Shop Talk: The Winner’s Circle

Posted February 3, 2010 at 6:16pm

Just like the candidates, some consultants did better than others in the Feb. 2 primaries in Illinois.

[IMGCAP(1)]For the Democrats, Chicago-based media firm Adelstein Liston and direct-mail firm the Strategy Group were big winners with clients such as newly minted Senate nominee Alexi Giannoulias and marketing consultant Dan Seals, the party’s nominee in the open-seat race in the 10th district.

Seals also used polling firm Anzalone Liszt Research ‘ the same firm doing a victory lap for helping Gov. Pat Quinn (D) barely win his primary on Tuesday. Giannoulias used Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research for his polling.

The runner-up in the Democratic primary, former Chicago Inspector General David Hoffman, used Geoffrey Garin as his pollster and AKPD Message and Media, the firm founded by top White House adviser David Axelrod.

Rep. Mark Kirk, the Republican Senate nominee, used Larry McCarthy of McCarthy Marcus Hennings for media and Greg Strimple of Fulcrum Strategies for polling, according to top campaign aide Eric Elk. GOP consultant Jason Roe was also on board.

Kirk’s chief primary opponent, real estate developer Patrick Hughes, enlisted Faulkner Strategies to do his mail, Marsh Copsey and Associates to do his television and Tara Emory to be his finance director.

Parker Griffith Can’t Lose. Or Can He? When Rep. Parker Griffith (Ala.) announced in December that he was switching parties to join the GOP, his team of Democratic consultants split. Just over one month later, he’s brought on a new team of GOP consultants to manage his re-election bid:

Amber Burton of Capital Strategies will do political action committee fundraising for Griffith.

Erik Potholm of SRCP Media will be his new media consultant, and Jim McLaughlin of McLaughlin & Associates will be his new pollster.

Gordon Reese of Innovative LLC will do direct mail for Griffith.

Griffith boasted a top-notch team of Democratic consultants before he switched parties, including pollster Fred Yang of Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group, media consultant Jim Duffy of Murphy Putnam Media and fundraiser Lindsay Angerholzer of Sutters Mill.

Landing at Jamestown. Jason Miller has been named a partner and executive vice president at Jamestown Associates. Miller will manage Jamestown’s Washington, D.C., office.

A one-time chief of staff to former Rep. Ric Keller (R-Fla.), Miller also served as the national deputy communications director for former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s 2008 presidential bid. Most recently, Miller worked for the crisis communications firm Dezenhall Resources. It’s a practice that Miller was well-suited for after working with several politicians who were no stranger to crisis: He managed Jack Ryan’s (R) aborted 2004 Senate bid against now-President Barack Obama, and he served as deputy chief of staff to South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) ‘ although that was two years before the governor publicly admitted his marital infidelity.

‘Things would have been handled much, much differently with Sanford if I had been working for him when things blew up ‘ we’ll leave it at that,’ Miller quipped.

Dodd’s Departures. Less than a month after Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) announced he would retire rather than run in an uphill re-election battle in 2010, much of the top-notch staff he brought on for the effort have already landed new gigs.

Dodd’s campaign manager, Jay Howser, has joined Ohio Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher’s (D) bid for Senate. Howser replaced former Fisher manager Geri Prado, who has left the campaign.

Connecticut Democratic Party spokeswoman Colleen Flanagan has moved over to Dodd’s official Senate office in Hartford. Once a spokeswoman for Dodd on his failed 2008 presidential bid, Flanagan has also served in the press office of Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.).

Mark Your Calendar ‘ and Theirs. Want to know about all the political events in town today? How about those that are coming three months from now?

The BizBash Masterplanner Web site ‘ masterplanneronline.com/washington ‘ has gotten a facelift and a new management team and is trying to become the premier source for party events in Washington, D.C. A week’s worth of events on the site are free ‘ and an annual subscription gets you premium information and long-term planning.

The site is the brainchild of David Adler, founder and CEO of BizBash Media ‘ best known in these parts as the entrepreneur behind the old Washington Dossier magazine and co-creator of the White House Correspondents Insider Web site (WHCInsider.com). His BizBash Masterplanner sites have been a hit in New York and Los Angeles, but the D.C. site never got much attention.

Now Adler has teamed with Shelley Hymes, a former Republican operative who runs Angel Enterprises, an event-planning firm, to reboot the operation.

Browsing the site for today’s activities alone, you can learn about the Congressional prayer breakfast, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke’s appearance at the National Press Club, a reception for the National Democratic Jewish Council at Patton Boggs, and an event sponsored by the Women & Politics Institute at American University ‘ just to name a few.

Josh Kurtz contributed to this report.

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