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Shop Talk: To Thine Own Self Be Patru

Republican media operative Ed Patru has started his own firm. Amplifico — Latin for “amplified” — kicked off this week with Patru and fellow partner Marc Ross.

Amplifico’s aim is to provide corporations and business coalitions with a fully staffed presidential-campaign-style war room on a contractual basis, according to Patru. The former House Republican aide and his partner will be helped by a handful of campaign veterans who will be announced at a future date.

“The primary market for our services is corporations and business coalitions that have a particular public policy or regulatory challenge that they need to impact — for those clients, we provide a scalable, turnkey campaign operation,” Patru said.

Patru most recently served as vice president for communications at Freedom’s Watch in the 2008 cycle and worked at the National Republican Congressional Committee for five years, topping out as the deputy communications director.

With a track record in government relations, Ross has worked with the American Chemistry Council, National Mining Association and American International Automobile Dealers Association. Ross has also worked on several campaigns in California, Nevada, Ohio and the United Kingdom.

They Call Me Mellman Yellow. Ohio Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher (D), who is running for the open Senate seat in the Buckeye State, has tapped Mark Mellman of the Mellman Group to do

polling for his race, according to the campaign. AKPD will do media for Fisher, who seeks to succeed retiring Sen. George Voinovich (R).

Fisher also picked up Geri Prado as his campaign manager. Prado is a veteran of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (D) campaign, as well as served as deputy political director at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in the 2006 cycle.

Fisher’s former chief of staff, Lauren Goode, has been named his political director, while Alan Melamed and Jan Roller will serve as senior advisers to the campaign.

Catalyst a Wave. Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou (R) has tapped the Catalyst Group to help with his fundraising for his bid for Hawaii’s 1st district, an open-seat race since Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D) announced last month he will run for governor in 2010.

Nathan Wurtzel and Joe Rachinsky of the Catalyst Group consult several Republican House Members, including Reps. Dave Reichert (Wash.), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.), Mike Rogers (Mich.) and Glenn Thompson (Pa.).

Snap Into a Simmons, Jim. Former Rep. Rob Simmons (R-Conn.) has picked a manager to guide his Senate challenge to Sen. Chris Dodd (D) in 2010. Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) New England manager for his 2008 presidential bid, Jim Barnett, will be Simmons’ top aide to take on Dodd.

Barnett also worked on McCain’s victorious New Hampshire primary campaign last year, following four years as chairman of the Vermont Republican Party.

Department of Ed. The Democratic National Committee has plucked Ed Espinoza to be its southwestern states political director — the first of what is expected to be several regional political hiring announcements under its new chairman, Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine.

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