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Shop Talk: Carrying the Torch

A political consulting firm with ties to Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) has launched to assist Libertarian candidates seeking public office.

According to a press release from Liberty Torch Political Consulting, the San Francisco Bay Area-based firm’s goal is to “get more freedom-loving candidates elected to office than ever before.” It will work with “limited government” candidates from the local to national level in races across the country.

Five of the seven consultants at the firm either have ties to Paul, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) or ex-New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, a former Republican who is currently the Libertarian presidential nominee.

The firm’s strategy adviser is David Adams, who was campaign manager for Rand Paul’s campaign in 2010 and for Phil Moffett’s 2011 bid for Kentucky governor. Jonathan Bydlak, the financial adviser, ran Ron Paul’s fundraising operation during his 2008 presidential campaign. Dave Nalle, the policy and messaging adviser, is the national chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus and an adviser to Republican Ted Cruz’s Texas Senate campaign.

The other team members include Josiah Schmidt, Laura Delhomme, Nick Fidel and Chris Hamilton.

“If your candidacy or group needs help with messaging, fundraising, or networking, I highly recommend Liberty Torch Political Consulting,” Johnson said in the release.

Northwest Measure Passage

Northwest firms Gallatin Public Affairs and GS Strategy Group recently announced the formation of a joint venture that will offer polling and strategy, media, fundraising and digital activation tools for legislative issue advocacy campaigns and ballot measures.

G2 Public Affairs “will combine Gallatin’s deep roots in the Northwest and extensive roster of bipartisan campaign and communication professionals with GSSG’s national reach and reputation for effective research and communications strategies,” a news release stated.

Gallatin has offices in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana. Dan Lavey, president of Gallatin’s Portland, Ore., office, served as a senior strategist to former Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) for 16 years. GSSG, led by GOP pollster Greg Strimple, is based in Boise, Idaho. Strimple was a senior adviser to Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) 2008 presidential campaign and to numerous Congressional campaigns.

Others on the team include Marc Johnson, who advised former Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus (D); Anna Richter Taylor, communications director on former Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski’s (D) 2006 campaign; Shannon Berg, who worked on former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s (D) campaigns; Aaron Toso, a former top aide to Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire (D); and Brooks Kochvar, who managed Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s (R-N.H.) 2010 campaign. Lori Hardwick, a top fundraiser in the Northwest, is also involved in the new venture.

Reclaiming the Senate

Reclaiming Freedom, a new super PAC aimed at regaining a GOP Senate majority, announced its team of strategists.

The group, which reportedly has a $10 million fundraising goal, is backing GOP Senate candidates Josh Mandel in Ohio, George Allen in Virginia, Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin, Linda Lingle in Hawaii, Montana Rep. Denny Rehberg and Nevada Sen. Dean Heller. All of the candidates except Heller are running for seats currently held by a Democrat.

Leading its efforts are Ken Kurson of Jamestown Associates, Vincent Harris of Harris Media and Thomas Basile of Empire Solutions, with Amy Pass serving as national finance director and Joe Dillon as New York finance director. Brian Wise is the group’s founder and executive director.

Patton’s Grass-Roots Army

The Massachusetts Democratic Party recently announced that Matt Patton will head its 2012 coordinated campaign’s grass-roots efforts.

Patton served as field director for the past nine months on Elizabeth Warren’s (D) campaign against Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and was deputy field director on Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick’s (D) re-election campaign in 2010.

“He has played a key role in assembling two of the largest grassroots operations in the history of Massachusetts politics ... and we look forward to welcoming him into this new position,” state party Chairman John Walsh said in a statement.

Sports and Politics

Political advertising will have an increased presence on ESPN this fall, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.

The network struck a deal with NCC Media, an ad-sales venture owned by several big cable operators that will serve as a middleman, the Journal reported. By selling some of its ad inventory to NCC instead of national advertisers, the result will be more ads from candidates and PACs during NFL and college football games leading up to the November elections.

Submit campaign staffing news and tips to Shop Talk here.

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