Landrieu Hires Former Stevens Spokesman

Posted January 12, 2009 at 5:35pm

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) has hired former Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) communications director, Aaron Saunders, to serve as her press secretary, her office announced Monday.

Saunders most recently served as spokesman for Stevens during the Alaska lawmaker’s failed 2008 re-election campaign. He formerly served as communications director for the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee under Stevens’ chairmanship.

Saunders’ tenure as Stevens’ communications director coincided with a difficult period in the lawmaker’s career, one that was marked by a series of scandals involving his use of earmarks to steer billions of dollars to Alaska, as well as a federal investigation and subsequent trial into allegations that he had violated ethics laws. Stevens was ultimately found guilty last fall.

Prior to working for Stevens, Saunders was public relations manager for the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward. The center found itself in the middle of one of the federal investigations into Stevens’ earmarking activities over the last two years.

The announcement of Saunders’ hiring came as part of a broader staff shuffle in Landrieu’s communications office after the departure of Deputy Chief of Staff Adam Sharp, who has moved to C-SPAN. Landrieu, a moderate Democrat, just secured a third Senate term.

Landrieu also announced that her press secretary Stephanie Allen would become her new communications director, while Marni Goldberg has been named deputy communications director in her personal office and press secretary for the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Disaster Recover.

Landrieu’s campaign press secretary Scott Schneider also has been named communications director for the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee.

“I am very proud of the reputation my communications department has earned over the last several years. My staff has always strived to be thorough, accurate, and timely, and with a team veteran at the helm, I expect that dedication to continue now in the 111th Congress,” Landrieu said in a statement.