Shop Talk: Oliver Twist
Service Employees International Union Communications Director Ramona Oliver has left the organization to start her own firm, Winning Over Washington Strategic Communications. Oliver reports that her clients will include SEIU and some Democratic candidates, as well as other organizations.
[IMGCAP(1)]Oliver had been with the organized labor group since late 2008, when she left her post as communications director for EMILY’s List. Prior to EMILY’s List, Oliver worked with Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) and served as communications director for the Democratic Governors Association.
Shades of Grayson. Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), a lightning rod known for his controversial comments on the House floor, has tapped one of the chief spokesmen for liberal causes to advise his campaign.
Trevor FitzGibbon of FitzGibbon Media and his brother, Senior Account Executive Blair FitzGibbon, have worked with an array of cause célèbres, from Bruce Springsteen to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), and most famously, MoveOn.org.
Grayson is one of the most outspoken and controversial liberals in the House, despite the fact that President Barack Obama carried his central Florida district with only 52 percent of the vote.
Growing Up Brady. Rep. Kevin Brady’s (R-Texas) deputy press secretary, Ryan Tronovitch is leaving his position to take a job at the Republican National Committee. Tronovitch will serve as a regional press secretary at the RNC, which has undergone a major management shake-up in recent weeks because of a spending scandal.
Tronovitch, however, is no stranger to the committee. He served as communications director for the RNC Victory Program during the 2008 presidential campaign. The upstate New York native started his tenure on Capitol Hill as a staff assistant in Rep. Mike Pence’s (R-Ind.) office before working for then-Rep. David Davis (R-Tenn.), who was defeated in a primary last cycle.
Do I Haaften? Rep. Brad Ellsworth’s (D-Ind.) last-minute switch to leave behind his GOP-leaning district to run for the Senate left Democrats with big shoes to fill in his competitive southern Indiana House seat. But Democrats quickly consolidated support behind state Rep. Trent Van Haaften,
who has now acquired some of the top consultants in the business to help him with his campaign against the likely GOP nominee, surgeon Larry Bucshon.
Haaften has tapped John Lapp to do his media, Jim Crounse to do his mail and Fred Yang to do his polling. Yang and Crounse also worked with Ellsworth.
He’s a Bolar, Shot-Caller. Rep. Steve Scalise’s (R-La.) spokesman, Luke Bolar, has left Capitol Hill to join the re-election campaign of Sen. David Vitter (R-La.).
Bolar will serve as the chief spokesman for Vitter after working for Scalise since he won a 2008 special election. Bolar, a native of Iowa, also worked in the press office of Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) for a few years.
Is This Mike On? Rep. Michael McMahon (D-N.Y.) has tapped his Brooklyn office director, Jonathan Yedin, to run his re-election campaign. Yedin will take a leave of absence from his official duties to serve as campaign manager for McMahon, who is in a competitive race for re-election.
Yedin is also the former director of the Kings County Democratic Committee and served as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Brooklyn field director during her 2008 presidential campaign.
Across the Pond. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has tapped two of President Barack Obama’s top campaign advisers to help him with his upcoming election. Brown has hired Joel Benenson and Pete Brodnitz of the Benenson Strategy Group, according to a report by the World Affairs Journal online and confirmed by a representative of the firm.
Benenson and Brodnitz served as the lead pollsters for Obama’s 2008 campaign in addition to doing work on dozens of top Democratic Senate and House races since the firm was founded in 2000.
Hey Bulldog. Fundraiser Scott Dworkin has launched his own finance firm, Bulldog Finance Group, aimed at helping Democratic candidates and progressive causes. According to a press release from the newly formed firm, the group plans to specialize in “internet marketing, social media networking, messaging and event execution.”
The group reports that it has already signed on to work for Rep. Larry Kissell (D-N.C.), Young Democrats of America and candidates running in Florida’s 17th district and for the Maryland state Legislature.
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