Miller Time

Posted April 16, 2008 at 4:16pm

Jason Miller, a veteran of several Republican campaigns, has joined the Washington, D.C.-based Dezenhall Resources as a communications consultant. Dezenhall is an independent communications firm that advises clients on public affairs campaigns and how to handle a crisis.

[IMGCAP(1)]Prior to joining Dezenhall, Miller was based in New York, where he served as deputy communications director for rapid response on former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s (R) presidential campaign. Previously, he managed South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford’s (R) 2006 re-election campaign and served for a time as his deputy chief of staff.

Miller also has Congressional campaign chops, serving as a consultant for now-Sen. Tom Coburn’s (R-Okla.) successful 2004 campaign and managing Rep. Ric Keller’s (R-Fla.) winning 2000 and 2002 House races.

Miller also spent time on Capitol Hill as Keller’s chief of staff.

Polis Position. Wealthy Internet entrepreneur Jared Polis (D), running for the 2nd district seat being vacated by Rep. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), is looking to a collection of national and local consultants to push him across the finish line in a competitive three-way primary.

Doc Sweitzer and J.J. Balaban, of the Philadelphia-based Democratic firm The Campaign Group, have been hired as Polis’ media consultants. Mission Control, a Democratic firm based in Manchester, Conn., has been tapped to handle Polis’ direct-mail needs. For polling, Polis has hired the Democratic, Denver-based firm Ridder Braden.

Dayna Hanson is serving as the campaign’s communications director, with Wanda James, most recently the campaign manager, transitioning to the role of senior adviser. A new campaign manager could be on board as early as next week.

Notably, Polis has not hired any fundraising consultants. He is handling all of his fundraising in-house. And because he has decided not to accept contributions from political action committees, because of his personal wealth, he does not need anyone in Washington, D.C., soliciting PAC donations.

Polis is locked in a tight three-way Democratic race with former state Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald and environmental activist Will Shafroth.

Bedingfield of Dreams. Kate Bedingfield is now on board as communications director to former New Hampshire Gov. Jeanne Shaheen’s (D) Senate campaign.

Bedingfield, who earlier this cycle served in the press shop of former Sen. John Edwards’ (D-N.C.) presidential campaign, spent the previous cycle as a regional press secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Shaheen is challenging Sen. John Sununu (R-N.H.), and most early polls have shown her with a substantial lead over the incumbent.

Give My Regards to St. Paul. Veteran television and stage producer David Nash has been hired as executive producer of the Republican presidential nominating convention in St. Paul, Minn. It will be Nash’s fifth straight convention at the helm.

Nash’s credits include executive vice president of production at Radio City Music Hall in New York, and director of technical operations at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

He has also produced 17 seasons of the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular, as well as American appearances of the Bolshoi Opera and Ballet companies and the La Scala Opera.

Maine woMan. Rebecca Pollard has been hired by the Maine Democratic Party to serve as communications director of its “Victory 2008” coordinated campaign to help elect Democrats to offices up and down the ballot in the Pine Tree State.

Pollard previously served as press secretary to Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), including during his successful bid for re-election in 2004.

The More Things Change … Newly inaugurated New York Gov. David Paterson (D) has chosen to keep much of former Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s (D) political operation in place, even bringing one of Spitzer’s top fundraisers back into the fold from her current position as an official at a Long Island bank.

According to the New York Daily News, Paterson has hired Cindy Darrison to head up both his fundraising and that for the state Democratic Party. Darrison worked as Spitzer’s finance director from his time as state attorney general through his campaign for governor.

After leaving Spitzer’s employ, Darrison opened her own fundraising firm, Darrison Barrett & Associates. She also served as a senior vice president of North Fork Bank Corp. Inc., now Capital One Bank.

The governor also intends on using Spitzer’s political consulting and polling firm, Global Strategy Group, which also advises state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (D) — a potential challenger in the 2010 gubernatorial primary.

Paterson also has settled on keeping Spitzer’s hand-picked management of the state Democratic Party in place, meaning Chairwoman June O’Neill and Executive Committee Chairman Reginald LaFayette won’t be going anywhere, at least for now.

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