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April 02, 2016



It is claimed the list is leaked online. But it seems there is no obvious link to Cruz, or anybody else, at the moment. That assumes this leaked list is genuine.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Catriona, Wayne and Winter

Catriona - welcome back. If you read around you'll notice many of our political commentators were missing you :-)

The Panama story has supposedly a whole section of US names coming - I'd expect many in the billionaire class and many in government and politics but also lots of athletes, pop culture celebrities etc. It could have repercussions to the race but am not expecting it to. I would almost certainly expect repercussions in the more general Washington DC environment and probably evenly split between Republicans and Democrats - but strongly tending to older longer-sitting veteran politicos and various advisors etc related to them.

Then Winter - about that link (DC Madam story, thanks). I was monitoring the story before the Wisconsin results came in for many hours, and that story by that source was out there and getting numerous Twitter mentions, and many who thought it relevant were pushing it at various journalists and news sources. They didn't bite (at least so far). I think that is not the genuine list (or else, maybe mainstream press are guided by their lawyers to wait until they get some other source to publish it before they jump in - it is well known there is a gag order about the info).

About the fighting inside the Trump campaign, yeah. We do know that its not the top tier politicos in it. Lewandowski is no Einstein and has a reputation for being a nasty and foul-mouthed boss. When all is going well - the campaign is growing ahead of expectations - everybody smiles. When a campaign stumbles (all do) and then suddenly genuine opinions of 'we are in crisis' appear - and especially in the case of Trump where the idea was, that Trump is invincible and made of Teflon - this Wisconsin drubbing and the past week of a series of self-induced errors to add to self-induced errors - that would drive many 'honest' political operatives to despair. Because Trump's behavior suggests he is not even trying. Or that he is self-sabotaging the campaign - which the team would mostly believe in and think they can win. I'll come to this theme in a separate comment for a bit more.

Then Wayne - yeah me too (and am sure all who read the political stories on CDB blog will agree on that sentiment, we're all dying to find out). On the timing - haha I love the way your mind works. Sure, there could be also a nasty 'lets make a Cruz-killing rumor' angle to this. Politics is a contact sport as they say. But the attorney did file to try to get his 815 name list gag order lifted in January originally. He as he was I think denied by the lowest court (or they ignored him, but I think he actually was denied) he about 10 days ago or so first filed with the Circuit court and then a few days later he did his Supreme Court filing where he stated 'Time is of the essence' and said this election would be impacted and thus the names need to come out before the election process is done...

I'd put it actually the opposite way - it seems slightly odd that Trump hasn't jumped on this as a fresh accusation of Cruz (but Trump probably feels a bit burned by the brilliant idea to tweet that unflattering picture of Cruz's wife). And his advisors probably are yelling at him after the 5 positions (and counting) on abortion - to stop talking about anything relating to sexual matters haha...

But yeah. Timing does seem 'fair' that once the real race was starting - January - and the attorney noticed that at least one of the candidates running is from the DC Madam list - that he'd want to get the list released. And then obviously that as still (at least one of) the candidate(s) is still not eliminated now, that he'd want to expedite the matter.

Incidentally, 815 names of very high-priced hookers specializing in Washington DC? There will be judges on that list too. Wouldn't it be funny if one of the Supremes was on it too and suddenly has to resign in disgrace haha. Obama might still get to appoint two Justices haha.

I do remember vaguely that when the original DC Madam list was taken to the court, there was a big amount of consternation, that many in DC knew some who would be on the list and I remember Dick Cheney was among those rumored (it was year 6 of W Bush's administration in 2006 when she was caught). And there was a lot of speculation that the court was going to put the gag order simply because so many prominent public figures would have their careers instantly ended.

It is a fab political farce which makes viewing rerun episodes of any recent high quality political TV series or movies seem dull by comparison haha. Usually in the political season I overdose with all my fave political TV series like Yes Minister/Yes Prime Minister, House of Cards (the original UK version), The Thick of It, West Wing (and now of course also adding Veep). And movies starging with Wag The Dog. But no, they seem tame compared to the Trumpian circus we are treated to. I may switch to counter-programing where I do my binge-watching political TV series in 'off years' in the future haha.

