Follow the Money No More

Posted January 15, 2003 at 6:13pm

Steven Gordon, a leading Republican fundraising consultant for the past 24 years, isn’t quite hanging up the spikes, but he is diversifying — and easing up on the money chase.

Gordon, who started Steve Gordon and Associates in 1978 after serving as finance director for then-Sen. Rudy Boschwitz’s (R-Minn.) successful campaign, plans to significantly reduce his campaign workload.

“I’m not retiring and I’m not dying, but there’s got to be some different challenges,” said Gordon, 56. “I’m going to continue to do some politics, just not 24/7.”

Gordon said he wasn’t exactly sure what sort of additional work his firm would take on, but Kathleen Ford, his associate for the past three years, will become a full partner and will help develop its new business ventures.

Ironically, Gordon is easing up on politics at a time when he might be expected to be in particular demand. For two-dozen years, he has specialized in raising hard money — collecting more than $50 million for such current and former Republican Senators as Jim Talent (Mo.), Wayne Allard (Colo.), Kit Bond (Mo.), Alfonse D’Amato (N.Y.) and Pete Wilson (Calif.).

But Gordon said the new emphasis on hard money this election cycle had no bearing on his decision, because he had been thinking about limiting his political work for the past several years.

“Every cycle for the last four, five, six years, I sit down and renegotiate with myself,” he said.

Gordon set up shop in Minnesota and then commuted between there and Washington, D.C., from 1985 to 1990. He moved to Washington full-time after the 1990 election “when the state threw Boschwitz and me out.”

Good as Gold. Victor Gold, the tough-as-nails veteran Republican operative and author, is joining Shirley & Banister Public Affairs as senior adviser.

Gold’s history as a GOP strategist goes back to Barry Goldwater’s 1964 presidential campaign, in which he served as deputy press secretary. Later, he became press secretary and chief speechwriter to Vice President Spiro Agnew.

Gold is co-author of former President George Bush’s 1987 autobiography, “Looking Forward,” and he co-wrote a

novel, “The Body Politic,” with current second lady Lynne Cheney. He also writes regularly for Washingtonian and American Spectator magazines.

New Partner. Terris & Barnes, a San Francisco-based Democratic consulting firm, has promoted Erica Walters to partner. Henceforth, the firm shall be known as Terris, Barnes & Walters.

Walters has worked on several campaigns for the firm, including those of Reps. David Wu (D-Ore.), Cal Dooley (D-Calif.), Ron Kind (D-Wis.) and Jim McGovern (D-Mass.). The firm has also done work for such Democratic allies as Planned Parenthood, NARAL, the League of Conservation Voters and the AFL-CIO.

Movin’ On. The Republican Governors Association is losing its longtime communications director, Kirsten Fedewa. In a news release this week, the RGA announced that Fedewa is leaving “to pursue other opportunities.”

Fedewa has been with the Republican governors since 1996. Previously, she was vice president of public affairs for the Beer Institute and also worked on the Hill.

No replacement has been named.

Preston Gates’ Keeper. Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds LLP, the Washington office of the national Preston Gates Ellis law firm, has hired Roger Morse as its senior government affairs analyst.

Morse was legislative director to then-Rep. Van Hilleary (R-Tenn.) and current House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas). For the past eight years, he was chairman of the Conservative Staff Meeting, a group of 100 leading conservative House staff members.

Jacobs’ Ladder. Venn Strategies LLC, a 2-year-old economic, political and public-affairs consulting practice, has hired Ann Jacobs as a vice president.

Jacobs is a former chief of staff to Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) and has worked for Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) and then-Rep. Larry Smith (D-Fla.). She was also a legislative analyst for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and a lobbyist for the Embassy of Australia.

Homecoming. Shawn Vassell has returned to the Washington, D.C., office of Greenberg Traurig LLP as director of governmental and administrative affairs after a stint as state director to Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.).

Before working for Burns, Vassell was an analyst for Greenberg Traurig, a law and lobbying firm with offices in 20 cities worldwide. He also worked for then-Sen. Spence Abraham (R-Mich.).

Firm Decision.Carmen Group, a lobbying firm with a variety of specialty practices, has promoted Diane Jemmott to the position of executive vice president. Jemmott previously directed the firm’s public-sector division, representing public- and private-sector clients in such areas as transportation, water, the environment and economic development.

Jemmott has also worked at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, where she was government affairs manager, and in municipal government.