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Shop Talk: Taking a Bite of the Big Apple

Democratic polling firm Anzalone Liszt Research is opening a New York City office, continuing the firm’s expansion since 2008.r

ALR partner Jeff Liszt will be opening the new office, through which the firm hopes to expand its nonprofit, philanthropic and issue advocacy practice. The firm has offices in Washington, D.C., where three associates have been added in three years, and Mobile, Ala., where partner John Anzalone is based.

In 2012, the firm will again be on the polling team for President Barack Obama’s campaign.

Liszt, a native of Charlottesville, Va., is a University of Chicago graduate, Ironman competitor and mandolin player. He has polled for the independent expenditure arms of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic Governors Association.

Barrier Busting in Utah

The Utah Democratic Party elected Jim Dabakis as chairman by a wide margin Saturday. Dabakis is believed to be the first openly gay major-party leader in the state.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Dabakis is an art dealer and co-founder of both Utah Pride Center and Equality Utah.

“I visited all 29 counties during the last five months, and people were very interested in what kind of a job I would do and what my experience was,” Dabakis said. “The whole gay thing just simply did not surface as an issue. People are broad-minded in Utah, and they want to know if you can do the job or not.”

Dabakis defeated political activist and middle school teacher Robert Comstock. He replaces outgoing Chairman Wayne Holland Jr.

Blue and Red Make Purple

GOP operative Rob Collins and Democratic operative Jim Jordan are joining  the public affairs firm Purple Strategies.

Collins, 36, last year left his position as a top aide to now-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) to serve as executive director of the American Action Network. Jordan, 50, is a former executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Purple Strategies is led by bipartisan partners Alex Castellanos, Steve McMahon, Bruce Haynes and John Donovan.

Politico first reported the moves.

Win, Lose or Ty

Democratic super PAC American Bridge 21st Century hired Ty Matsdorf to serve as its war room director and senior adviser, overseeing and executing its campaign and state-based communications.

Matsdorf is a campaign and Capitol Hill veteran, most recently serving as communications director in the office of Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). Before joining Blumenthal’s 2010 campaign, Matsdorf was communications director for Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.).

“I’m thrilled Ty is joining American Bridge’s already strong communications team,” American Bridge 21st Century President Rodell Mollineau said. “Having worked with him in the Senate, I know he has the skills, experience and strategic instincts to lead our campaign communications efforts.”

Matsdorf joins Campaign Director Bradley Beychok and Research Director Shauna Daly on the senior staff. The organization provides opposition research, tracking footage and instant-response operations to Democratic independent expenditure groups.

Bachmann’s Eds

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann (R) announced the senior staff of her presidential campaign, including some who have been previously reported.

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