Quite Frankly

Posted April 30, 2008 at 6:32pm

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), fighting off an unexpected primary challenge from Rep. Robert Andrews (D-N.J.), has put his full team of consultants and operatives to work early ensuring that nothing gets in the way of him serving another term.

[IMGCAP(1)]Advising Lautenberg on general strategy, media and direct mail are the two Democratic titans of Garden State consulting, Steve DeMicco and Brad Lawrence, via their New Brunswick firm Message & Media.

Joel Benenson, another veteran of Democratic campaigns in New Jersey, is Lautenberg’s pollster. Benenson’s Democratic firm, Benenson Strategy Group, has offices in New York and Washington, D.C.

The Katz Watson Group, a Democratic fundraising firm based in the District, is helping Lautenberg raise money, as is Democratic fundraising consultant Tracy Sturman, who is well-connected in California.

Brendan Gill is Lautenberg’s campaign manager. Gill was the statewide field director for Sen. Bob Menendez’s (D-N.J.) 2006 campaign. Kelly Maer, another Menendez campaign veteran, is serving as Lautenberg’s finance director.

Julie Roginsky is serving as communications director. Roginsky is a veteran of now-Rep. Albio Sires’ (D-N.J.) 2006 special election campaign. Sires ran for the seat vacated by Menendez when Menendez was appointed to the Senate by Gov. Jon Corzine (D).

Lautenberg’s Internet consultant is Michael Aaron Flicker of XenoPsi Media. XenoPsi is based in Ridgewood, N.J, and advises several corporate clients throughout the country and around the globe.

Be Very Quiet. I’m Hunting Johanns. Lisa Hannah, a veteran of Democratic campaigns in Nebraska, has been enlisted by the state party to track presumptive Republican Senate nominee Mike Johanns.

Johanns recently began crisscrossing Nebraska to stump for votes as he seeks to succeed Sen. Chuck Hagel (R), who is retiring. According to the Johanns’ campaign, Hannah has shown up at Johanns’ campaign events equipped with a video camera as she records the former governor and ex-Agriculture secretary’s every move in a race that he is heavily favored to win.

Hannah previously tracked the actions of Rep. Adrian Smith (R-Neb.), a freshman representing the 3rd district, via the Internet blog Smith Watch.

The Democratic Senate primary, set for May 13, is a contested affair between wealthy businessman Tony Raimondo and Scott Kleeb, who ran for Congress in the 3rd district in 2006. Johanns will face the winner of that contest in November.

Benson for Congress, Take Two. Diane Benson, the Democratic nominee for Alaska’s at-large seat in 2006, is running again — and this time the incumbent, Rep. Don Young (R), is highly vulnerable.

But Young’s status as a top Democratic target has created a contested Democratic primary, and Benson must first win the Aug. 26 primary before setting her sights on the Congressman, who faces heavy competition in the GOP primary.

Advising Benson are two recognized Democratic firms based in Washington, D.C.: Lake Research Partners for polling and Strother-Duffy-Strother for media and communications.

“We’re excited about the team we’ve built. These firms have experience winning competitive elections like this one,” Benson said in a statement.

Littlefield, Big Field. Republican strategist Brent Littlefield has left Political Solutions, a firm that he co-owned, to open Littlefield & Associates Consulting, where he will focus on advising GOP candidates and free-market-advocacy organizations.

Littlefield describes his new company as a “full-service political communications firm.” Past clients of his include Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), the Republican National Committee and the National Federation of Independent Business.

Littlefield & Associates has offices in Alexandria, Va.

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