PS are we all agreed that regardless of when it is that Trump is eliminated in 2016, his SUPPORTERS are now awoken and will never disappear. There will be a 'new Trump' running in 2020 appealing to the White Supremacists and all nutters on the edge, who may sound a milder version of Trump (like Le Pen's daughter) or... more likely... will be the Frankenstein's Monster VERSION of Trump. Someone even more vile. And we can only hope that next time, the Republican party will quickly find a more realistic candidate haha.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

About that dischord inside Trump campaign

Again.. like everything with Trump, this will be exceptional. Did you know they all have signed 'ironclad' non-disclosure agreements. They are never allowed to utter a word or Trump's thug-lawyers will come after them with everything. So its a super-secretive inside ring who mostly will never be able to spill all the beans.

But then that woman who was recruited more than a year ago to run the pro-Trump SuperPAC and who was privvy to Trump's original strategy. What was her name, hold on... Stephanie Cagielski - I think considering everything, her account is probably as close to the truth as we'll ever get. And yes, Trump never thought he'd win. He never thought he'd get to first place. He was supposed to be a protest candidate and pursue a second place rank and then quit well before the voting started.

Now. Obviously Trump would hold the theoretical possibility that he might do better (remember how much early on he expressed surprise at how easy it was to get to the top?). But if his plan was only to do the protest run and build the Trump brand and get more political clout out of that stunt in 2015 - when he arrived to the top of the polls - and then he discovered his 10,000 person live rally audiences - that will mess anyone up. But Trump was NOT prepared to do this properly. So while I reported here last year about Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz building serious ground-operations and data-mining etc, we heard that Trump was very 'secretive' about it.

Now we know the truth. He has nearly one tenth the payroll of Hillary Clinton's campaign. And Hillary's team is all working not just to win the local primary in any given state (to underwhelming success recently) but to prepare for the general election. And now we hear Trump has been so cheap with his budgets, where other teams GROW as they win into the primary season - Trump has fired half of the staff he had. And that, in turn, means he was caught with his pants down with the local in-state delegate selection process where Cruz has been cleaning his clock.

Now again, put yourself in the shoes of those hired (second/third tier or VERY inexperienced) political 'experts' and various volunteers. They are told that Trump is some genius who can overpower the status quo simply by his brilliance and that he is smarter than everybody combined. Now, time and again, in short succession, they see and hear, that Trump is failing. I don't mean Wisconsin voters. I mean the delegate race and those individual state delegations. And then the various other mistakes all around Trump's own behavior.

Now last point - if the boss makes it the clear 'standard' that its POLLS which determine who is winning - what about now the polls coming out not just from some states where Cruz jumps ahead of the boss (Wisconsin) but suddenly its NATIONAL polling too. Because Trump buys no internal polling, the only polls they ever see are the same ones WE see here. So that Reuters Daily Tracking poll. It must be bitterly painful to see now the invincible Trump is falling behind Cruz - and the chronological order is OBVIOUS - Trump was FAR ahead two weeks ago, before these mistakes arrived.

Then some have to doubt Trump's intentions. Why was that secret meeting in DC? Why is Trump now apparently sabotaging his own run? Is it that Trump has seen the truth that he cannot win the nomination - that yes, the Republican party will deny him even on the first ballot and that therefore, this is genuinely a horrible waste. Is that why Trump fired half his staff, because he suddenly saw, this is going into the toilet and his millions are being flushed down with it. I am VERY curious to see how will Trump do his TV ad budgets ahead of about 10 days ago and into the future. For practical purposes, best we probably will see, is by month. But April may see a dramatic CUT in Trump TV ad spend (which was not big ever to begin with). He may be actually at the point in time, that he has seen he cannot win it (nomination, I'm not even talking about election in November) and whether Trump can figure any way to get out - he doesn't want to spend one penny more of his money. To toss good dollars after bad. What he WOULD do... is to now seek more donations if that is the case (he would want to recover as much of the money he loaned this sinking ship).

Now. Can a smart campaign boss keep the troops happy while the boss is contemplating suicide? Probably yes. Lewandowsi? No. There are now several stories of the disgruntled staff and their consternations. Its very likely a case that where there is smoke, there is also a fire. Something is wrong in Denmark..

