Global public relations and communications firm Burson-Marsteller hired Michael Bassik as managing director and digital practice chairman for the United States. Bassik, who started last week, was most recently a senior vice president at Global Strategy Group, where he developed online marketing and advertising strategies for corporations and campaigns.
“Michael will play a critical role in the firm’s continued integration of digital strategies throughout each of our practices,” said Pat Ford, president and CEO of the firm’s U.S. division.
Bassik, an online political advertising pioneer, worked with the presidential campaigns of Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, as well as with the Democratic National Committee and Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy (D).
He established AOL’s political advertising division and was chief digital officer for Air America Media radio network.
Cahill Driving UAW in D.C.
United Auto Workers announced the appointment of Mary Beth Cahill as director of UAW’s Washington, D.C., office and the UAW Community Action Program. Cahill was chief of staff to the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), campaign director for the 2004 presidential campaign of Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and, in the Clinton White House, assistant to the president and director of the Office of Public Liaison. She was also executive director at EMILY’s List.
Not Run of the (Sutter’s) Mill
Lindsay Angerholzer announced recently that the Sutter’s Mill Fundraising and Strategy firm will now be known as the Angerholzer Team. The Democratic firm largely focuses on political action committees and Washington, D.C.-based fundraising.
“While our close working relationship with our clients and their campaigns will remain the same, we feel that this new name better reflects our commitment to teamwork,” Angerholzer said. “We look forward to a very successful 2012 cycle and feel privileged to have the opportunity to work with all of you.”
The team includes Angerholzer as president, Heather Fraser as vice president, Alden Knowlton as senior political associate and Jennifer Cyr as political associate.
Among the firm’s clients are Democratic Reps. Sanford Bishop (Ga.), Mark Critz (Pa.), Mike Michaud (Maine), Bill Owens (N.Y.), Dutch Ruppersberger (Md.), Terri Sewell (Ala.) and Peter Visclosky (Ind.).
Former Sutter’s Mill officials Bob Doyle and Rod Kassir have moved on — Doyle is vice president at Main Street Communications and Kassir has his own firm.
Wisconsin Native Offering a Hand
Veteran Republican consultant Jill Hanson has signed on as a senior political adviser at the Strategy Group for Media.
A Wisconsin native, Hanson was national political director on then-Sen. Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign and senior political adviser for the Great Lakes region on President George H.W. Bush’s 1992 re-election campaign.
Along with working as a regional political director at the Republican National Committee, Hanson has served as a senior consultant on gubernatorial and Senate campaigns, including the first election of John McCain (R-Ariz.) to the Senate in 1986.
Back to Better Times
South Carolina Democrats elected outspoken former Chairman Dick Harpootlian to lead the party once again in the 2012 cycle, when the state will play a key role in the GOP presidential nominating process.
Harpootlian, who defeated Charleston businessman Phil Noble for the position, is expected to jump on Republican leaders in the state immediately, including with TV ads set to air in the next week, the State newspaper reported.
“I hope Nikki Haley gets a good night’s sleep tonight,” Harpootlian said, according to the paper. “Because it’s going to be the last one she gets for a long time.”
Democrats are coming off a tough election cycle in the Palmetto State, including the loss by former 14-term Rep. John Spratt. Just before stepping down from the post in 2003, Harpootlian told the State: “I consider myself to be a street fighter. I don’t know any other way to make my point other than aggressively.”
Taking Action Toward 2012
USAction, a progressive grass-roots organization, recently announced the hiring of Noris Weiss Malvey as director of development and Patty Snee as national field director.
Weiss Malvey previously directed fundraising efforts at the Economic Policy Institute and had stints at several other organizations as well. Her experience includes working as a political consultant, including for the late Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.) and the Pennsylvania Democratic Party.
Snee was the longtime deputy director of the Progressive Action Network, which developed fundraising, grass-roots organizing and membership development strategies for national progressive organizations, including NARAL Pro-Choice America.
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