A New Triumvirate

Posted April 13, 2005 at 6:35pm

Three veteran GOP strategists have teamed up to create a new consulting firm called OnMessage Inc.

Brothers Curt Anderson, a strategist, and Wes Anderson, a pollster — who together formed The Anderson Group — have joined forces with media consultant Brad Todd to form the new group with headquarters in Alexandria, Va.

At The Anderson Group, the brothers directed the Republican National Committee’s $20 million independent expenditure campaign last year on behalf of President Bush. They also managed the successful efforts of Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.) to become chairwoman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, in addition to work for other clients, including newly elected Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.).

Todd has done advertising work on behalf of Reps. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), Clay Shaw (R-Fla.) and Bobby Jindal (R-La.), among others.

Special Help. Hamilton County Commissioner Pat DeWine has hired some GOP heavy-hitters to help with the special election in Ohio’s 2nd district to replace Rep. Rob Portman (R), who has been nominated to be the U.S. trade representative.

Erik Potholm of Stevens Reed Curcio and Potholm is serving as media consultant. Mark Weaver, a communications consultant, was named general consultant, while Brian Tringali of the Tarrance Group will do polling.

Joe King of King Strategic Communications is handling mail and Kristen Stapleton was named campaign director. She previously served as political director for Sen. George Voinovich’s (R-Ohio) successful re-election campaign last year.

New Executives. The South Carolina Democratic Party recently named Lachlan McIntosh executive director.

McIntosh previously worked on the campaigns of then-Sen. Fritz Hollings (D-S.C.) as well as on the South Carolina presidential campaign of then-Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) last year.

The Iowa Republican Party selected Cullen Sheehan to head up its staff.

Sheehan most recently led the unsuccessful campaign of Wisconsin businessman Tim Michels (R), who tried to unseat Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) last year. Previously, he worked in his native Minnesota on the successful 2002 Senate campaign of former St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) as deputy campaign manager. He went on to serve Coleman in his Senate office.

Taking on Bloomberg. Brendan Quinn, former New York Republican Party executive director, has signed on with former New York City Councilman Tom Ognibene, who is challenging New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in the GOP primary, as a top campaign adviser, the New York Post reported this week.

The Permanent Campaign. The California Democratic Party has launched Campaign for California’s Future, a year-round voter-registration drive led by Rick Jacobs.

The “permanent, year-round grassroots” effort will also focus on get-out-the-vote and vote-by-mail operations during election years, according to a party news release.

Jacobs previously headed up the state’s presidential campaign of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D).

Media Moves. Dixon/Davis Media Group, a Democratic media consulting firm, has hired two senior staffers.

Mark Warner joins from the Democratic research firm Ginsberg/Lahey to head up strategic communications, while Lauren Boettcher leaves Henninger Media Services to lead Dixon/Davis’ advertising services.

Who’s Running the DSCC Then? Americans United to Protect Social Security, a new grass-roots organization, has rounded out its communications team with lots of former Democratic Senate campaign operatives.

Brad Woodhouse switched from leading the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s communications shop to be the non-profit’s director of communications. Cara Morris, his deputy at the DSCC, moved with him, continuing on as his No. 2.

Jennifer Adams left the House Ways and Means Committee staff, and Kristofer Eisenla comes off the unsuccessful 2004 Senate campaign of then-Rep. Brad Carson (D-Okla.) to round out the deputy communications directors’ slots. Jeremy Funk, from the 2004 failed re-election campaign of then-Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), is serving as a press assistant.

Three state communications directors have been named: Matt McKenna handles Montana; Mark Nevins covers Pennsylvania; and Alex Navarro is assigned to New York.

Targeting Guns. The Focal Point, a California-based firm specializing in courtroom graphics and strategy, is working to defeat national gun legislation.

The Oakland, Calif., firm is working pro bono with the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence to defeat legislation in Congress designed to curb lawsuits against gun manufacturers.

Additionally, the firm will work on behalf of the center’s legal action project throughout the year.