That all said - can you imagine how UTTERLY bitter will Trump be, if he KNOWS now he cannot ever win this nomination, but he came that close. A few points and he'd have won it. As this is mostly self-funded, he will feel it very deeply, and as this all hurts the Trump brand, the cost is FAR more than the 12 million or so that he's loaned to the campaign so far. Then toss in DC Madam. Lets say unhappy Trump stops fighting for a losing cause (where is Trump, he's been so absent since Wisconsin haha, and he was out for a few days before Wisconsin already). And then he muddles through some of the next campaigning and suddenly DC Madam story breaks and Cruz is effectively eliminated from the race. Then Trump essentially wins it whether he wanted or not - and now.. its even MORE wasted and ruined opportunities in the interim days and weeks (did you notice, he fired his data boss and now can't access some of the data haha.. Thats totally not a Jedi move)

Always a bad sign when stories emerge that the staff is grumbling in some campaign. Stories like that mostly come as the campaign struggles but sometimes they emerge just before serious trouble starts.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi all

Unrelated totally to the nomination races, but VERY relevant to US politics overall, is the Supreme Court. I knew it was rare for the balance of the court to switch, but I didn't know its 46 years since the last time it flipped (1970 the court went from 5-4 liberal leaning to 5-4 conservative leaning and has had at least 5 Justices appointed by conservative Presidents every year since 1970).

When I lived in the USA from 1983 to 1995, I was occasionally stunned at the weird decisions coming from the Supreme Court, now it makes a bit more sense. But yeah. It will flip and considering its a 46 year interval, I can kind of understand why the Republicans in the Senate are so dead-set to try to avoid the change-over. But yeah. What would a liberal-leaning Supreme Court do to the USA? I've speculated here occasionally on politics-related issues but there is a great article now out at The Atlantic by a clear liberal writer, who 'dreams' about what a liberal-leaning Supreme Court would be like. (I'm sure you'll read that Catriona with some sense of alarm haha but the writer goes through several major areas and its worth reading)

I'm a strong believer in balance and in fairness and yeah, after 46 years, its more than time to get a liberal-leaning Supreme Court to undo some of the most obvious mistakes (like Citizens United) and to modernize the overall rulings of the court to reflect more the current status of the nation. Very very good article, strongly recommend. Here is the link

Tomi Ahonen :-)


So Sanders gained a grand total of 10 delegates on Clinton in Wisconsin (48 vs 38). Next he will destroy Clinton in Wyoming, gaining a whopping 6 delegates on her (10 vs 4). Clinton is doomed.

Wayne Borean


Think I mentioned a couple of weeks that 'Liberal' control of the Supreme Court for decades will be a result of either a Cruz or Trump nomination. This has got the 'Conservatives' I know scared witless. They seem to think they own the Supreme Court!

Of course there is no such thing as an American Liberal, and there is no such thing as an American Conservative. The United States is a One Party state, which is why the Tea Party is so upset. I wouldn't be surprised to see a Labour split with the Democrats in the near future. Neither party has been working for their core supporters.

Wayne Borean

This is droll. Fox News is saying nice things about Bernie Sanders!

Wayne Borean

File this one under OH SHIT!

Ever wonder why so many Super Delegates support Hillary? They may have been bought!

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi everybody

On the DC Madam story. I expected the attorney to release the names around the news of Wisconsin (ideally he'd have wanted to do it before the voting started to impact the contest). But now its been more than a day and nothing.

I thought the next obvious step is to let the story of Wisconsin run its one-news cycle and wait for the day after Wisconsin, so the attorney could be the star news attraction all by himself on Wednesday and rain on the Wisconsin news of Cruz. Well, that didn't happen either.

The next obvious window in time is just about closing. What if he decided he will not 'actively release' the names, he just stops resetting the 'dead man switch' on his delay timer, which is 72 hours. So if he has re-set the timer on Monday when the Supreme Court decided not to give him the hearing on the gag order, if the attorney then reset the timer for the last time, then Thursday - now - would be about the time to release the names. He said they would go to dozens of journalists out of servers in four different locations. A drama queen could be expected to time that for the evening news window so afternoon release.

If its not breaking now on Thursday, then the attorney has calculated something else is preferrable. What. I think he's trying to sell the list on an exclusive basis to a highest-bidder news organization or outlet (one that is based outside of the USA probably, to be safe from repercussions from US courts on the violation of the gag order). That obviously most likely would be some English-speaking site - British tabloids often bid on stories around celebrity gossip and scandal and could include Canadian, Australian and other press. Also likely candidate is an international news organization which would have a convenient non-US title that could buy it, who would then purchase the rights also for global distribution including USA whenever ifever they wanted to esploit that.

If he is unsuccessful in selling the story or just wants a big splash out of it - then Friday is the worst day to dump news, but Sunday is the next good day - for the Sunday talk shows. If we don't hear the story breaking now on Thursday, then Sunday is the next likely date.

