Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 13, 2016

Posts in "Shop Talk"

November 3, 2015

Sanders Consultants Carving Out Risky ‘Outsider’ Niche

Two Sanders consultants are likely hurting their chances of getting business from Senate Democrats. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sanders ‘ top consultants have also signed on to two Senate contenders who are running in primaries against candidates endorsed by national Democrats. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Four of Sen. Bernard Sanders’ top consultants are carving out a niche for themselves for 2016 — working for upstart Democratic candidates who rankle the party establishment.

Tad Devine, Julian Mulvey and Mark Longabaugh — as well as Sanders’ pollster, Ben Tulchin, are also working for two Democratic Senate candidates who are not the pick of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Democratic strategists say it’s a move that could either pay huge dividends if those candidates were to win, or could burn bridges with party insiders who could shut off the spigot for future business.

Full story

October 22, 2015

Jesse Benton Acquitted in Campaign Fraud Case

A former aide to Paul was acquitted on charges that he lied to FBI agents. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

A former aide to Paul was acquitted on charges that he lied to FBI agents. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Jesse Benton, a longtime ally of Sen. Rand Paul, was acquitted Thursday on charges tied to a campaign fraud case surrounding former Rep. Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign, according to the Des Moines Register.

Benton was caught up in a scandal, in which a former Iowa state senator admitted to taking $73,000 in payments from Ron Paul’s presidential campaign in exchange for switching his endorsement to Paul from then-Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. Benton had served as Paul’s campaign chairman in 2012, but maintained his innocence in the ordeal.

Full story

October 1, 2015

DSCC Promotes Sadie Weiner to Communications Director

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., is chairman of the DSCC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., is chairman of the DSCC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee will promote Sadie Weiner to communications director next week, putting her in charge of the committee’s communication strategy for the 2016 cycle, according to a release provided first to CQ Roll Call.

Weiner will assume the role on Oct. 8 after current Communications Director Justin Barasky leaves the DSCC for Priorities USA, the super PAC supporting former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Full story

July 29, 2015

House Democrats Going Good Cop, Bad Cop Against GOP

The DCCC, led by Luján, right, and DPCC, led by Isreal, left, are teaming up on an ambitious August project. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The DCCC, led by Luján, right, and DPCC, led by Israel, are teaming up on an ambitious August project. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democrats met Wednesday to review an ambitious new plan to target Republicans when lawmakers head home for the August recess.

The strategy — devised jointly over the past few months by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Democratic Policy and Communications Committee — is part of an effort to “make the case locally that Republicans and their misguided priorities are failing hardworking Americans across the country,” DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., said in a statement to CQ Roll Call. Full story

Tech Experts: Expect Innovation, Investment on Established Platforms for 2016

Political tech experts expect investment in established platforms. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two weeks before Scott Walker announced his presidential bid, he set up a Snapchat account so followers could get a behind-the-scenes look at the Wisconsin governor grilling brats and singing karaoke. When Hillary Rodham Clinton held her first major campaign rally of the cycle on Roosevelt Island in New York, she live-streamed it on Periscope so supporters could tune in from afar.

As candidates utilize the latest social media platforms ahead of the 2016 elections to expand their potential reach with voters, political and technology experts say they should be investing the most in the older guard (relatively speaking) technologies, led by email and established giants such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Ads. Full story

June 12, 2015

Operative Gets 2 Years in First Campaign-Super PAC Coordination Case (Updated)

Harber worked for a candidate trying to oust Connolly, above, from his Virginia House seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Harber worked for a candidate trying to oust Connolly, above, from his Virginia House seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:35 p.m. | Tyler Harber, a former Republican political operative, was sentenced to two years in prison for his involvement in illegal coordination between a campaign and a super PAC, according to The Washington Post, in the first case of its kind.

Harber — who pleaded guilty to the charges in February — is the first political operative to go down for an illegal coordination violation, according to federal prosecutors. Those prosecutors lobbied for a harsh punishment to try to deter others from engaging in similar activities.

Full story

By Emily Cahn Posted at 12:58 p.m.
FEC, Shop Talk, Super PACs

June 11, 2015

Putnam Partners Hires Longtime DCCC Aide

Kevin McKeon, a Democratic operative who spent four cycles as an aide at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, will join Putnam Partners as a senior vice president, according to an announcement provided first to CQ Roll Call.

“Kevin is an accomplished campaign strategist with the experience to help our candidates and other clients run smarter and more effective campaigns” Mark Putnam, the firm’s founding partner, said in a release. “Kevin brings years of experience at the DCCC helping win tough data driven and aggressive campaigns using the latest technology and analytics.”

