Romney campaign got its IT from Best Buy, Staples, and friends
Imagine you're launching a company and only have six months to deliver a product. You face a competitor that has been in your industry four years longer than you with twice your staff and twice the budget. If you don't make your deadline, you're out of business.
That, in a nutshell, was the situation facing the technology team for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign. The Obama for America (OFA) organization had the advantage: it didn't have to wade through the primary season first, allowing OFA's technology team to focus on building an infrastructure. Based on an Ars analysis of the Romney campaign's financial reports, Romney's team had less to work with and passed the lion's share of technology-focused spending directly to advertising companies and telemarketers. This left Team Romney's tech squad with only a fraction of the budget for consulting, services, and infrastructure.
So, the campaign did what a lot of small businesses would do: they went to Best Buy. Or more accurately, they went to Best Buy's subsidiary, MindShift Technologies, a managed service provider that specializes in small and medium business consulting. And when they were in a pinch for tech help, they called Staples' subsidiary ThriveNetworks and a collection of small consulting firms with links to Romney and the Republican Party.