The company, one of the key players in the joint opposition campaign for the April general elections, DatAdat, managed to earn two billion forints in the 12 months before the elections, despite the fact that the opposition did not win, an investigative website writes.
DatAdat, “a communications and data analysis company linked to Former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány’s confidants” and Former Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai earned two billion forints in the 12 months before the election, investigative website Adatradar writes.
“However, according to the company’s report, most of their income, except for 67,000 forints, quickly evaporated,” they write, adding that the company, which is part of an international network, “spent around HUF 1.8 billion on so-called ‘brokered’ services”.
Adatradar recalls that DatAdat and its holdings have recently come back into the spotlight. Daily newspaper Magyar Nemzet recently reported that the group of companies has a number of foreign companies and that the majority owners in the Vienna company are linked to the US Democratic Party.
The website notes that above mentioned 2 billion forints constitute almost 60 percent of the joint opposition’s declared campaign spending (HUF 3.5 billion) between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2022. Given that the general election was held on 3 April, the figure could be much higher, they add.
Adatradar adds that of course, it is not known how much of the 2 billion forints came from the six parties and the Everybody’s Hungary Movement (MMM) behind prime ministerial candidate Péter Márki-Zay. In any case, he admitted to 24.hu that the company did most of the background work. In fact, some of the politicians and activists interviewed by the portal said: “We turned to them when we needed a video or a Facebook campaign, and they made it, produced it, and delivered it. DatAdat also worked for some candidates, but there were also examples where they paid for the lunch of the prime ministerial candidate.”
According to the above-mentioned article by 24.hu, in March, MMM signed a contract with Vienna-based Datadat GmbH, which is minority-owned by a company connected to former, influential Hungarian liberal politicians, while the majority stake is held by Higher Ground Labs Fund III LP, which is linked to the US Democratic Party. Betsy Hoover, the founder of Higher Ground Labs worked as the National Digital Organizing Director on the Obama Campaign.
“Higher Ground Labs is a progressive organization founded in the United States in 2017 with the express purpose, after Donald Trump’s election as president, of shaking up the shocked Democratic Party with Silicon Valley-inspired digital knowledge and technology to get more Democratic voters out to the polls,” the website wrote.
According to 24.hu, the Datadat group was a key player in the opposition campaign, because Márki-Zay himself said that MMM, like the six opposition parties, had handed over its database to Datadat. “The parties had access to a database of nearly one million (voters) and used it in the campaign by a joint decision of the six parties,” he said. When asked by 24.hu, Datadat did not deny that they had received the parties’ databases. However, they stressed that the company never owned the data, which was only stored and processed.
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