Shop Talk: King Artur’s Court

Posted April 10, 2009 at 4:47pm

Rep. Artur Davis (D-Ala.) has tapped several campaign veterans to help him with his gubernatorial bid in 2010.

[IMGCAP(1)]Jessica Vanden Berg guided Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) to his upset victory in 2006 and will be a strategist for Davis’ campaign before becoming its manager later this year. Vanden Berg’s firm, Maverick Strategies and Mail, will also do direct mail for the campaign.

Additionally, two alumni of President Barack Obama’s campaign have joined the Davis team. P.J. McCann led fundraising for Obama’s Committee for Change, and he also advised freshman Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.) on his successful 2008 bid.

Ami Copeland was the deputy national finance director for the Obama campaign, as well as finance director for Sen. Bill Nelson’s (D-Fla.) 2006 re-election bid.

John Anzalone of Anzalone Liszt Research will continue to do Davis’ polling, and Ben Chao, formerly of Fletcher Rowley Riddle, will do the Congressman’s media.

On the Front Brunner. Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner (D) has put together her team for her Senate bid.

David Dettman will head her campaign, according to a release from the Brunner operation. He most recently directed Progressive Majority’s Ohio office, and he also worked for former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s organization, the National Democratic Institute.

Jennifer Swanson will serve as national finance director. Swanson was national finance director for former Sen. John Edwards’ (D-N.C.) 2008 presidential campaign and worked for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and EMILY’s List.

Nicole Eynard will be Brunner’s in-state finance director. Eynard worked on Sen. Claire McCaskill’s (D-Mo.) successful 2006 race, as well as for former Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes’ (D) unsuccessful bid for Congress in 2008.

Celinda Lake of Lake Research Partners will do polling for Brunner. Lake polls for several Democratic women in the Senate, including Mary Landrieu (La.), Blanche Lincoln (Ark.) and Debbie Stabenow (Mich.).

The Ohio Democrat’s media consultants are Dane Strother and David Heller. Strother has also worked for Landrieu and Lincoln, while Heller has a track record with Ohio Democrats, including Reps. Marcy Kaptur and Dennis Kucinich.

All or Nothing. The David All Group has hired two more staffers to join the conservative new media firm.

Ethan Eilon will be the firm’s manager of political and grass-roots advocacy. Eilon is a former executive director of the College Republican National Committee, plus he led the get-out-the-vote program for the 2004 Republican presidential campaign in Colorado.

Heath Clayton will serve as an executive assistant to David All, president of the firm. A native Texan, Clayton worked in the White House during former President George W. Bush’s administration and for Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas).

Moving Past the American Way. The president and CEO of People for the American Way, Kathryn Kolbert, is leaving the organization to follow a career in “constitutional law, media and entrepreneurship,— according to a release from the left-leaning legal organization.

Kolbert oversaw the group’s “Save the Court— campaign, which aimed to educate the public on Supreme Court nominees. Kolbert is perhaps best known for arguing the well-known case Planned Parenthood vs. Casey before the Supreme Court in 1992.

PFAW board member Michael Keegan will serve as interim president of the organization.

Paxton Romana. Stacie Paxton, the former national spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee, has landed at Hill & Knowlton Inc.

Paxton will serve as vice president of strategic media in Hill & Knowlton’s Washington, D.C., public affairs office. According to a release from the firm, Paxton will advise clients on media strategy and public campaign management.

“The decision to make the jump from politics to the private sector is never easy, but Michael Kehs, who heads the Washington office, convinced me that Hill & Knowlton is the place to be,— Paxton said. “At a time when others are downsizing, Hill & Knowlton is rapidly expanding its business and hiring some of the best talent in Washington.—

As national press secretary, Paxton oversaw day-to-day media operations and strategy at the DNC during the 2006 and 2008 cycles. Before that, she was press secretary for Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and the Minnesota communications director for Sen. John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) 2004 presidential campaign.

Down Pat. Former U.S. Attorney Patrick Meehan (R) announced his campaign team for his 2010 gubernatorial bid in Pennsylvania, which includes national operatives with track records in the Keystone State and several alumni from former Sen. Rick Santorum’s (R-Pa.) team.

• Media consultant Chris Mottola has successfully advised Sen. Arlen Specter’s (R-Pa.) re-elections and worked for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

• Media consultant Mike Hudome is a founding member of Foxhole Productions, which did the creative and production work for McCain’s presidential bid.

• General consultant Craig Snyder is a managing partner at Ikon Public Affairs and was a former chief of staff to Specter.

• Also from Ikon Public Affairs, senior adviser Vince Galko served as campaign manager for Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta’s (R) unsuccessful bid for Congress in 2008, as well as Santorum’s failed re-election bid in 2006.

• Pollster Tony Fabrizio was chief pollster for former Sen. Bob Dole’s (R-Kan.) 1996 presidential campaign, and helped elect and re-elect Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R).

• New media consultant Mindy Finn was the director of eStrategy for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s (R) presidential campaign, and served in a similar role for Santorum in 2006.

• Communications consultant Virginia Davis served as press secretary for Santorum in his 2006 race and worked on Capitol Hill for Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) from 2003 to 2005.

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