Campaign Insider

Bob Shrum takes USC appointment

by Sean J. Miller / Jan 23 2014

The longtime Democratic consultant and speech writer is set to start an academic appointment at the University of Southern California in June.

Shrum, whose career includes stints on the presidential campaigns of John Kerry and Al Gore, promised to parade an array of special guests from the campaign world in front of his undergraduate students. 

“I think one of the great advantages of L.A. is that everyone comes here one time or another. If we’re opportunistic and

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The Gut: Running GOP campaigns since 1854

The Gut: Running GOP campaigns since 1854

by Vincent Harris / Jan 22 2014

In the introduction of Sasha Issenberg’s “The Victory Lab,” he talks with Democratic consultant Steve Rosenthal about how decisions are made on campaigns. Rosenthal was quoted as saying, “Most things are done with only one check.” He defined “one check” as nothing more than an individual’s “gut” instinct.  

Gut instinct continues to be the primary form of decision making within Republican campaigns, some of which spend millions of dollars on inefficient media buys based

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Consultant charged in San Diego conspiracy

by Sean J. Miller / Jan 22 2014

Ravneet "Ravi" Singh was one of two people charged Tuesday with conspiring to help a rich Mexican funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars to the campaigns of mayoral candidates in San Diego in 2012-13.

The candidates aren't named in the documents but two are believed to be District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis (R) and former mayor Bob Filner (D), who were competing in the nonpartisan 2012 mayoral primary.

According to the complaint filed in the U.S.

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Will docu-style TV ads help elect a mayor? 

by Sean J. Miller  / Jan 21 2014

Some candidates, despite their best efforts, have trouble appearing human and relatable to voters. Sam Dealey, a journalist-turned media consultant, thinks docu-style advertising is the remedy. 

"Republicans, particularly, have a problem with just letting candidates be themselves -- whether it's Bob Dole or Mitt Romney," he says. "But after the election, when all the consultants and all the handlers go away, they go on Leno or they go on Letterman and suddenly they're totally different

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It takes a finance committee 

by Brandon Lewis / Jan 17 2014

Finance committees can be rewarding for a campaign, but are often difficult to assemble and their performances are mixed. When helping a candidate assemble one, make sure the members are within the peer group of the individuals they're soliciting. This usually hinges upon a combination of net worth and age similarities. 

Second, finance committee members must have a strong relationship with the candidate or a particular interest in the outcome of the election – it's

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eMerges now accepting Bitcoins 

by C&E Staff / Jan 16 2014

A Maryland voter list company announced its accepting Bitcoins as a form of payment. 

eMerges.com, which is based in Annapolis, said it will now accept Bitcoins from candidates for the purchase of its registered voter lists.

The move shows that the virtual currency, which has a fluctuating value, is gaining credibility in the political world. While some candidates such as Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) have said recently they'll accept Bitcoin donations, the FEC is

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Dem launches Latino outreach firm 

by C&E Staff / Jan 15 2014

Veteran media consultant Roger Salazar has left Mercury to launch a new firm.

The new venture, called ALZA Strategies, will offer services in media relations, crisis communication, campaigns and public affairs, but will also include specific attention to outreach into California’s growing Latino market, according to a release.

"'Alza' is Spanish for 'Rise,'” Salazar said in a statement. “With California’s economy, Latino population and political clout on the rise, ALZA hopes to similarly raise the

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Mercury hires GOP pollsters

by C&E Staff / Jan 13 2014

Mercury has hired GOP pollsters Tony Fabrizio and Bob Ward to direct the bi-partisan firm's "polling capability" for its corporate clients. 

“Their world-class experience offers clients the best in corporate polling, research and analysis," Mercury CEO Kieran Mahoney said in a statement. "Having Tony and Bob as senior counsel to the firm strengthens our comprehensive suite of services at Mercury.”

Both men made their names as the top survey researchers for former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole's

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Arnold Pinkney, consultant for Jesse Jackson in '84, dies 

by C&E Staff / Jan 13 2014

Consultant Arnold Pinkney, who helped elect Dick Celeste governor of Ohio and managed civil rights advocate Jesse Jackson's 1984 presidential campaign, has died.

"With his passing, a huge part of history goes with him," Jackson said Monday.

Pinkney, who was also a successful businessman and political powerbroker in Cleveland, was 83.

From cleveland.com:

Friends said Pinkney had been ill for months. But his influence remained considerable in local politics. Last June he endorsed Armond Budish

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Frank Luntz sells majority stake in polling firm

by C&E Staff / Jan 09 2014

Pollster Frank Luntz has sold a majority partnership interest in his firm, Luntz Global, to MDC Partners Inc. The move came after Luntz, who was name MDC's chief language strategist, told an interviewer: "I'm probably less healthy now than I have ever been in my life." 

In the same interview with The Atlantic, Luntz said he no longer has political contracts. The sale indicates that's unlikely to change as MDC touted the Republican's

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In fundraising, ask to receive 

by Kirsten Borman / Jan 08 2014

Of all the fundraising advice I give, “make the ask” is the phrase I find myself repeating most often. This advice may appear simplistic, but it addresses what is the Achilles’ heel of many candidates and campaign fundraising structures. 

Oftentimes candidates or fundraisers truly believe they are making “the ask” because they're saying all the information regarding their request, but they leave out the part they’re most unfamiliar with. They’re checking all of the seemingly

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How to mine a candidate's fundraising contacts

by Brandon Lewis / Jan 06 2014

Building an effective database is essential to fundraising success, yet it's often overlooked or goes undone because it's technical and time consuming. If your clients skip this step at the beginning of their campaigns, it will cause a significant reduction in fundraising performance for the remainder of the election. Here’s how you can avoid this.

First, pick a simple campaign fundraising software program and compel all of your candidates to use it. If it's not

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