According to Federal Election Commission records, we found that Dan Crenshaw, a Republican Texas Representative, has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to a small agency that employed his wife since 2020.
Pink Cilantro is a boutique branding firm based in Houston. According to “The Wayback Machine,” the agency’s website was offline in June 2013. Basya Benshushan (the owner of Pink Cilantro) told the Caller that the company is in the process of “rebranding” and the website is now down.
Crenshaw’s 2020 campaign has paid Pink Cilantro over $350,000 since 2020. A Crenshaw spokesperson confirmed that Tara Crenshaw was still employed by Pink Cilantro, but stated that her work is independent of Crenshaw’s campaign work.
Crenshaw’s financial disclosure reports include Pink Cilantro as “Spouse Salary.”
We asked Benshushan to clarify how much Tara Crenshaw was paid by Pink Cilantro. This information is not in Crenshaw’s financial disclosure report. Benshushan stated that he checked with her accountant to confirm that Tara Crenshaw was paid more than $60,000.
Crenshaw spokeswoman stated that Tara works for Pink Cilantro digital marketing company, and was paid for services rendered in compliance with all applicable laws.
Benshushan stated that Tara Crenshaw didn’t have an actual salary, but was compensated on commission. Benshushan told the Caller, too, that Pink Cilantro has only 12 employees.
“She didn’t have a monthly salary, as she was paid according to the volume of sales. To confirm these numbers, I will ask my accountant to review her 1099. After being asked about how much Tara Crenshaw was paid, Benshushan said that he had not responded to my note.
Tara received all her income from book sales. Her role was to distribute and market the book. Benshushan said, “We have 12 employees. All are full-time w4/w9 workers.”
Pink Cilantro also receives money from Adam Kinzinger, a Republican Illinois Representative. Benshushan said to the Caller that Kinzinger chose them because of Crenshaw’s outstanding branding. Pink Cilantro created Crenshaw’s brand, and Kinzinger needed an agency to help them develop their brand.
Benshushan stated that the connection will be “a headline for the RINO hunter.”
According to FEC records reviewed and approved by the Caller, Kinzinger’s campaign paid Pink Cilantro nearly $500,000 since 2021. Multiple requests for comment from Kinzinger’s campaign and office regarding their involvement with Pink Cilantro were not answered by Kinzinger’s campaign.
Benshushan stated that Pink Cilantro has been working with Crenshaw since 2020. He said that they have done “branding and website design, as well as maintenance of all their websites.” Managing their online shop. Design, promotion, and fulfillment of merchandise. Reporting on monthly merchandise sales and marketing. Crenshaw merchandise booths for sale at various Crenshaw events. Crenshaw’s digital fundraising and lead generation.
Benshushan stated that Pink Cilantro was created approximately six years ago.