Shop Talk: Berringer Straight

Posted March 4, 2009 at 6:28pm

Democratic consultant Daren Berringer — a disciple of well-known Democratic operative Joe Trippi — is striking out on his own to form 3D Political, a full-service general consulting firm.

[IMGCAP(1)]“Winning campaigns, furthering social change and responsibility and being on the cutting edge of this profession will be the mission of 3D Political,— Berringer wrote about his new venture.

Berringer joined Joe Trippi and Associates in 2004 and advised Reps. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.) and John Hall (D-N.Y.) during their successful first bids for Congress in 2006. He was the national field director for former Sen. John Edwards’ (D-N.C.) presidential campaign in 2007.

Texas Two-Step. Media Matters for America President Eric Burns looked to an unlikely place for the group’s next head honcho — outside the Beltway. Burns and Media Matters Chief Executive Officer David Brock were in search of a midcareer professional who could bring private-sector experience to the nonprofit organization, which aims to monitor and correct conservative bias in the media.

“Conservatives have done, historically speaking, a much better job of not only leadership training, but recruiting the best and the brightest … and getting them into the political spectrum,— Burns said.

Burns set his sights on Houston attorney Tate Williams, whom he first met in his fraternity at the University of Texas. Williams, 34, had never worked on a political campaign, but he picked up and moved to Washington, D.C., to be Media Matters’ new chief of staff.

“Part of my role as an attorney in Texas was to correct misinformation one case, one client, one jury at a time,— Williams said in an e-mail. “Eric pitched, in part, coming to Media Matters as a unique opportunity to use the skills that had made me an effective advocate for and counselor to my clients on a broader scale.—

Turning Over a New Leif. The California-based direct-mail firm Dynamic Marketing Inc. has tapped Leif Larson to open its Washington, D.C., office.

Larson comes to DMI from Jamestown Associates, where he was a senior vice president. Larson also has California ties from previous work with former Gov. Pete Wilson (R) and three Members of the Golden State’s Congressional delegation.

Larson started at DMI in December 2008. Erik Brown is the owner of DMI, which services political and corporate clients.

Round Robin. Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D) has tapped her chief of staff to run her Senate campaign in 2010. Carnahan and Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) have announced they are running for retiring Sen. Kit Bond’s seat.

Mindy Mazur ran Carnahan’s victorious 2004 campaign for statewide office, worked on former House Democratic Leader Dick Gephardt’s (Mo.) 2004 presidential bid and worked in Rep. Ike Skelton’s (D-Mo.) Capitol Hill office. She begins on April 1.

Right Said Fred. Kentucky Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo (D) has picked his consulting team for his campaign to unseat Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) next year.

Mongiardo will use pollster Fred Yang of Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group. Yang has a long history of working for Kentucky Democrats, including Mongiardo’s unsuccessful Senate bid in 2004 against Bunning.

Yang also reportedly has ties to the scandal surrounding impeached former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) and, according to the Associated Press, was recorded on several phone calls about how the former governor could make a profit from his appointment to fill President Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat. Yang has not been identified by name in court documents and is not a target of the ongoing federal investigation.

A spokesman for Mongiardo also confirmed that Scott Gale will be his national fundraising consultant, while Christina Gilgor will serve as finance director for the campaign in Kentucky.

According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, which first reported Mongiardo’s team, Bill Knapp and Jay Marlin of Squier Knapp Dunn will be his communications consultants.

A Baker’s Dozen. Republican media firm BrabenderCox has picked up Leslie Gromis Baker as a senior strategy adviser. Baker is an alumni of former President George W. Bush’s campaigns, as well as the Republican Governors Association and former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge’s (R) operation.

Baker will help BrabenderCox clients across the country, according to a press release from the firm.

Shades Of Gray. Three alumni of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential bid have opened what they call a “next-generation advertising firm— called Gray and Partners in Boston.

Firm President Reagan Gray is heading up the new project, along with new partners Karen Albreksten and Jon Patsavos.

“Our business philosophy is simple. We’ve got big agency talent, small agency overhead, and we can deliver on any traditional media or social media campaign, through highly creative print, radio, television, Web 2.0 and guerrilla-marketing solutions,— Gray said. “Simply put, we’re the right combination for today’s economic environment.—

It Takes Tewes, Baby. Paul Tewes announced this week that he and seven other veteran Democratic operatives have launched New Partners Inc., which bills itself as a “new way of doing business— for strategy, communications, grass-roots organizing, research and fundraising consulting.

Joining Tewes is former Democratic National Committee Executive Director Tom McMahon as well as Cara Morris Stern, Benjamin Jones, Dave Hamrick, P.J. McCann, Ami Copeland and Craig Schirmer — all of whom are veteran Democratic campaign operatives who were involved in President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

Tewes and Steve Hildebrand, a former top campaign aide to former Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle (S.D.), were co-founders of the firm Hildebrand Tewes Consulting and were part of the campaign and consulting team that led Obama to the White House. Tewes and Hildebrand took leave from their firm for the campaign, then parted ways and disbanded the company after Obama was elected.

Several of the employees at the new firm, including Morris Stern, Jones and Hamrick, were formerly with Hildebrand Tewes.

Submit campaign staffing news and tips to Shop Talk here.