Ka-Ching!

Posted February 2, 2005 at 6:37pm

The National Republican Senatorial Committee doled out more than $430,000 in bonuses to staff following its four-seat pickup in November.

The campaign finance sleuths at PoliticalMoneyLine ferreted out the information that nine staffers received payments in the five-figure range.

The biggest winner was the NRSC’s former political director, Patrick Davis, who pocketed almost $27,000. He was followed by Research Director Gary Feld, who took home about $21,500; attorney Stephen Hoerstring netted nearly $21,000; Finance Director Nicole Sexton got about the same; Christian Maiorana, who was the marketing director, got almost $20,000; former Communications Director Dan Allen gained a little more than $19,000; Teresa DeRoco, who was the assistant to former Executive Director Jay Timmons, got about $16,5000 (while Timmons himself got only $4,000); accountant Melinda Fitzwater earned $14,500; Edward Borie, who did computer work such as list development, netted $11,000; and Taylor Kepler of the finance department saw a little more than $10,000 — all of which seemed to be after taxes.

Another 49 people earned less than $10,000 in bonus income.

Speaking of Patrick Davis … He has opened up his own shop, Patrick Davis Consulting in Colorado Springs, Colo.

It will focus on regional and national candidates and clients in need of help in the areas of public affairs, public relations and, of course, political consulting.

Davis went to the NRSC after a stint as executive director of the South Dakota Republican Party.

The Mehlman Gang. Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman has announced his 2006 staff lineup.

Starting at chief of staff is Kelley McCullough, who served Bush-Cheney 2004 as deputy campaign manager for operations. Prior to that she was an RNC regional political director and political education director. She also worked for White House adviser Karl Rove’s former consulting firm, Karl Rove and Co., in Texas.

Brian Jones is the new communications director. He worked in a similar capacity on the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign and previously acted as vice presi-

dent for polling and advertising at Mercury Public Affairs, a New York-based GOP firm.

Mike DuHaime was tapped to be political director. He also was a regional director for the Bush-Cheney campaign and previously was executive director of the New Jersey Republican Party. The Hoboken, N.J., native also once had his own political consulting firm, DuHaime Communications.

Matthew Dowd, who has already agreed to teach at the University of Texas after his stints on the Bush-Cheney 2000 and 2004 campaigns, will help out at the RNC as a senior adviser. He founded the public affairs shop Dowd Strategic Consulting in Austin, Texas, after helping launch Public Strategies Inc., an international public affairs firm also based in Austin.

Also named were: Adrian Gray, strategic information director; Michael Turk, eCampaign director; and Mina Nguyen, government affairs director.

Critical Advice. Sen. Mark Dayton (D-Minn.) has hired former St. Paul Pioneer Press media critic Brian Lambert as a senior media adviser.

Lambert told his old paper that he will focus on op-ed pieces, speeches and local media rather than serving as Dayton’s Capitol Hill spokesman.

Dayton seems certain to face a tough challenger in his bid for re-election in 2006, as Republicans have dubbed him a top target.

SasShea to the Campaign. Tom Shea has left the Hill to work as a senior adviser on the 2005 gubernatorial campaign of Sen. Jon Corzine (D-N.J.). Shea had served the millionaire financier as chief of staff in his Senate office.

Wayne’s World. The American Association of Political Consultants has elected Wayne Johnson of the GOP firm JohnsonClark Associates to serve as president.

“It is imperative that those involved in the political process be in the vanguard of defending that process,” Johnson said in a statement about his two-year term.

Johnson’s political consulting and public affairs shop is based in Sacramento, Calif.

If You Need Me, I’ll Be at Haaaavad. A mix of journalists, consultants and politicos have been named resident fellows at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics within the John F. Kennedy School of Government.

They are: Mary Beth Cahill, former Kerry-Edwards campaign manager; former Rep. Brad Carson (D-Okla.); Ron Fournier, chief political writer for The Associated Press; Vicki Huddleston, former U.S. ambassador to Mali; Tom Newcomb, former special assistant to President Bush and a former National Security Council senior director; and Maggie Williams, former chief of staff to then-first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Michael Deaver, deputy chief of staff to then-President Ronald Reagan and current international vice chairman for public relations firm Edelman Worldwide, will lead study groups as a visiting fellow.

Adieu. The Politics in Minnesota newsletter is calling it quits after more than 20 years of following developments in the Gopher State.

The publication was launched in June 1982 by D.J. Leary and Wy Spano, who are getting on in years and have decided to slow down and/or pursue other opportunities, they told readers in their farewell issue, dated today.

They said they are following the advice they have imparted to others: “Leave at the top of your game and don’t wait until they have to ask you to go.”

The newsletter may continue in some other form as Co-editor Sarah Janecek will keep rights to the subscribers’ list and current readers will be offered a subscription to the new product, if there is one.

She is taking input now on what should come next for the almost 23-year-old publication.