Major League

Posted June 11, 2003 at 6:15pm

The League of Conservation Voters has hired a veteran Democratic strategist to design and implement its 2004 election strategy.

Mark Longabaugh, who has worked in politics and media for 20 years, has been named the environmental organization’s senior vice president for political affairs. He has managed numerous state and Congressional campaigns, and played high-profile roles in four presidential campaigns.

LCV plans to commit several million dollars to mobilize thousands of environmentalists in key battleground states during the 2004 cycle. Longabaugh is developing a plan for a major door-to-door canvassing operation targeting swing voters.

Longabaugh served as New Hampshire state director for both the Bill Bradley for President (2000) and Richard Gephardt for President (1988) campaigns. He managed the fall campaign in Missouri for the Dukakis-Bentsen ticket in 1988, and led the 1992 Clinton-Gore campaign in Ohio. More recently, Longabaugh managed former Labor Secretary Robert Reich’s (D) gubernatorial primary campaign in Massachusetts last year.

In addition to his work in politics, Longabaugh has extensive experience in corporate communications and advertising. He was senior vice president of Shepardson Stern & Kaminsky from 1997 to 1999, a partner at Squier, Knapp, Ochs from 1993 to 1995, and a managing director at the Sawyer/Miller Group from 1991 to 1993.

The Wisdom of Aristotle. Aristotle International, which offers a variety of software services to candidates, party committees and other political organizations, has hired Jeff Ashe to be vice president of political action committee and grassroots development.

Ashe was director of PAC and grassroots operations for Duke Energy, and also did government relations work for the energy giant. His hiring at Aristotle signals that the company will be renewing its push for business from PACs and grassroots organizations.

Now 20 years old, the firm maintains a database of 157 million registered voters, which it offers to a bipartisan array of clients.

Propping Up Prop 13. The Club for Growth took its act on the road Tuesday night, co-hosting a gala in Los Angeles to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Proposition 13, the measure that limited property tax increases in California.

Co-sponsored with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Foundation — named for the father of Proposition 13 — and Laffer Associates, the evening featured speeches from Club for Growth President Stephen Moore, supply-side economist Arthur Laffer, Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund, U.S. Treasurer Rosario Marin (a likely Republican candidate for Senate in California) and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger (a possible GOP candidate for California governor).

Moore called the passage of Proposition 13 “perhaps the greatest revolt against high taxes in America since the Boston Tea Party.”

No Pay for Campaigning. Speaking of anti-tax organizations, the National Taxpayers Union has written to 13 Members of Congress who are seeking higher office (president, governor or Senate for House Members), urging them to refund their government salaries on days when they are stumping for votes back home instead of casting them in Washington, D.C.

In the letter, NTU President John Berthoud argued that federal law prohibits Members from collecting their salaries on days when they aren’t on the job — unless they or members of their family are ill.

“If the average American skipped days of work looking for another job, they wouldn’t be paid,” Berthoud said. “Why should Members of Congress be treated differently?”