Johanson Squares Up

Posted March 7, 2007 at 6:35pm

Karin Johanson, the veteran Democratic strategist, has joined the Dewey Square Group, where she will focus on grass-roots consulting for candidates and interest groups in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office. [IMGCAP(1)]

Johanson, who began her new gig on Wednesday, spent last cycle as executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee — where she previously had worked in the 1994 and 2000 cycles.

Johanson also is a former political director at EMILY’S List and is a one-time chief of staff to Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).

In an interview, Johanson said her position with Dewey Square will not prevent her from working on a campaign this cycle.

With offices in six U.S. cities, Dewey Square, a marketing, communications and consulting firm with corporate, political and nonprofit clients, was founded in 1993 by Democratic strategists Chuck Campion, Charles Baker and Michael Whouley.

EMILY Lands Parker. Speaking of EMILY’s List political directors, the organization dedicated to electing Democratic

women who support abortion rights announced Wednesday that it has hired a former staffer, Jonathan Parker, to be its new political director.

Parker worked in the female candidate-supporting political action committee’s political department from 1997 to 2001, and most recently handled health care-related advocacy for the Service Employees International Union. He also is a veteran of DASHPAC, the political action committee associated with former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.).

Parker replaces Karen White, who is going to work for the National Education Association.

Missing Links. Politicalink, the Republican direct-mail firm founded earlier this year by Greg Capelli and Ben Mitchell, has signed on Martin Baker as a partner.

Baker, who served in the previous cycle as national field director for the National Republican Congressional Committee, will focus on Congressional races for the firm, which has begun to pick up a number of state legislative candidates as clients, particularly in Florida.

In addition to Congressional contests, Baker plans to handle candidates for state GOP positions, as well as candidates running for the Virginia Legislature in 2007. Baker served as campaign director for the Virginia GOP in 2003.

A League of His Own. David Sandretti this week took over as communications director for the League of Conservation Voters, the environmental advocacy organization.

Sandretti has 12 years of experience on Capitol Hill, serving as communications director for the Environment and Public Works Committee under then-Sen. Jim Jeffords (I-Vt.), and before that in a similar capacity for Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).

At the LCV, he replaces Chuck Porcari, who went to work for the American Federation of Teachers late last year.

Tar Heel Twosome. North Carolina Democratic operatives Scott Falmlen and Morgan Jackson have launched Nexus Strategies Inc., which will advise clients on political and public-affairs strategy.

Falmlen is the former executive director of the North Carolina Democratic Party and served in a similar capacity at the Florida Democratic Party; Jackson also is a veteran of the state Democratic Party and served as an adviser to then-Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) on his 2004 presidential campaign.

The firm will be based in Raleigh, N.C.

DCCC Arrivals and Departures. Fernando Cuevas has just been hired by the DCCC to be the media coordinator for the Western states. He comes to the committee after a stint as press secretary to Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas).

Meanwhile, M+R Strategic Services has hired Ann Marie Habershaw as its chief operating officer. Habershaw served in the same position for the past six years at the DCCC.

M+R provides public affairs consulting and political consulting to nonprofit groups and corporate clients, including Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Save Darfur Coalition.

Conventioneers. Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan has appointed Jo Ann Davidson and Maria Cino as the lead managers and planners of the 2008 presidential nominating convention in St. Paul, Minn.

Davidson, who serves as a co-chairwoman of the RNC, was appointed chairwoman of the Committee of Arrangements. She is a former member of the Ohio House of Representatives who has worked for an array of Republican campaigns in the Buckeye State.

Cino will serve as chief executive officer of the Committee on Arrangements, which is the RNC body in charge of planning for, and managing, the convention. Cino, a deputy secretary of transportation, has held high-ranking jobs at the RNC and the NRCC and was chief of staff to then-Rep. Bill Paxon (R-N.Y.).

Brady Bunch. Kate Phillips, press secretary to Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D), has joined the Philadelphia mayoral campaign of Rep. Robert Brady (D-Pa.) and will serve as his press secretary.

Phillips, a Keystone State native, logged some time in Maryland politics, working in state government and then for the failed 2002 gubernatorial campaign of then-Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (D). She is a former TV news reporter.

Brady is one of five major candidates competing in the May Democratic primary.

McCoalition Man. Rob Seidman has left the National Rifle Association for a job with Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) presidential campaign.

Seidman, who worked at the NRA as deputy to CEO Wayne LaPierre, will serve in the McCain campaign as national coalitions director. In this position, Seidman will help organize state coalitions of McCain supporters.

Badger Hi-Jinks. Jen Jinks is leaving her post as deputy political director for the Democratic Governors Association to work for Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle (D) as director of his Washington, D.C., office.

Jinks previously served on the staff of America Coming Together-Pennsylvania, as well as on Edwards’ 2004 presidential campaign as national field director.

Madame Secretary, I Presume. Indiana Democratic Party Vice Chairwoman Cordelia Lewis-Burks has been elected to serve as secretary of the Association of State Democratic Chairs.

The association is made up of state Democratic party leaders from all 50 states, D.C. and the U.S. territories.

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