Former Grassley aide @ center of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” controversy

Tom Synhorst was an aide to Senator Chuch Grassley in the 1980s who ended up running Bob Dole’s 1988 Iowa Caucus campaign.  (Dole won, you may remember.)  Synhorst helped found the DCI group in 1996.  From DCI’s website:

Tom Synhorst is Chairman and a founding partner of DCI Group. Formed in 1996, DCI Group is one of the largest and most innovative public affairs firms in the United States. DCI Group’s clients are among the largest companies in the world, and the firm has established itself as an industry leader worldwide. Since its founding, DCI Group has grown from a six-person operation with one client to a firm with more than 160 employees, with offices in Washington, D.C. and Phoenix, Arizona.

Mr. Synhorst is a trusted advisor to leaders at the highest levels of business, government and politics. He is also a successful entrepreneur who has founded and managed a range of businesses. Mr. Synhorst is a graduate of Iowa State University and recently founded the Dillenkoffer Endowment, a non-profit organization that provides college scholarships for rural gay and lesbian students. He currently lives in Cave Creek, Arizona with his partner, Ben.

Ben Smith at The Politico explains the current controversy over a poll commissioned by Synhorst’s DCI.  Here’s the backstory:  Synhorst’s firm asked a Republican pollster to test public opinion in Massachusetts about the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.  The Republican pollster (Neil Newhouse) says he did the poll for U.S. Senator Scott Brown — testing how a “yes” vote on repealing DADT would play in Brown’s state of Massachusetts — with the understanding the polling data wouldn’t be released to the public.  It was released, to The Boston Globe, by the Human Rights Campaign.   A DCI spokesman has said the poll was done with the idea its details wouldn’t be publicly disclosed, according to Ben Smith’s write-up.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.