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Shop Talk: Daschle, Glendening Form Grass-Roots Startup

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Democratic Governors Association Executive Director Nathan Daschle will form a new firm.

Arkansas Republicans will also be electing a chairman Saturday. Chairman Doyle Webb is running unopposed for re-election.

Label-Free Zone

A new group called No Labels is launching Dec. 13 in New York City. But it’s not entering the hyperpartisan fray — it’s trying to end it.

The group was founded by Third Way President Jonathan Cowan, Republican strategist Mark McKinnon and Democratic fundraiser Nancy Jacobson, among others, and its goal is to promote an open dialogue for citizens across the political spectrum to solve the nation’s problems.

“Putting aside our labels can offer a hopeful alternative, grounded in an approach that brings people together to develop practical solutions to common problems,” the No Labels website reads.

The goal is not to back candidates, at least not in its first year, but rather to help organize “meetups” and town halls in all 435 Congressional districts. The effort already has some major backers, including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Sens. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), former Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D), among others.

The official launch event at Columbia University is sold out.

Southern Living

Republican Justin Brasell, an Ole Miss alum, is moving to Jackson, Miss., to start his own consulting firm.

In 2010 Brasell worked on South Dakota Sen. John Thune’s re-election bid and as the Midwest political director for the National Republican Congressional Committee. He ran Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s 2008 re-election bid in Kentucky and served as chief of staff to Rep. Geoff Davis (R-Ky.) before that.

Brasell’s children are 3 and 5 years old, so he and his wife want to settle down near family.

“We’re just ready to put down roots and get the family settled,” he said. “I will still be working on campaigns nationally. I will travel more and be away from home some.”

He’s hoping to announce more details about the new firm, including a name, clients and partnerships, after Jan. 1. Brasell emphasized that the move is no sign of a break with Thune. He said his former boss is still mulling a bid for the presidency in 2012 and that he would still like to be a part of it.

Nathan L. Gonzales contributed to this report.

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