Ani­ta Dunn courts con­tro­ver­sy while tak­ing charge in Biden’s White House

Ani­ta Dun­n’s influ­ence is felt every day in the White House, even if most peo­ple have nev­er heard of her.
A Demo­c­ra­t­ic mes­sag­ing guru whose career dates to the Carter admin­is­tra­tion, Dunn helped craft Biden catch­phras­es includ­ing “MAGA Repub­li­cans,” “Bide­nomics,” and now “MAG­A­nomics.” She’s also no stranger to con­tro­ver­sy.
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“Bide­nomics is root­ed in the sim­ple idea that we need to grow the econ­o­my from the mid­dle out and the bot­tom up—not the top down,” reads a memo Dunn co-authored when the White House began pro­mot­ing the term in June. “Imple­ment­ing that eco­nom­ic vision and plan—and deci­sive­ly turn­ing the page on the era of trick­le-down economics—has been the defin­ing project of the Biden pres­i­den­cy.”
Dunn, 65, has been described as Biden’s “brawler in chief” for her aggres­sive mes­sag­ing tac­tics, yet she also stum­bles into head­lines for oth­er rea­sons.
Most recent­ly, NPR report­ed that her polit­i­cal con­sult­ing firm, SKDK (the “D” stands for Dunn), advised both sides in an Illi­nois harass­ment case at the height of the #MeToo move­ment.
Dunn pro­vid­ed assis­tance to pow­er­ful Illi­nois House Speak­er Michael Madi­gan in 2018 and 2019, net­ting SKDK more than $200,000, the out­let report­ed. Madi­gan was also leader of the state Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty at the time and was being sued by a for­mer employ­ee of his polit­i­cal com­mit­tees who alleged that he retal­i­at­ed against her for report­ing harass­ment by her direct super­vi­sor.
The employ­ee, Alaina Hamp­ton, also received sup­port from Dun­n’s firm via its part­ner­ship with an anti-harass­ment char­i­ty called the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund. Dunn w …