Keeping Tabs on the Consultants
Keeping track of the Washington's political professional community is a full-time job, but The Fix tries to monitor the comings and goings of pollsters, media advisers, direct-mail pros and others. Here's a look some recent moves in the Democratic consulting world.
* Longtime Democratic direct mail gurus Jim Crounse and Kevin Mack have joined forces to form the Mack Crounse Group. During the 2004 cycle, Crounse and Mack worked in the D.C. office of Winning Directions before breaking off to start their own partnership. Mack previously worked as a regional political director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee; Crounse has been a mainstay in the consulting world for nearly three decades, handling a variety of clients from New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson to Montana Sen. Max Baucus. Karen Petel, a former campaign director at the DCCC, is also joining the firm. The firm's clients for 2006 include Richardson, state Sen. Rod Smith, who is running for governor in Florida and state Auditor John Morrison, one of two Montana Democrats seeking to oust Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.) next November.
* Two Capitol Hill veterans now working for the United Nations Foundation are forming Point Blank Public Affairs. Debra DeShong, who has done press for the 2004 presidential campaign of Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry (D) as well as former Sen. Robert Torricelli (N.J.). and Amy Weiss, a former communications director at the Democratic National Committee, will be the foundation of the new firm, which will formally launch early next year. Weiss will be based in Washington, D.C., DeShong in Florida. The company will focus on "strategic counseling, crisis communications, message development, advocacy and general public affairs work," according to an e-mail sent by Weiss.
* The Democratic media consulting firm Strother Duffy Strother has changed its name to Strother Duffy Shelton. The change is for George Shelton, the former communications director at the Democratic Governors Association who has been with the firm since 2001. The other name partners are Dane Strother and Jim Duffy. The "other" Strother is Raymond, who founded the company in 1976 and is a legend in the world of Democratic consultants. Ray Strother is still affiliated with the firm (The Fix originally said he is is taking a less active role, but George Shelton e-mailed late Wednesday to say Ray Strother will actually be more involved in the organization's work than during the 2004 cycle). Among their clients: state Sen. Dina Titus, who is running for the open Nevada gubernatorial seat, and Alabama Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley (D), who is seeking a promotion to the state's to job in 2006.
November 30, 2005; 1:55 PM ET
Categories: Democratic Party , Political Pros
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