The Forma Group: David Karlsuher and Ali Razavi

forma-ops4-15Earlier this month, Ali Razavi posted two blog posts on his blog that seemed to me to be a desperate attempt to put some distance between himself and the Forma Group. As you all know, I have been tracking the Forma Group’s political activities for some time now. I have conclusively showed you how they are connected to Woody Hunt. I also showed you how Razavi was being used as a tool by the Forma Group for its political activities.

Because of these links, it immediately caught my attention when Razavi was practically begging his readers to agree that he was not connected to the Forma Group. The desperation was so great that Ali inadvertently posted a document that exposed his true identity to me. I believe his desperation led to the mistake. The question then became why was he so desperate to put some distance between himself and the Forma Group. Is the Forma Group hurting financially because of my exposure of them?

Razavi has argued, through his blog, that he wanted to let everyone know that he did not want Rick Armendariz to suffer for his blogging activities. When I exposed Razavi as the person behind the anonymous blog, it was clear that some damage control was engaged online as a result. Useful idiot David Karlsuher came into the mix with a long blog post about why Ali Razavi could not be connected to the Forma Group.

Karlsruher frames his argument around the notion that Razavi could not be connected to the Forma Group because Razavi does not live in El Paso and gets his “chismes” from “politicos, blog fans” and David himself. In one sentence, David is arguing that Ali Razavi could not be connected to the Forma Group because Razavi gets his information from others. Hmmm, so Razavi gets information from others but it cannot be the Forma Group, according to Karlsruher’s logic.

David then writes something that piqued my interest. He wrote, “only one guy in town was saying he wasn’t going to give money because he thought Forma was Rick Armendariz and in the end he still gave money.” Keep in mind that at the time David Karlsruher wrote this the financial reports were not due yet and therefore unless you were a political insider, or receiving self-serving information you would not know that the Forma Group was dealing with someone that did not want to do business with them. I wondered who the candidate could be.

Karlsruher then added, “Where Forma was let go by a candidate, it was clear performance issues and nothing to do with blogs.” According to David, there was one candidate who did not initially want to do business with the Forma Group and another that let them go because of “performance issues.”

Two clients were not doing business with the Forma Group, according to Karlsruher.

For his part, Ali Razavi had written only one blog supporting one of the current candidates and that was Rick Bonart. (February 3, 2015) Interestingly, Razavi argued that his support of Bonart was further proof that he was not working in collaboration with the Forma Group because Armendariz was doing work for Dan Longoria. Razavi went on to post what can best be described as the start of a whisper campaign in an attempt to thwart Longoria’s candidacy by insinuating marital legal problems.

The next day, rumors of Longoria’s withdrawal from the political race began circulating. It became official the following day. There are very few people that can confirm that Dan Longoria was a client of the Forma Group. However, another client of the Forma Group is Cortney Niland. She reported a campaign contribution from Dan Longoria for two billboards worth around $5,000. Therefore, it is likely that Longoria was a client of the Forma Group, and as a result, Niland benefitted from the two billboards.

As you can see, there was some information given to Ali Razavi and thus the opportunity to attempt to distance himself from the Forma Group arose. Very few individuals knew Longoria was going to withdraw and it is likely that his campaign consultants, the Forma Group, were notified of his withdrawal. If that is the case, this created the perfect opportunity to create some distance between Ali and Armendariz at the expense of Longoria. As Longoria was no longer a client, then the Forma Group had no reason to protect him and thus he became fodder for their political agenda. Also, remember that David’s mom is the treasurer for Rick Bonart, Ali’s now favorite candidate and convenient excuse for not conspiring with the Forma Group.

Extremely convenient for all of them.

However, we still do not know who the “performance” issues client is and who the one is that didn’t want to do business with them in the first place and then came around. From the campaign finance reports, we know that the Forma Group has two clients; Michiel Noe and Cortney Niland in the city council race. Jaime Abeytia posted yesterday that Albert Weisenberger told him that the Forma Group was doing consulting work for him.

