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Shop Talk: Candidate Stamp of Approval

David Doud, a former local and state candidate in Washington state, has started a candidate verification firm in the Seattle area that is looking to offer the political version of the Good Housekeeping seal of approval.

CandidateCheck would allow a candidate to tell voters that an independent, nonpartisan third party verified that they are who they say they are. The process includes a self-verification of their credentials, including education, military records and professional certifications, as well as a voluntary criminal- and civil-records check.

"That's the distinguishing feature because everybody right now that participates in that endorsement, credentialing process has a stake in the outcome of the election," Doud said in an interview. "But we are just in the business of information, so there is no agenda and no stake in the outcome."

The firm, started late in the 2010 cycle, also offers its services to organizations that want to ensure the candidate they support has nothing to hide, as well as to candidates looking for research on an opposing candidate. It also does a social media scrubbing for candidates to see what results from a Google search.

"This is a proven private-sector practice," Doud said. "Even my kids' Boys & Girls Club soccer coach has to go through a background check. ... The time has come in the political process."

Obama Adds Adviser; DNC Does Faith Outreach

President Barack Obama's campaign announced Monday that Broderick Johnson is joining the campaign as a senior adviser, national surrogate and representative in meetings with leaders, communities and organizations.

"Broderick joins the campaign with the insight of many years of experience in public service and on campaigns, including the 2008 campaign," Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said in a statement.

Johnson was an informal adviser to the Obama campaign in 2008 and a senior adviser for Congressional affairs on Sen. John Kerry's (D-Mass.) 2004 presidential campaign, and he served in senior roles in the White House late in President Bill Clinton's administration.

Meanwhile, NPR's Michele Norris, Johnson's wife, announced she will step down as host of "All Things Considered" until after the 2012 elections. Norris said she would remain with NPR to work on features and reporting projects not related to election coverage.

Also, the Democratic National Committee announced last week the hire of the Rev. Derrick Harkins as director of faith outreach.

"In 2008, President Obama built an unprecedented religious outreach operation. We saw gains with Catholics, Evangelicals, mainline Protestants and other communities of faith," DNC Executive Director Patrick Gaspard said in a statement. "The hire of Rev. Harkins to lead our efforts here at the DNC should be a clear sign to everyone that Democrats will be making our case to voters motivated by their faith and values in 2012."

FP1 Plus One

FP1 Strategies announced last week the hiring of Alex Johnson as senior vice president.

Johnson is a former partner at Avalanche Advisors, a state affairs firm, and previously was founding executive director of the Republican Legislative Campaign Committee and the Republican Lieutenant Governors Association.

At FP1 based in Washington, D.C., and led by GOP consultants Terry Nelson, Jon Downs and Danny Diaz Johnson will continue state public affairs work and perform general consulting, communications strategy and media consulting for campaigns.

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