Sept. 20, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Shop Talk: Democrats Gear Up to Sell Health Care, Again

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is among those forming a group to advocate for the health care reform law.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D), former Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle (D) and Center for American Progress Chief Operating Officer Neera Tanden formally announced the formation of an education and “grass-roots lobbying” group to advocate for the health care reform law.

Brought on board to run the group’s efforts as senior adviser is Paul Tewes, President Barack Obama’s state director for the 2008 Iowa caucuses and veteran of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Also on staff is Campaign Manager Tanya Bjork, Finance Adviser Ami Copeland, Communications Director Eddie Vale, Media Consultant Jim Margolis of GMMB, and pollster John Anzalone.

At a Thursday press conference on the top floor of the Hay-Adams Hotel overlooking the White House, Patrick, Doyle, Tanden and Anzalone insisted the group was nonpolitical in nature. Its intent, they said, is to assist in the challenging effort of balancing the conversation about the law while informing the public about something that will not fully go into effect for another few years.

Patrick declined to detail where the group’s fundraising would come from, but he said he would like it to focus on using social media to get out its message — though TV and radio ads are likely in the future.

Pawlenty Hires Aplenty

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) has announced three big hires for his presidential exploratory committee.

Following the announcement of Nick Ayers as campaign manager, Pawlenty also signed up two more well-regarded Republican operatives: Jon Lerner as pollster and adviser and Jon Seaton as political director.

Lerner, who also just signed on with former Florida Sen. George LeMieux for his 2012 Senate bid, is a 17-year political consulting veteran and the founder and principal of Red Sea and Basswood Research.

Last cycle, Lerner, a Minneapolis native, advised winning statewide candidates in Alaska, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Utah. He has also worked for the Club for Growth and the Republican Governors Association.

Seaton is a veteran of the past two GOP presidential campaigns and heads the East Meridian Strategies consulting firm in Northern Virginia. After serving as national field director on Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, he again advised the Arizona Republican on his 2010 re-election.

Previously, Seaton was a White House associate director for political affairs in the 2006 cycle, serving as a liaison to GOP campaigns in 11 states, including Pawlenty’s gubernatorial re-election.

Seaton garnered experience in Iowa, home to the first presidential caucuses, during both presidential campaigns and at the White House, and Pawlenty emphasized that experience in announcing his hire.

Romney Got Gitcho

Another likely presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R), also continues to build his campaign team. He announced Thursday that Gail Gitcho, a 10-year veteran of political campaigns, will serve as communications director of his exploratory committee.

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