Shop Talk: What Would Walter Reuther Say?

Posted January 27, 2010 at 4:09pm

In an effort to get liberal candidates the best bang for their buck, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee has launched an online network of potential staffers willing to supply campaigns with labor cheaper than what political consultants typically charge.

[IMGCAP(1)]Perhaps best known for its adamant support of the public insurance option in the recent health care debate, the PCCC sponsored television advertisements hitting Democratic Sens. Ben Nelson (Neb.) and Max Baucus (Mont.) and Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) for their roles in the legislation. But now they’re taking on the political consulting class, according to founder Adam Green, with the aim of undercutting the costs of typical political consultants with a network of “regular people— talent on the Internet.

“Our goal is to ensure that progressive candidates aren’t paying old school consultants extremely high costs for services that regular people can provide for free or at lower costs,— said Green, a former staffer for MoveOn.org.

So far, Green reports, PCCC has signed up almost 1,000 people for the Next Generation of Talent initiative, including hundreds of applicants with experience in fundraising, campaign management, video editing, media pitching and ad placement. Green also said PCCC — named to sound like the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee — vets applicants to determine who will be recommended to their forthcoming list of candidates they have endorsed as qualified and “progressive.—

After all, the database of willing staffers was good enough for PCCC. Instead of hiring a high-end ad design firm to draw up a full-page advertisement for the New York Times in September, Green offered the job to his group’s online community of contacts — and he found 24-year-old Drew McConville from Massachusetts. With McConville’s help, the ad cost PCCC only about $3,000 to make — significantly less, Green said, than what an ad firm would charge.

Climb Every Lamontagne. Attorney Ovide Lamontagne (R) has retained Jim Innocenzi to do media for his bid for the open Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), according to a source familiar with the contract.

Innocenzi worked on Lamontagne’s 1996 gubernatorial campaign, which he lost to now-Sen. Jeanne Shaheen

(D-N.H.). Innocenzi, of Sandler-Innocenzi, has worked on several successful campaigns, for Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and former Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho).

Lamontagne has also hired political director Jill Neunaber, formerly a regional field director for Sen.-elect Scott Brown’s (R-Mass.) special election campaign. Neunaber also worked for the Republican National Committee on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s 2009 bid, as well as in Iowa and Florida for the 2008 presidential campaign of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R).

Lamontagne is one of several GOP candidates running in the September primary for Gregg’s seat. The field includes former state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte and businessmen Bill Binnie and Jim Bender. The likely Democratic nominee is Rep. Paul Hodes (N.H.).

Schlapp & Knapp. Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.) recently announced top campaign staff for his Senate bid, and it includes many operatives who worked on his successive re-election bids to the House. The eight-term Congressman faces Rep. Jerry Moran in the August GOP primary.

General consultant Matt Schlapp served as political director under former President George W. Bush and as a regional political director for his 2000 campaign for the White House.

Campaign manager Chuck Knapp has served in that role for three of Tiahrt’s House re-election bids, and he managed Moran’s first bid for the House in 1996.

Deputy campaign manager Josh Bell is another alumnus of Tiahrt’s previous campaigns, having served in the same role and as field director in his House races since 2002.

Communications Director Michelle Schroeder served in the same role for ex-Rep. Jim Ryun (R-Kan.) and ran the former Congressman’s district office.

Political Director Mark Dugan was Tiahrt’s field director in his 2008 re-election bid to the House.

Finance Director Alisha Kirby is a veteran of fundraising firms in Kansas and Missouri.

Saul in a Day’s Work. Former Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis has joined the GOP firm Revolvis Consulting as vice president of online strategy.

A former candidate for Republican National Committee chairman, Anuzis is known for his online acumen. Citing Anuzis’ Internet know-how, RNC Chairman Michael Steele has tapped him to serve on a couple of committees focused on technological innovation.

For Anuzis and Revolvis founder Jason Roe, the ties run deeper than contracts. Roe reports he and Anuzis were next-door neighbors growing up in Michigan’s 7th district. Appropriately, Revolvis boasts at least one Michigan client: Attorney Tom Rooney (R) in the 7th district.

The Men Between the Lines. Former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie has been named chairman of the Republican State Leadership Committee, a caucus of Republicans focused on electing GOP candidates for lieutenant governor and down the ballot. Former Rep. Tom Reynolds (N.Y.), who spent two cycles as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, will serve as vice chairman and focus on redistricting for the RSLC.

“Having worked in federal and state elections, I understand the importance of the state legislative races in the year before redistricting,— Gillespie said in a statement from the RSLC.

No Longer in the Dailey Grind. Matthew Parker of Matthew D. Parker and Associates has parted ways with 2008 GOP nominee Fred Dailey’s campaign for Rep. Zack Space’s (D-Ohio) 18th district seat.

Parker called Dailey “one of the finest men I have ever met— but said state Sen. Bob Gibbs (R) was “clearly emerging as the frontrunner— and is the candidate best suited to challenge Space.

“We were unable to overcome the same challenges that existed in 2008 when Fred lost to Zack Space by 20 percent,— Parker wrote in an e-mail. “Most importantly, fundraising was continuing to be a major problem.—

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