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California Labor Group Lists Controversial Consultants | Shop Talk

The California Labor Federation has issued a “Do Not Hire” list that includes six consultants who allegedly took part in creating direct mail that slammed two Democratic state lawmakers for supporting unions in their races against Democratic challengers.

“The following Democratic political consultants were involved in two campaigns in 2012 that directly attacked labor unions and caused damage to the labor movement,” read a statement on the CLF’s website posted earlier this month.

“In response to those actions, the Executive Council of the California Labor Federation approved a motion submitted by the California Professional Firefighters, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, and the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California to encourage all unions, labor councils, allies and candidates seeking our support to not hire these consultants until further notice.”

The same controversy prompted the break-up of the direct-mail firm Mack|Crounse Group last winter.

An arm of the Western Growers Association, a trade association that bills itself as representing “family farmers,” sponsored the 2012 mail pieces. The two candidates on the receiving end of the mailers lost, and furious California Democratic operatives started to investigate the creative source of the mailings.

“It was really an exhaustive research effort and there were a number of sources and interviews that were conducted in that effort,” CLF spokesman Steve Smith told CQ Roll Call in a phone interview last week.

Other consultants appeared on the WGA’s state campaign financial disclosures, but they did not make the CLF’s list. Per Smith, the only consultants included on its list were the ones that his group believed were directly involved in the anti-union rhetoric. Those on the do-not-hire list are:

• Steve Glazer: Glazer & Associates

• Pollster Jim Moore: Moore Methods

• Pollster Dave Metz: Fairbanks, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates

• Jim Stearns: Stearns Consulting

• Jim Crounse: Ambrosino, Muir, Hansen & Crounse

• Sean Sullivan: HSC Inc.

Smith refused to characterize the list as a blacklist, and he said that his group would not seek retribution against candidates who hire consultants. Instead, he characterized the intent behind the list as a desire to inform CLF’s allies of what happened.

“We don’t see our role to pressure anyone to do anything,” he said.

And, Smith added, the list is not permanent.

“This is not a lifetime designation by any means,” he added.

Campaigns and Elections magazine first reported the list earlier this month.

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