Media Fund’s Media Firm

The Media Fund, one of the Section 527 organizations aiding national Democrats this cycle, announced last month that it had hired Steve McMahon and his firm, McMahon, Squier and Associates, as its lead advertising agency.

McMahon and his partners, Mark Squier and John Donovan, have worked as media consultants and strategists for countless Democratic candidates during the past two decades. McMahon and Squier served as senior political strategists in former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean’s (D) erstwhile presidential campaign, and McMahon also produced Dean’s advertising.

The Media Fund has spread more than $35 million around 18 battleground states so far this election cycle.

Schmelzer Lands. Ranit Schmelzer, the longtime former communications director for Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), has joined the National Women’s Law Center as vice president for communications, the center announced Wednesday. She will conduct the overall media strategy for NWLC’s legal and public policy initiatives.

Prior to joining the Center, Schmelzer spent 10 years working with Daschle, and previously served as press secretary to then-Rep. Barbara Kennelly (D-Conn.) and as deputy press secretary for Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.).

Switching Rings With Boxer. Jana Rausch, a longtime press aide to Sen. Barbara Boxer, joined the California Democrat’s campaign staff earlier this summer as the principal media coordinator.

For the past two years, Rausch served as Boxer’s deputy press secretary on the Senate staff, managing the Senator’s media operations in California.

At the campaign, she is replacing Mark Daley, who returned to the Iowa Democratic Party, where he will serve as deputy director.

Communicating for Stenholm. Jodi Zweifler has joined Rep. Charlie Stenholm’s (D-Texas) re-election campaign as communications director. She will be based in the campaign’s Lubbock office.

Genius, Phone Home. Just before departing for the Republican National Convention, we put in a call to David Garth, one of the gurus of New York politics and one of the first successful media consultants in the land, with 40 years in the business under his belt.

We told Garth’s assistant why we were calling — to discuss some aspects of New York politics — and were surprised when the assistant replied this way: “Well, to be honest with you, the Genius has a love-hate relationship with the press. So I’ll give him the message, but I can’t guarantee he’ll call.”

The Genius did not call, as it turned out. But we’d still love to chat some time. And it should be nice for him to know that his underling holds him in such high esteem.

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