Post Office Punch

Posted May 11, 2005 at 6:39pm

The American Association of Political Consultants is warning that a new United States Postal Service rule will cost campaigns dearly and is contemplating lobbying to rescind it.

The rule, which takes effect June 1, would require campaigns to pay 37 cents per letter while nonprofits pay only 11 cents and business mail costs only about 17 cents a letter, according to an AAPC news release.

“The First Amendment is at its zenith when protecting political speech but this ruling places constitutionally protected speech at an economic disadvantage to every other type of mail, both for-profit and non-profit,” said AAPC President Wayne Johnson.

Generally, the AAPC does not lobby the politicians its members help elect, but Johnson warned that the trade association may make an exception in this case.

“Charging a candidate for school board triple the postage that a local business pays to send out advertising is not protecting First Amendment political speech, it is penalizing it,” said Johnson, a Republican consultant based in Sacramento, Calif.

AAPC members will meet with postal officials next week. If those attempts to lower the rate fail, the group will ask Congress to intervene.

Comeback Kid. Former Rep. Karen Thurman was chosen to lead the Florida Democratic Party last weekend.

She beat Flagler County committeeman Doug Courtney, as the party’s executive committee felt Thurman could do more to infuse new energy into the party, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Thurman lost her seat to now-Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R) in 2002 after re-redistricting dramatically altered the 5th district’s boundaries.

Speaking of Florida. Rep. Jim Davis (D-Fla.) has put together his staff and signed up consultants for his 2006 gubernatorial bid.

Jonathan Brill was named chief operating officer and will oversee the campaign’s day-to-day operations. Brill comes off of Davis’ successful Congressional re-election campaign. He previously has worked for Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and the state Democratic party.

Lisa Garcia will act as deputy campaign manager and political director. She last served as a regional political director for Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) in the 2004 presidential campaign.

Deborah Tannenbaum, who was regional field director for the 2004 Democratic coordinated campaign in Florida, was named finance director and Matt Pelikan, who worked for Sen. Mark Dayton (D-Minn.), was named deputy finance director.

Dinah Dale will head up fundraising as a finance consultant. She has worked for Sens. Dayton, Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and the late Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.).

Liz Lubow Poston was tapped to be the communications consultant. She last was communications director for Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.).

Former Florida state House Speaker Peter Wallace (D) is serving as the campaign’s general counsel.

Going Solo. Christopher Boesen is branching out on his own.

Boesen, a Capitol Hill veteran, has opened Tiber Creek Consulting in Washington, D.C. The firm will specialize in hospital finance, Washington lobbying and American Indian issues.

Boesen was tapped in January 2001 by President Bush to work on the Housing and Urban Development Department’s “parachute team” — a small group that ran the giant department during the transition.

Most recently he ran the office of insured health care facilities within the Federal Housing Administration. That office administers HUD’s hospital mortgage insurance program.

Setting Up Shop. Democratic activists and corporate attorneys Chad Marlow and Christina Daigneault have launched a political consulting and lobbying shop in New York, Crain’s New York Business reported this week.

The Public Advocacy Group will open in downtown Manhattan.

Marlow was president of the influential Village Independent Democrats in New York and previously worked for Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.). Daigneault has worked for a number of New York Democratic pols including Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Rep. Jerrold Nadler and that famous Arkansas expatriate, former President Bill Clinton.

Go West, Young Man. Ben Golnik has been tapped to serve as political director for the Minnesota Republican Party, according to the newsletter Politics in Minnesota.

Golnik previously served as executive director of the Vermont Republican Party.

Is It Now Group 720? Group360 has doubled its staff by hiring four new associates and a graphic designer.

The Washington, D.C.-based advertising, public relations and advocacy firm founded by Max Brown, a former top aide to Washington Mayor Anthony Williams (D), has hired Geneva Ferrando, Joe Zepecki, Jake Rubin, Mat Pierson and Samantha Maitland.

Woman of the Year. The Woman’s National Democratic Club bestowed that superlative upon EMILY’s List President Ellen Malcolm on Wednesday night at the Washington, D.C., club.

EMILY’s List, which aims to elect Democratic women who support abortion rights, was honored for helping put 11 women in the Senate, 61 in the House and eight in governors’ mansions since its inception 20 years ago.

Correction. Last week we reported that Dan Myers was leaving JulianMulvey.com to attend graduate school.

Not so, we are told. AtariDan will remain at the firm while he goes to graduate school and will post daily dispatches on AtariDemocrat.com, a Web site he helped launch, from his ivory tower of Princeton University.

Please send news of developments in the political industry to nad@rollcall.com.