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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.

Crider Heads West

Jennifer Crider, a longtime aide to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, will head to Seattle at the end of the July to join Microsoft’s public affairs team.

Crider will serve as the tech giant’s director of public relations, where she will focus on “innovation and intellectual property issues, as well as managing communications around all litigation issues,” according to an email she wrote to friends and colleagues.

Crider is a veteran of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, where she served as a top aide for several cycles.

Lautenberg Aide Gets Book-ed

Newark Mayor Cory Booker has hired one of the late Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg’s former top aides as part of his Senate campaign’s summer hiring spree.

Brendan Gill will be Booker’s senior political adviser, one of his campaign’s most noteworthy additions to date. That’s because relations between Booker’s and Lautenberg’s camps remain frosty, stemming from when Booker started his Senate campaign exploratory committee before Lautenberg announced his retirement. The Democratic senator died in May and, earlier this month, his family endorsed Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. to serve out Lautenberg’s term. The family also not-so-subtly knocked Booker in its statement.

Booker’s other new hires include:

• Deputy Communications Director Silvia Alvarez

• Field Director Anne Batchelder

• Digital Director Sam Drzymala

• Deputy Field Director Meaghan Hardy

• Policy Director Matt Klapper

• Director of Scheduling, Advance and Operations Unjin Lee

• Traveling Press Secretary Ajashu Thomas

• Deputy Field Director DeJuana Thompson

The Democratic primary for the special election is August 13.

Massachusetts Democratic Chairman to Step Down

Massachusetts Democratic Party Chairman John Walsh will step down this fall, per a news release. Walsh will become executive director of Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick’s political organization “Together PAC” in September.

Previously, Walsh served as Patrick’s campaign manager for his 2006 gubernatorial bid.

Rocky Mountain Hired

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., hired Adam Dunstone as his re-election campaign manager.

Currently a senior associate at RBI Strategies and Research, Dunstone served as campaign coordinator for Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet’s 2010 campaign.

DFA’s True Believer

Democracy for America recently hired Andy Kelly as its new online programs deputy. Kelly will work with “DFA’s political and finance teams on the full-range of the organization’s online actions and fundraising efforts,” according to a news release.

Kelly spent the 2012 cycle as the national new media director for CREDO SuperPAC. Kelly will continue to be based in Berkeley, Calif.

Please send news of developments in the political industry to shoptalk@rollcall.com and follow us on Twitter @RCShopTalk.

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