Is Whelan Labour's Ashcroft?
He's political director of the union which has given Labour £11m since 2007.
His union pays the salary of one of Gordon Brown's Downing Street staff.
It's Westminster group of Labour MPs totals over 160.
It is highly efficient at ensuring that its supporters are selected as candidates for Labour safe seats.
He is Charlie Whelan.
It is Unite - the union at the heart of the British Airways dispute.
It is absolutely fair to describe the Labour Party as the political wing of Unite - that, at least, is what the party's former General Secretary Peter Watt has said.
I've been speaking to Charlie Whelan about that claim and the suggestion that he is Labour's answer to Lord Ashcroft - a suggestion that he himself has made in private for months. Whelan boasts about the fact that's he's countering the Tory peer's impact in marginal seats by organising a virtual phone bank in which union members are given the software, the scripts and money to pay for calls they make to other union members as part of an operation to get them to vote Labour.
Whelan insists that he is merely spending the voluntary donations of ordinary union members who - he says pointedly - all pay their taxes in order to prevent the election of a government which will hurt "ordinary working people".
Voters will have to decide whether they are moved by Whelan's description of his role or Watt's.