The next convenient target is a few days before the New York primary.

If he really wanted to play mean (and he could also have sold this to Trump who could be in on the gambit) if it IS Cruz, then literally the worst time for the story to come out, is some days before the Cleveland convention starts.. so that all who had decided they'd switch their votes from Trump to Cruz on the second vote - will suddenly be shocked that Cruz is unelectable (and Cruz might even be forced to quit the race) and then if Trump can pick up just one in 4 out of those who intended to go to Cruz on the second ballot - then Trump becomes the nominee on the second ballot.

Now.. considering how much Trump has paid so far, would he pay this disbarred ex-attorney a ransom of 1 million so he sits on the story until say the Wednesday before the Convention starts the next week? Would this sleazebag lawyer take such a deal? He'd face contempt charges from the courts from violating his gag order but he probably has his passport and has picked his spot in Panama or the British Virgin Islands or somewhere close enough but far away, where he could go retire. Would he then release the full list or only Cruz.. who knows.

But I find it curious that he pushed the story just before Wisconsin but now isn't releasing the names. And dirty tricks sounds like a pretty plausible theory for it right about now (funk soul brother).

Oh the intrigue. It sounds like the DC Madam story is as near to a Sword of Damocles (for whoever is the client, that candidate obviously KNOWS that he/she was a client of the DC Madam and that the story will break soon) as any recent political race has ever had haha

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Wayne Borean

Wonder if this guy is a Trump supporter, and what he'd think of my cousins (we have a really wide range of colour in our family)

Wayne Borean


Maybe the guy has nothing, and is just trying to make a big fuss, or maybe he thinks one of the candidates was a customer, doesn't know for sure, and is trying pressure tactics?

Who knows.



There is a slight possibility that the one who is on the DC Madam list has paid some millions to the attorney, like for example a million for each year of delay (i.e. 10-15 years delay?). For example, now Cruz has a lots of campaign money and therefore theoretically a ridiculous high figure (6 or 7 zeros?) could be transferred to the attorney for anti-Trump campaign.


This is my rough prediction for the remaining Democratic primaries and caucuses. It is based on polls from RCP, on momentum, on how similar (or neighboring) states have voted so far, on previous caucuses results versus primaries results, on presence/absence of minorities etc.

States Sanders Clinton
Wyoming(14) 11 3
New York(247) 114 133
Connecticut(55) 28 27
Delaware(21) 10 11
Maryland(95) 41 54
Pennsylvania(189) 85 104
Rhode Island(24) 22 22
Indiana(83) 45 38
Guam(7) 5 2
West Virginia(29) 19 10
Kentucky(55) 30 25
Oregon(61) 44 17
Virgin Islands(7) 5 2
Puerto Rico(60) 35 25
California(475) 223 252
Montana(21) 17 4
New Jersey(126) 53 73
New Mexico(34) 14 20
North Dakota(18) 14 4
South Dakota(20) 15 5
District of Columbia(20) 5 15
Total 835 846

OK, that was easy, let see if Tomi has the time and will to do the more unpredictable Republican race for the remaining states.


Ah, my beautiful table got screwed up. So here is an example:
Wyoming(14) 11 3
(14) is the total number of pledged delegates for that state.
11 is Sanders' delegates
3 is Clinton's delegates
So the grand total shows 835 delegates for Sanders and 846 for Clinton. That will preserve Clinton's current lead of about 200 pledged delegates.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi cornelius

Wow thanks! Yeah, looks realistic and would mean mathematical elimination of Bernie only at the end of May (when superdelegates are added in). Two quick thoughts.

One favors Hillary. As it becomes ever more certain Bernie cannot actually win - the 'Bernie is STATISTICALLY eliminated' (ie some already peddling it but it becomes true after New York) will demoralize the non-Hillary voters and make many traditional Democratic voters move to end the pretense and the last unpledged superdelegates will rally around Hillary. She could start to do significantly better towards the end when there is 'no contest'

And the other favors Bernie. Once the race is decided, many probably won't care to vote that much, but Bernie supporters have a far higher level of enthusiasm, they could come out and record protest votes and give Bernie some late victories in states where polling said he was behind. So Bernie could perform better than expected in the last races.

Generally, all through the race, Hillary has underperformed her recent polling by about 5 points or so (similar trend with Trump). In a few states Hillary has fought hard and that didn't happen (I expect it to be so with New York now, that Hillary comes very close - or may exceed - the polling). Also Bernie has done exceptionally well in caucus states and those are mostly done now, its primaries left. But all those factors are noise that would tend to cancel each other out, so the rough race - that in the end Hillary gets 200 more pledged delegates plus most superdelegates, means she has clinched before California votes..