Full story

June 4, 2015

America Rising Hires Three for 2016

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Rep. Howard Berman speaks with staff as they try to keep the prying eyes of a tracker away in 2012. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican opposition research firm America Rising will announce Thursday three new additions to its senior leadership team for the 2016 cycle, as well as a handful of promotions, according to a release provided first to CQ Roll Call.

“America Rising is heading into the 2016 cycle equipped with one of the best teams of researchers and analysts in the game today,” Joe Pounder, president of America Rising, said in a statement. “Many of these individuals helped establish America Rising’s success last cycle, and with their leadership, we will be holding Democrats and the left accountable in 2016.”

Full story

June 2, 2015

DNC’s Mo Elleithee Leaving Politics for Georgetown

Elleithee is leaving politics. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Elleithee said he is leaving politics “to learn how to do it better.” (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Mo Elleithee, communications director for the Democratic National Committee, announced in a post on Medium Tuesday that he’s leaving the DNC to serve as executive director of the newly created Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service at the McCourt School of Public Service.

“I’m leaving politics to learn how to do it better,” Elleithee wrote. “And I’m counting on young people to show me how.” Full story

May 27, 2015

Veteran Democratic Consultants Launch New Media Firm

Ken Morley and Philip de Vellis, two longtime Democratic political operatives, have joined forces to launch Beacon Media — a Democratic media consulting firm based in Washington, D.C.

“We formed Beacon Media to provide Democratic candidates and issue advocacy groups with advertising that combines groundbreaking creative with a solid strategic foundation that leverages the latest delivery technology to reach voters in today’s fractured media landscape,” de Vellis said in a news release, provided to CQ Roll Call.

Full story

May 13, 2015

A Democratic Consultant in the Middle of Baltimore’s Recovery

From left, McKenna, Hettleman and Hayes chat at the Penn North Plaza in Baltimore on May 5. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

From left, McKenna, Hettleman and Hayes chat at the Penn North Plaza in Baltimore. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

RollCall-On-the-Road-Logo(150x150)BALTIMORE — On a sunny Tuesday morning one week after riots and looting upended the city, Democratic media consultant Martha McKenna was feverishly typing on a laptop at her dining room table, which was half-covered in various printed lists and Maryland Food Bank invoices, with a cellphone balanced between her ear and shoulder.

It’s the same table elected officials gathered around after the city’s curfew in the days following the riots to strategize how to deliver food and supplies to neighborhoods that had lost their already scarce shopping options to the destruction.

Full story

May 4, 2015

Ad Man Scott Howell Back At It After Cardiac Arrest

Howell is back at work after suffering cardiac arrest in January. (Photo courtesy Scott Howell)

Howell is back at work after suffering cardiac arrest in January. (Photo courtesy Scott Howell)

Scott Howell doesn’t remember Jan. 25.

As the prominent GOP ad maker later learned from his family, he went to church that morning, then to lunch with his in-laws before settling back at his house in Dallas to watch “Mission Impossible III” with his wife, Julie, and daughter, Madeleine. Then, his heart stopped. Full story

April 29, 2015

NRSC Hires General Counsel for 2016

Wicker is chairman of the NRSC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Senatorial Committee hired Matthew Raymer as general counsel to advise the committee and its candidates on legal matters for the 2016 election cycle.

Raymer comes to the NRSC from the law firm BakerHostetler, where he worked as an attorney since 2008 focusing on campaign finance and election law. While there, Raymer served as counsel for the Republican State Leadership Committee, which works to elect Republicans to state legislatures across the country.

Full story

March 19, 2015

EMILY’s List Names VP of Independent Expenditures

Stephanie Schriock is president of EMILY's List. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Stephanie Schriock is president of EMILY’s List. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

EMILY’s List named Lucinda Guinn vice president of independent expenditures for the 2016 cycle, according to a release provided first to CQ Roll Call.

In this role, Guinn will be tasked with running the Women Vote! program, which spends millions of dollars in support of the group’s endorsed gubernatorial, Senate and House candidates. An EMILY’s List aide said Guinn will also oversee potential spending in targeted state-level races that could impact redistricting in 2020.

Full story

March 17, 2015

Former Schumer Aide Expected to Join Clinton Camp

Brian Fallon is reportedly joining the likely Clinton presidential campaign. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Fallon is reportedly joining the likely Clinton presidential campaign. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Brian Fallon, a former Capitol Hill aide, is expected to be named as a prominent spokesman for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s likely presidential campaign.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that Fallon, now the director of public affairs at the Department of Justice, will be the “lead press secretary” on the quickly growing Clinton team. Full story

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