Stephen Gaskill has lots of experience working for families of national political candidates.
In 2000, he was chief of staff to Karenna Gore Schiff, daughter of then-vice president and Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore. Eight years earlier, he served as press secretary to Tipper Gore.
So Gaskill seems like the perfect person to become chief of staff to the family of Democratic presidential nominee-in-waiting John Kerry for the duration of the White House campaign. Based at the campaign headquarters in Washington, D.C., he’ll oversee scheduling, advance and communications for the Massachusetts Senator’s two adult daughters, Alexandra Kerry and Vanessa Kerry, who will be campaigning full time through Election Day.
Gaskill is leaving his post as communications director for Jim Stork (D), the mayor of Wilton Manors who is chal-
lenging Rep. Clay Shaw (R) in Florida’s 22nd district.
Gaskill worked for Shaw’s unsuccessful challenger, Palm Beach County Commissioner Carol Roberts (D), in the last cycle. He was also communications director to former Rep. Geraldine Ferraro (D-N.Y.) in her unsuccessful Senate bid in 1998, and worked in the Clinton administration, at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and for then-Labor Secretary Robert Reich.
Another Kerry Sign-Up. Steve Haro has just left his gig as press secretary to Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) to become Kerry’s communications director in Colorado — a state the Democrats are targeting in the presidential election.
While a successor in Becerra’s office has not been named, Cindy Panuco will temporarily handle press chores in the Congressman’s Capitol Hill office, and Laura Arciniega will do the same in Los Angeles.
Preserving Friends and Allies. Rep. Jim McCrery (R-La.) announced Wednesday night that his leadership political action committee, the Committee for the Preservation of Capitalism, would be doling out $138,000 to Republican House and Senate candidates. Almost all are in highly competitive races — and most are current or former House Members.
In Senate races, the recipients are Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), former Rep. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Rep. David Vitter (R-La.). Rep. Mark Kennedy (R-Minn.), who is widely expected to run for Senate in 2006, is also on McCrery’s list.
In House races, the incumbents are Reps. Bob Beauprez (Colo.); Sherwood Boehlert (N.Y.); Max Burns (Ga.); Phil Crane (Ill.); Jim Gerlach (Pa.); Sam Graves (Mo.); Rick Renzi (Ariz.); Clay Shaw (Fla.); Christopher Shays (Conn.); Rob Simmons (Conn.); and Heather Wilson (N.M.).
McCrery is also contributing to Portland lawyer and businessman Jim Zupancic, who is challenging Rep. Darlene Hooley (D-Ore.) this year.
Two for Babbitt. Paul Babbitt (D), the former Flagstaff mayor who is challenging freshman Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.), has hired a new campaign manager and a deputy manager.
Frank Costanzo, former Arizona state director for the erstwhile presidential campaign of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D), will be the campaign manager, taking over from Debbie Rhebergen, who is moving on. He is currently the campaign director for the Arizona Democratic Party.
Carlos Vizcarra, a native Arizonan and former research associate at the Democratic National Committee, will be the deputy manager.
Greens for Kerry. With the national Green Party convention under way in Milwaukee right now to nominate candidates for president and vice president among other things, a splinter group of Greens has formed to support Kerry for president.
Greens for Kerry is being led by Abraham Gutmann, a founder and former chairman of the New Mexico Green Party (who has supported Democrats in key races in the Land of Enchantment), Sam Wade Sears, a Green activist in Sarasota, Fla., and Randy Poplock, a prominent Seattle environmentalist.
The group plans to target Green voters in several key swing states where Nader made a significant showing in the 2000 election, most notably Oregon, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Florida.