanaugh and Neil M. Gorsuch."

    CRC Advisors: Work

  • Source:
  • CRC Advisors: Methods

    In an interview, Leo said CRC Advisors would spend a "minimum of $10 million issue advocacy campaign focusing on judges in the 2020 cycle." Leo and Mueller released a joint statement that said the following.

    CRC Advisors: Journalist pitch on environmental policy and minority impact

    CRC Advisors account executive John Gage sent an email to journalists in June 2020 with the subject line, "Environmentalists push policies which hurt minorities while claiming solidarity." The email said, "Despite this claimed solidarity, environmental organizations, composed of predominantly white members, are backing radical policies like the Green New Deal which would bring particular harm to minority communities."

    The email featured quotes from two Black conservatives. Ken Blackwell, an adviser to President Donald Trump's 2020 re-election campaign and former Ohio secretary of state, said, "Radical policies like the green new deal that raise the cost of driving to work and heating our homes would target the African-American community and ... would make us even more vulnerable and marginalized than we already are."

    Researching America President Derrek Hollie said, "With black communities ablaze, the same nearly uniformly white environmental extremists assure us of their solidarity while at the same time trying to kill high-paying oil and gas jobs that have been the cornerstones of progress in lifting up working-class minority communities. ... Any program such as their Green New Deal that makes energy more expensive or jeopardizes jobs is counter-productive, reckless, and wrong."

    Leonard Leo: Axios Interview

  • Source:, 2020-01-07.  Authors: Jonathan Swan  |  Alayna Treene
  • Conservative powerhouse Leonard Leo tells Axios that he'll step aside from the daily running of the Federalist Society to focus on a new venture - inspired by Arabella Advisors on the left - that will funnel big money and expertise across the conservative movement.

    Why It Matters

    Leonard Leo is considered one of the most powerful conservatives in the country, playing a key role in shaping President Trump's selections for the Supreme Court and raising hundreds of millions of dollars to fill the nation's courts with conservative judges.

  • One of the first projects will be a "minimum of $10 million issue advocacy campaign focusing on judges in the 2020 cycle," Leo told Axios.

  • The new venture will be called CRC Advisors. Leo will remain co-chair of the Federalist Society's board.

  • Behind the Scenes

    Leonard Leo told Axios that he and his business partner, conservative communications executive Greg Mueller, studied tax filings that led them to Arabella Advisors, a little-known yet powerful consulting firm that advises liberal donors and nonprofits about where to spend their money.

  • Politico recently detailed its stunning reach and influence as part of "an unprecedented gusher of secret money" that "boosted Democrats and liberal causes in 2018."

  • The liberal network involves an organization called the "Hub Project," first covered in depth by the New York Times, and a non-profit called the Sixteen Thirty Fund, which Politico reported "spent $141 million on more than 100 left-leaning causes" in the 2018 midterms. That spending was fueled by "massive anonymous donations, including one gift totaling $51.7 million."

  • The network was tied to at least four dozen different trade names in 2018, "many of which have benign-sounding local titles like Arizonans United for Health Care, and Floridians for a Fair Shake," per Politico.

  • Leo and Mueller told Axios that after studying Arabella's structure they were impressed - and saw the opportunity to build a replica on the right.

  • A spokesperson for Arabella Advisors took issue with Leo's comments characterizing Arabella as a partisan organization aligned only with causes on the left, telling Axios: "Arabella Advisors is a consulting business that supports philanthropy. It provides advice and implementation support to clients with very different ideological and political viewpoints and many clients for whom politics and policy are not areas of interest."

  • Between the Lines

    The new venture will go beyond the anonymous money networks [dark money] they've already built and weaponized in the conservative legal movement movement.

  • CRC Advisors will evolve out of Mueller's existing conservative communications firm, CRC Strategies.

  • Mueller and Leo say they plan to work with two existing non-profit groups, which will be rebranded as the Concord Fund and the 85 Fund, to funnel tens of millions of dollars into conservative fights around the country.

  • The two men and their teams have plenty of experience raising and spending millions for judicial battles - including the recent fight to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court - but they want to expand this to other issues like deregulation at the state and federal level.

  • Additional Reading

  • [, 2009-11-20] Notorious PR Firm That Reps Swift Boaters, Creationists, PhRMA Now Helping Fired IG.

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