Weisenberger’s financials do not disclose whether the Forma Group is consulting his campaign. I already have questions about Weisenberger’s financial disclosure as he has already sent out mailers to El Paso voters but the corresponding expense for them is not disclosed on his financials. The fact is that at this point there is not public record pointing to the Forma Group as a client of Al Weisenberger.

Most interesting though is that Peter Svarzbein listed on his campaign report that on February 13, 2015 his campaign paid the Forma Group $2,000 for “consulting expense.” That same day, the money was refunded to the Svarzbein campaign.

On February 3, 2015, Ali Razavi posted on his blog a comment about Svarzbein “being an overweight hipster.” It was just a quick jab at Peter Svarzbein that would likely have gone unnoticed by most political observers. The next day, Razavi again poked fun at Svarzbein by posting his picture along with one of Fidel Castro. Razavi then follows up with other negative posts about Svarzbein.

Peter Svarzbein is clearly not the candidate that “came back.” Therefore he is the one with “performance issues” if we are to believe David Karlsruher. As you can see from the timeline, someone was feeding information to both bloggers. Clearly, Svarzbein would not have been someone the Forma Group would protect and thus he became more fodder to be used by the bloggers. Additionally, having being dropped by Svarzbein it is likely that Armendariz was looking for some payback.

David Karlsruher’s attack against Peter Svarzbein did not seem to fit David’s modus operandi and it caught my attention. Why was Karlsruher so intent on focusing on Svarzbien? It isn’t a simple case of going after an opponent of his mother’s preferred candidate, Richard Bonart. Because of the large number of candidates, it is very likely that this race will go into a run-off and therefore any strategy will be to ensure that the favored candidate is one of the top two candidates on election night.

There are two other viable candidates in the race besides Svarzbein, Bertha Gallardo and Albert Weisenberger. David seems to have a soft spot for Weisenberger, likely because they have a working relationship through David’s DWI. However, the question of why he seems so focused on Svarzbein and seems to be ignoring Gallardo kept bothering me.

I then realized that Peter Svarzbein had demanded that the Forma Group refund his campaign money. Svarzbein was not going to use the Forma Group as his campaign consultant. Bonart is trending behind in the race for District 1 and his only hope is to place second in order to be in the runoff. If Karlsruher wants to help his mother’s candidate, then going after Svarzbein is a waste of time. The most Karlsruher can do is weaken him a little. For Bonart to make it into the top two finalists he needs to take voters away from Weisenberger or Gallardo.

Yes, I realize that a blog is not the mechanism for taking voters away. It is the mechanism that is used to magnify the undercurrent a politician wants to push into the public consciousness in order to move votes. I will be addressing this notion of how bloggers magnify or amplify political under current with an actual example next week. For now, it is my contention that David Karlsruher is going after Peter Svarzbein not for helping his mom’s candidate but instead under the direction or suggestions of someone else. I believe it is the Forma Group, either directly or through Razavi.

Regardless, as you can see from the time line and the information I have been able to verify there is a clear connection between the Forma Group and Razavi. David Karlsruher has acknowledged receiving information from Razavi and therefore it is no surprise that Karlsruher is carrying water for the Forma Group, through Ali Razavi. Is this the reason why Ali Razavi wrote the piece supporting the unlikely candidate Rick Bonart, as a favor to Karlsruher?

We still don’t know who the candidate was that “came back” to Rick Armendariz. Is it Cortney Niland? Unlikely, she has used the Forma Group since she first ran for office. How about Michiel Noe? Noe tried to appoint Jaime Abeytia to a city board and paid him for a campaign advertisement on Abeytia’s blog. Therefore, we can surmise that Noe does not have any problem working with people of questionable character. That leaves Albert Weisenberger. There is no public record that supports this at this point. However, if it is Weisenberger then it supports my thesis that both Karlsruher and Razavi are being used by the Forma Group for political under current.

All this adds further evidence that Ali Razavi has been a tool for the Forma Group, regardless of his denials. It also shows how David Karlsruher allows himself to be used to support a specific agenda. The truth is only an inconvenience for both of them.

On Monday, I’m going to show you who sued the Forma Group.

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