Why Does Brad Summey Hate On Elon Musk So Much? (Update)

Mysterious website slams Elon Musk as 'American Swindler', Politico

"A mysterious new website has popped up accusing billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk of cronyism and inappropriate ties to top political leaders. But who, exactly, is behind the site remains unclear, as its sponsors have taken steps to hide their identities. The focal point of WhoIsElonMusk.com is a slickly produced video, posted just days ago, that slams Musk as an "American Swindler" and a "foreign-born" businessman who got rich off U.S. tax dollars. ... The website appears to have been designed by Orange Hat, an Alexandria-based firm. The firm promises to "utilize the most effective digital resources to engage and mobilize your target audience and drive measurable results." Keith Cowing, of the blog NASA Watch, first uncovered the connection to Orange Hat. Randy Skoglund, Orange Hat's managing partner, declined to comment on the anti-Musk website when contacted by phone Wednesday, and then hung up. Brad Summey, the firm's chief Technology officer, did not respond to requests for comment."

Earlier posting

Keith's update: Someone (or several people) are posting under anonymous names from the same IP at ULA today in Colorado reveling in the comments about Musk and SpaceX. This cloak and dagger stuff seems to play well outside the beltway as well.

Keith's note: I was reading an article on the The Hill tonight when this add popped up that sent me to http://whoiselonmusk.com/ which is an anonymous attack website dedicated to the notion that Elon Musk is the spawn of Satan or awful or something. At the bottom of the page the site says that it is paid for by "The Center for Business and Responsible Government (CBRG) is a non-partisan organization dedicated to highlighting cronyism and its effect on American taxpayers and policy. We believe public officials should establish an even playing field for all businesses to compete in the marketplace, not just those special interests who line their pockets." Of course no such group actually exists and and the domain registration information for whoiselonmusk.com is hidden.

So I did an old-fashioned "view Source" and looked around and found http://musk.sladedev.com/ near the bottom which redirects to http://whoiselonmusk.com/. But http://sladedev.com goes to a holding page for Slade Technologies. The domain registration for sladedev.com with a contact name of Brad Summey - brad@savagejerky.com. If you go to the domain registration details for Savage Jerky there is a contact name of Kenneth Summey - support@savagejerky.com. Both domains list a contact address of Savage Jerky Co., LLC 2133 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Rd Suite 12-405 Suwanee Georgia 30043.

If you Google "Brad Summey" (picture on the right) you see a linked in page https://www.linkedin.com/in/kbsummey - "Kb" Summey - I guess that's where "Kenneth" and "Brad" comes from. Brad Summey is CTO for Orange Hat Group, LLC - http://www.OrangeHatGroup.com located at 950 N. Washington St #319 Alexandria, VA 22314. Looks like these guys do lots of political and issue-oriented stuff. Indeed if you go to this page at OpenSecrets.org you will see that Kline for Congress Cmte (Rep. Kline R-MN) paid them $11,550 in 2014 and Friends of Erik Paulsen (R-MN) paid them $101,650 in 2013/2014. Hmm ... two members of Congress - both from Minnesota.

Oh yes, if you go to If you go to http://www.orangehatgroup.com/news/ you will see that he retweets "RT @SavageJerky: Today's the day. We're giving a 6 month supply of jerky to a lucky follower on #SuperBowl Sunday. #jerky #giveaway http://@OrangeHatGroup 06:55pm, 01 Feb". So Orange Hat is into beef jerky too. You can also follow Brad on Twitter at @kbsummey.

So ... what does a guy who runs a beef jerky company in Georgia and is a CTO at an inside-the-beltway Internet/issues company (whose company does stuff for Minnesota republicans) have against Elon Musk? Maybe Brad will explain all of this to us - and who is paying for his website - because why not?

Keith's update: But wait there's more: These ads seem to be focused more on electric cars and green energy policy food fights people have with Elon Musk than they do on SpaceX per se. Its election time so, as they say, follow the money. By some coincidence, the Koch Industries (the Koch Brothers) gave Rep. Paulsen and Kline (the same two republican candidates from Minnesota that Orange Hat worked for in 2013-2014) $10,000 during the 2014 election cycle. FEC Form 3 statement) from Paulsen's campaign wherein Orange Hat was paid for ads and social media while the campaign mentions receiving $2,500 from Koch Industries PAC. Rightwing Watch noted that Conservative Ralph Reed's organization listed Jack St. Martin, Partner, Orange Hat Group as a speaker at a 2010 event.

There is an earlier, similarly-syled attack video posted on 8 December 2015 by Mike Ross that talks about "filthy hippies" buying solar panels in San Francisco and the oh-so-terrible Elon Musk "and his taxpayer subsidized companies." In this Huffington Post piece from 16 February 2016 "The Kochs Are Plotting A Multimillion-Dollar Assault On Electric Vehicles" There has also been the little matter of the Koch brothers and their fight against Musk over electric cars.

Use Google and these things just reveal themselves to you.

Keith's 19 August 2016 update: I just got the following email:

"Keith, I wanted to reach out as someone recently forwarded your post on the Orange Hat Group and Elon Musk. I have not been associated in any way nor had any contact with the Orange Hat Group, Brad Summey or Randy Skoglund since June of 2010. I am an admirer of Elon Musk and I think he has done great things for the state of Nevada and Reno area where my family currently resides. I had the pleasure of going to the Giga Factory grand opening a few weeks ago and it is impressive to say the least and I think Musk is a visionary. I thought it was important to set the record straight. I hope you will be able to update your post appropriately. Jack St. Martin"

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on May 25, 2016 2:00 PM.

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