For the second-straight off year, a group of Democratic consultants formed a team to participate in the Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa.
Team Mission Control went all out for the 39th annual seven-day, 472-mile trek from the Missouri River to the Mississippi River, with members sporting matching jerseys. Ed Peavy, the founding partner of Mission Control, a top Democratic direct-mail firm based in Connecticut, was the team leader and was joined by his Mission Control partner Maren Hesla, Anzalone Liszt partner John Anzalone and media consultant Martin Hamburger.
Peavy, Anzalone and Hamburger also rode together in 2009, when they were joined by Ann Liston of Adelstein Liston and Amy Pritchard of Mission Control. “We sleep in tents each night serviced by an outfitter called Pork Belly Venture,” Anzalone said in a midride email to Roll Call last week. “It is just a great experience. Tuesday we rode 102 miles in searing heat. Yesterday the heat index was higher here (111) than Death Valley (107). Today we are dealing with 10-15 mph winds, but at least we have cloud coverage. It is a total blast. Tough but fun, and great company.”
Staffing Up for the Re-Elect
The Democratic National Committee announced several new hires for its communications and research teams for the 2012 presidential cycle.
First reported by Politico, the DNC announced that Melanie Roussell has replaced Hari Sevugan as national press secretary. Most recently at Housing and Urban Development, Roussell, who started Monday, was southern regional communications director for Obama for America in 2008. She will also help direct the committee’s rapid response unit.
Ellen Qualls, a former senior adviser to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and senior aide to then-Virginia Gov. Mark Warner (D), joined this week as director of surrogate and allied group outreach. Qualls was a fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics during the spring semester and had been running her own consulting firm, Qualls Communications. Deputy director of surrogate and allied group outreach is Rob O’Donnell, who returns to the DNC from the Justice Department. O’Donnell, who starts next week, was previously a radio booker for the DNC.
Tony Carrk has joined the DNC research team from the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Now the director of rapid response research, Carrk previously worked in research for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and on campaigns for Hillary Rodham Clinton and Terry McAuliffe. Nick Hackworth, previously DNC deputy director of research, was named director of strategic planning for research, in which he will oversee long-term and strategic political research with an eye toward the Republican presidential candidates.
Jordan Takes Off in Florida
Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith announced Monday that Brannon Jordan is taking over as communications director for the 2012 cycle, when the GOP will hold its national convention in Tampa.
Leaders from military and veterans service organizations joined Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Kelly Ayotte , R-N.H., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at a press conference to urge the Senate to replace a provision in the budget proposal that cuts retirement benefits for veterans. Wicker, Ayotee, and Graham earlier called for a bipartisan solution to replace the $6.3 billion in cuts to military retiree benefits.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.