Without DeLay

Posted November 14, 2007 at 6:31pm

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) is set today to launch the Coalition for a Conservative Majority, a 501(c)(4) entity that bills itself as a grass-roots action and advocacy organization. [IMGCAP(1)]

CCM, a DeLay brainchild, actually will be headed by former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R), who lost his 2006 gubernatorial bid to then-Rep. Ted Strickland (D). But DeLay is helping to establish CCM as a viable group and is in the midst of raising money for the venture and building its infrastructure.

One Republican strategist familiar with CCM said the organization could prove invaluable to the GOP in 2008 and beyond.

“Pairing staunch conservatives like Tom DeLay and Ken Blackwell together in what sounds like a political guerrilla operation may be just what it takes to turn the ‘vast right-wing conspiracy’ on to a new form of activism,” the strategist said.

CCM plans to establish several local chapters in major media markets throughout the country (a meeting of the Houston chapter, in DeLay’s political backyard, is scheduled for Nov. 27). CCM particularly is targeting those media markets where left-of-center advocacy groups and 527s are operating.

Through these chapters and Blackwell’s personal outreach, CCM plans to “identify, recruit, train, inspire, activate and mobilize conservative activists to take specific action on policy issues and political causes” nationwide, according to an advance copy of the group’s brochure obtained by Roll Call.

Moving forward, DeLay will remain active in CCM, in particular as honorary finance chairman. DeLay has spent the past year building the foundation of the organization and preparing it for launch. Blackwell is serving as CCM’s chairman.

In addition to its physical presence and activity, which includes plans to make direct appeals to Members of Congress, CCM intends to have a strong Internet presence.

Chris Perkins is serving as CCM’s executive director and will be based in Washington, D.C., where he will oversee additional staff. Perkins formerly served as vice president of the now-defunct Free Enterprise Fund and previously worked at Americans for a Republican Majority, the political action committee DeLay ran when he served in the House.

DeLay, who is under indictment in Texas and accused of violating campaign laws, resigned his suburban Houston House seat in June 2006 and now runs First Principles LLC, a Washington, D.C.-based political consulting firm.

Casey at the Bat for DCCC. Casey O’Shea has left his job as chief of staff for Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-La.) to assume the post of national field director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

In this new post, O’Shea will be responsible for implementing the grass-roots component of the DCCC’s 2008 election strategy. O’Shea’s first day was Tuesday.

21st-Century Man. Mark Lotwis has been appointed as executive director of Twenty-First Century Democrats, a liberal grass-roots 527 whose mission is to elect “progressive and populist candidates” at every level of government.

Lotwis first joined Twenty-First Century Democrats in February 2006 as executive vice president. Previously, he was a partner at the Democratic consulting firm Strother Duffy Strother — and before that was a partner at MacWilliams, Robinson & Partners.

Lotwis served at both firms as a media adviser to Members of Congress and candidates for state office.

In 1997 and 1998, Lotwis served as chief of staff to Strickland, who now is governor of Ohio. Back in 1992, he managed the re-election bid of Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.).

The Moore the Merrier. Dan McGoff, a medical doctor challenging Rep. Dan Burton (Ind.) in the 2008 Republican primary, has hired Hans Kaiser of Moore Information to handle his polling. Moore Information has offices in Portland, Ore., and Annapolis, Md.

McGoff also has inked freelance researcher Terry Cooper, based in Arlington, Va., to conduct the campaign’s opposition research.

The McGoff campaign expects to have a media vendor signed by year’s end and is close to bringing on Brad Shattuck, of Lexington, Ky.-based Strategic Impact, as its direct-mail consultant.

All for One and One for All. Slatecard.com, a political action committee founded by a GOP political consultant and a freelance software designer to support Republican candidates running for federal office, revealed this week that it has raised more $71,000 since its inception early last month.

Slatecard.com PAC was founded by David All, a Republican media consultant based in Washington, D.C., and Sendhil Panchadsaram, a freelance software designer based in San Diego. They serve as the PAC’s executive director and chief information officer, respectively. All also is president of the GOP consulting firm the David All Group.

Joe Mansour serves as a special projects coordinator for the PAC and also works with All at the David All Group.

Slatecard.com functions as a conduit for donors to direct contributions to the federal GOP candidate of their choice. The Web site is modeled after ActBlue.com, which has functioned similarly for Democrats.

Among those on Slatecard.com PAC’s board of directors is Todd Zeigler, a senior vice president at The Bivings Group, a Washington, D.C.-based firm that specializes in advising clients on Internet communications. Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis is an honorary board member.

Don McGahn, who serves as counsel to the National Republican Congressional Committee, functions in a similar capacity for Slatecard.com PAC. McGahn also runs McGahn & Associates.

Keith Davis, of Huckaby Davis Lisker, is the PAC’s treasurer. Davis served on President Bush’s re-election campaign and has worked on other national GOP committees.

Shira Toeplitz contributed to this report.

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