Pombo Returns

Posted May 2, 2007 at 6:14pm

Former Rep. Richard Pombo (R-Calif.) on Wednesday is scheduled to make his first public appearance in Washington, D.C., since losing his 11th district House seat, to announce his involvement with a group called Partnership for America. [IMGCAP(1)]

Not surprisingly for the one-time House Resources chairman, Partnership for America — formerly Partnership for the West — takes a right-of-center approach to energy, environmental and natural resource policies. It functions as a grass-roots advocacy and communications organization that lobbies Congress and other federal policy makers and serves as a counterpoint to left-of-center groups such as the Sierra Club.

Partnership for America is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit with offices in Golden, Colo., and D.C.

A source close to Pombo declined to specify what role the former Congressman will play with the group. But this individual said Pombo would discuss that and his political plans for 2008 at a Wednesday afternoon event in the Hall of States.

Pombo was defeated last year by now-Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.), who was aided in capturing the Republican-leaning, Central Valley seat by a handful of left-leaning environmental advocacy groups that waged a seven-figure battle to oust Pombo. The Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund actually set up shop and began running ads and dropping mail critical of Pombo 18 months before the election.

Don’t Tread on Me. Mike McElwain, a partner at Dawson McCarthy McElwain Media, a Republican consulting firm, has signed the wealthy former New York Secretary of State Sandy Treadwell (R) as a client.

Treadwell, also the ex-chairman of the New York Republican Party, hopes to oust freshman Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) in the Empire State’s 20th district next year. However, the seat is competitive, and Treadwell likely will have to get through a primary before facing Gillibrand, who took out then-Rep. John Sweeney (R) in November.

McElwain, who is handling media and general consulting for Treadwell, spent three cycles as political director of the National Republican Congressional Committee before jumping to the private sector.

MAP Quest. Two former Republican staffers with Capitol Hill experience have launched the Majority Accountability Project, billed as an Internet news and research service that will serve as a clearinghouse of information and conduct its own investigations into the performance of House Democrats.

MAP, which debuted April 23, was founded by Michael Brady and Michael Giuliani. Brady previously served as

director of strategic communications at the National Republican Congressional Committee under then-Chairman Tom Reynolds (N.Y.). Giuliani, the one-time director of major donor events at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, also served as chief of staff to former Rep. Sue Kelly (R-N.Y.).

MAP plans to collect information on House Democrats, including their record on floor votes, policy positions, fundraising and activities they’re engaged in back home in their districts. The founders of the Web site also plan to write investigative stories on House Democratic activities that they believe are being ignored by the mainstream media.

In the ER With McGoff. John McGoff, the emergency room physician who is challenging Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) in the Republican primary next year, has begun to staff up.

McGoff, who spent two terms as the elected coroner of Marion County, which includes Indianapolis, has hired Trevor Foughty to be his campaign manager. Foughty ran the grass-roots campaign operation for former Rep. Chris Chocola (R-Ind.) and also has worked for the Hoosier State GOP and for the Indiana state Senate.

McGoff has turned to Washington, D.C.-based Terry Cooper for research consulting.

McGoff turned heads by raising $97,000 in the first five weeks of his campaign, though he trails far behind Burton in cash on hand.

A Bite at the Apple. Murphy Putnam Media, a Democratic consulting firm, has hired Phil de Vellis, an Internet strategist who created the Apple/Hillary “1984” television ad.

The ad, which received wide attention on YouTube, urged viewers to support the presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and suggested that a White House led by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), if she won the presidency, could resemble a dictatorship as found in the George Orwell novel “1984.”

“Phil is a trailblazer in political communications,” said Mark Putnam, a founding partner of Murphy Putnam Media.

Prior to joining MPM, de Vellis served as director of Internet communications for now-Sen. Sherrod Brown’s (D-Ohio) 2006 Senate campaign before moving on to Blue State Digital, a Democratic Internet consulting firm.

Despite de Vellis’ underground work for Obama, Murphy Putnam has its own horse in the 2008 presidential contest: New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D).

They’re No Patsies. Patricia Madrid (D), the former New Mexico attorney general who came within a hair of ousting Rep. Heather Wilson (R-N.M.) last year, has landed a consulting job with Dickstein Shapiro LLP, a Washington, D.C.-based law firm. According to Madrid associates, she’ll primarily be working with state attorneys general on a variety of cases.

Madrid also is the rare New Mexico Democrat who is not supporting Richardson for president in 2008; she’s backing former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.), just as she did in 2004.

Madrid, a 25-year veteran of New Mexico politics, is not planning to seek office at the moment, but she is occasionally mentioned as a possible challenger to Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) next year.

“Never say never,” Madrid told New Mexico political blogger Joe Monahan this week. “Don’t count me out.”

Meanwhile, two of Madrid’s top political lieutenants are staying active in the Land of Enchantment.

After taking a break following the grueling campaign, Madrid’s campaign manager and longtime aide-de-camp, Caroline Buerkle, is beginning to do some political consulting. One of her clients is New Mexico Auditor Hector Balderas (D), who is contemplating running for the same 1st district seat that Madrid lost so narrowly.

Heather Brewer, who was Madrid’s campaign press secretary, recently took a job as executive director of NARAL Pro Choice New Mexico, the abortion rights group.

Every Man a General Counsel. Louisiana state Rep. Mike Powell (R) has been appointed general counsel of the Louisiana GOP.

Josh Kurtz contributed to this report.