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So You Think You Can Be a Republican Media Strategist?

The National Republican Congressional Committee has launched a contest asking GOP activists from across the country to help the committee craft a message it can use to hit the Democrats.

Phase one of the contest involved development of a “new media” slogan describing, as the Republicans see it, the Democrats’ failed record since they assumed control of Congress following the 2006 elections. The slogan chosen as the winner in that contest: “Has the Democratic Congress worked for you?”

Phase two, which runs through Nov. 25, involves a contest to find the best Internet video ad to be used by the NRCC and played on YouTube. The video must be based on the slogan chosen in the first contest.

“We are always getting feedback from supporters across the country. A lot of them are just plain fed up with the direction the Democrats are moving this country,” said Josh Shultz, communications director of new media at the NRCC. “It’s a perfect opportunity for the American people to creatively express their frustrations with the Democratic Congress.”

Before coming to the NRCC, Shultz, 29, spent five years working in the communications office of then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas). Shultz also served as field director and director of new media on DeLay’s last campaign, the 2006 GOP primary in which the Texan won a four-way contest with 60 percent of the vote.

At the NRCC, his duties include carrying the committee’s message to the blogosphere, as well as handling content, editing, design and video production for its Web site.

While the NRCC searches for the winner of its video contest, it is posting the various entries on YouTube. The contest has apparently caught the eye of some Democratic bloggers at the popular Daily Kos Web site.

“What really kills me,” wrote one Daily Kos diarist on Oct. 18, “is that these are some of the most popular ads on YouTube. We need some type of counter to this. This is downright slander and I would sue the NRCC if I was [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman] Chris Van Hollen [Md.]. I am sick of seeing good people being lied about and I feel that I must do something about it.”

The angry diarist continued: “I just wanna take that [NRCC Chairman] Tom Cole [Okla.] and bash his head right in.”

All the Mayor’s Men. Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chávez, running for the Democratic Senate nomination in New Mexico and hoping to replace retiring Sen. Pete Domenici (R) in 2008, has

hired a full slate of consultants to advise his campaign, including three firms that have advised Gov. Bill Richardson (D) in his previous campaigns.

The inclusion of Richardson advisers on the Chávez campaign could signal that the governor does not intend to reverse his decision to focus on his 2008 presidential bid and stay out of the Senate race. Chávez is running against wealthy developer Don Wiviott in the Democratic primary.

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