Envision Communications, a new Washington, D.C.-based Democratic media consulting firm specializing in television ads, is now open for business and fast at work. [IMGCAP(1)]
The company was launched by Jennifer Burton, Peter Cari and Maura Dougherty, three veteran Democratic consultants with various areas of expertise.
Burton has 10 years of experience as a media strategist, most recently as a partner at Murphy Putnam Shorr & Partners. This past cycle she was the lead media consultant on the successful Congressional campaign waged by Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), in addition to working on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s independent expenditure effort.
Cari has more than a decade of opposition research experience, spending much of that time at the DCCC, where he also directed much of the committee’s independent expenditure campaign.
Dougherty has spent more than 10 years in political communications, serving as press secretary to Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and for former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack’s (D) 1998 gubernatorial campaign. Dougherty also is a veteran of the Democratic firms Mission Control and McMahon Squier and Associates.
I Have a Special Practice — I Handle One Client. For Ken Spain, that client is now the National Republican Congressional Committee, where in two weeks he will start as press secretary under communications director Jessica Boulanger.
Spain, currently the chief spokesman for Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.), previously worked as deputy chief of staff for Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), and served in the communications shop in the Bush/Cheney ’04 re-election campaign.
Also new at the NRCC this cycle and recently hired:
• Josh Schultz, director of new media. Schultz is a former aide to ex-Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas), and worked on the ground in Texas’ 22nd district in the previous cycle.
• Brian Walsh, national field director. Walsh — not to be confused with the Brian Walsh who handles communications for Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) — served in the previous cycle as political director for GOP Senate nominee Tom Kean Jr. in New Jersey, and in 2004 worked as campaign manager for former NRCC Chairman Tom Reynolds (N.Y.).
• Heather Patterson, director of major donor programs in the fundraising department. In the previous cycle she worked in the finance department of the Republican National Committee. Patterson will be assisted by Chris Stottmann, who worked at the National Republican Senatorial Committee in the previous cycle.
• Danielle James, political action committee director. James comes to the NRCC from the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, where she is director of political affairs.
Exit, Stage Left. The last of the previous cycle’s press team at the DCCC has departed the committee, with Kate Bedingfield accepting a gig with former Sen. John Edwards’ (N.C.) presidential campaign, and Jennifer Psaki signing on with Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-Ill.) presidential effort.
Bedingfield is headed for Chapel Hill, N.C., while Psaki is departing D.C. for Chicago. Meanwhile, Jennifer Crider is now on the job as communications director at the DCCC under new Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.).
Go West Young Woman. Carrie Giddins, deputy communications director at EMILY’s List in the previous cycle, has taken a job as the communications director for the Iowa Democratic Party.
It’s a homecoming of sorts, as Giddins served as deputy commutations director for the state of Iowa for Sen. John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) 2004 presidential campaign. Giddins’ first day on the job in Des Moines is Feb. 19.
Not the Former Bullet. Michael Adams has been named general counsel to the Republican Governors Association, which is led this cycle by Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue.
Adams, a Kentucky native, is a former campaign aide to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and served for two years as general counsel to Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher (R). Adams, 30, comes to the RGA from the Justice Department.
Maine Man. Joe Bruno recently was elected chairman of the Maine Republican Party. A former GOP leader in the Maine House of Representatives, Bruno is a pharmacist by trade.
Rain Man. Luke Esser has been elected chairman of the Washington State Republican Party. Esser began his involvement in state GOP politics as a precinct committee officer at the age of 19, and he ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2004.
He takes the reins of the party at a time when it faces many challenges. Democrats have surged in the state in the past few cycles, winning a close gubernatorial race in 2004, with Sen. Maria Cantwell (D) winning another term this past November.
The Club Grows. Nachama Soloveichik, who handled communications duties for 2006 Rhode Island Senate candidate Stephen Laffey (R), is now working in Washington, D.C., in a similar role for the Club for Growth — which was Laffey’s biggest benefactor in his losing primary battle with then-Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I.).
Before hooking on with Laffey, Soloveichik worked for the American Jewish Congress and was in graduate school before that. She started with the club last week.
News at 11. Former Rep. Anne Northup (R), running for Kentucky governor, has hired former television reporter Barry Peel as her campaign press secretary. Peel, who was based in Lexington, Ky., covered state politics and government for 35 years.
Rudy! Rudy! Rudy! Tarrance Group partners Ed Goeas, Dave Sackett and Brian Tringali have all signed on to former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s (R) presidential campaign. The Tarrance Group will handle polling for the Giuliani campaign.
Among the Tarrance Group’s clients are more than 50 Republican governors, Senators, House Members and state politicians. The firm conducted polling for President Bush’s 2004 re-election bid.
Lauren W. Whittington contributed to this report.