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi everybody

So back to the DC Madam speculation. I obviously forgot an equally possible scenario to Trump bribing the ex-attorney - it could be one of Cruz's supporters - the two Billionaires who bankrolled the early Cruz campaign giving 5 million dollars each to the SuperPAC - they would have no qualms about paying a ransom to the DC Madam attorney to delay the release of the list until December..

I could even imagine there was behinds-the-scene negotations ongoing with the attorney and some party, in say mid March and those negotiations broke down - that this was the reason the attorney filed the urgent demand to the Supreme Court. That he did the stunt not to release the list, but as leverage in his secret negotiations (and/or if he increased his ransom demand when some candidate became more likely to win - obviously this then also would be Cruz who didn't see to have a real chance before mid March)

I do really hope we get to see the full list before the Conventions whoever it is and obviously if its Mr Religious family-man Cruz, then I'd love the secret to come out and reveal his true nature. And the 'fairness' part in me keeps insisting - we don't know its Cruz. It could be any of the five even as Cruz seems by far the most likely. And the way the request to the Supreme Court was written, it could be from either party AND it could be more than one candidate. So for example, it could be that Cruz is on the list but ALSO Bill Clinton is on the list haha, in that way the scandal would taint both sides and obviously Cruz would be more severely harmed than Hillary but Bill would be disgraced out from the public eye...

But I did want to get that thought out here in the thread, that hey... it could be that the Cruz campaign (supporters) are paying a ransom to keep the story out. And they'd do it at least till December but could do it permanently..

Oh.. one more angle on the timing. Imagine if one is being ransomed to either release the list or to keep the list from being released and that side made some payment in February but didn't pay in March - now the threat via the Supreme Court - and the 'dead man switch' he arranged to file the list on four servers where it will be released automatically in 72 hours - would be consistent with a Hollywood plot where the given campaign has threatened to kill the DC Madam's ex attorney to hide the list permanently.. haha.. lovely intrigue but I'm dying to know the truth - and this messes up all otherwise legitimate speculation and calculation for the race - assuming one of the Final Five is on the list.

Lastly.. the other names on the list.. will mostly impact the era of Bush-Cheney and damage severely some of that admininstration plus many long-serving politicos. If there are high-profile members on the list (in style of Dick Cheney) that would again further serve to boost the popularity of Obama in his last months.. A few judges in the federal courts even if not Supreme Court would also highlight the need to get new judges in - bringing again more pressure to the Republicans in the Senate holding off Obama's nominations.

Tomi Ahonen :-)


Hi Tomi,

I would say that New York is key to how quickly will Clinton dispose of Sanders. If she wins by 15% then she will have a nice momentum going into the Pennsylvania and Maryland contests on April 26th. Clinton should win both (Pennsylvania due to union endorsements and Maryland due to the large black population). And even Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island are not particularly friendly to Sanders. So of the 384 delegates in play on April 26th Clinton should get more than Sanders, at least 200+. Add NY's delegates and that would total some 350 for Clinton.
If Clinton performs poorly in NY, i.e. she barely wins it, then that will be perceived as a defeat for Clinton and she will not do so well on April 26th. But even if Clinton gets 300 instead of 350, she will still be so close to nomination that I wouldn't be surprised if Sanders quits. I think the race will be over at the end of April.
Clinton has already started to pay for TV ads directed at Trump, and her last victory speech in Arizona was also directed at Trump. So Clinton has already started to shift her focus on the general election. I expect her to ignore Sanders almost completely after April 26th.

Wayne Borean

Interesting article from January which is about the negative impact Ted Cruz wining could have on Evangelicals, or rather what we would consider 'normal' Evangelicals.

Wayne Borean


What is going to be interesting is the fallout from folks finding out that the Hillary campaign has been buying super-Delegates. It is possible that pressure could swing a number of them to support Sanders.

If so, Hillary's lead could be cut. We'll have to wait and see.


"Clinton has already started to pay for TV ads directed at Trump, and her last victory speech in Arizona was also directed at Trump. So Clinton has already started to shift her focus on the general election."

This could also be targeted against potential voters for Sanders. It is also a call to unite against the real enemy. By attacking Trump, Clinton would tell voters that she fights the real enemy of the Democrats.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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