Campaign Insider

Dem consultant Rich Savage remembered by friends, colleagues

by Sean J. Miller / May 21 2013

The political industry is grappling with the death this week of Virginia Democratic consultant Rich Savage, who is being remembered as a “class act” devoted to his twin daughters.

Savage’s death Sunday has shaken the consulting community from Virginia to New Jersey to Texas and Illinois, where a regional meeting of the American Association of Political Consultants in Chicago took a somber tone after the news broke.

“There was nothing boilerplate about Rich,” Ed Traz,

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Precision offers Obama 'expertise' but not data

by Sean J. Miller / May 10 2013

Precision, the new firm founded by three top Obama campaign staffers, can offer clients their hard-won expertise but not the data or algorithms that the president’s team used to target voters.

Teddy Goff, who together with Stephanie Cutter and Jen O’Malley Dillon founded the firm, says that shouldn’t matter to clients, who wouldn’t be able to use that information even if they did get access to it.

“The fact is that that data wouldn't be

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Republican consultants launch Latino Edge Research

by Sean J. Miller / May 06 2013

Two Republican consulting shops have joined forces to create a Latino-focused polling firm.

John Nienstedt of Competitive Edge Research and Communication (CERC) and Hector Barajas of California-headquartered Revolvis are together offering their services under the banner of Latino Edge Research. 

According to a release, Nienstedt, who is Mexican-American, will head up research while Barajas, a native of East Los Angeles, will focus on messaging.

Jason Roe, a principle at Revolvis, said the new endeavor fills

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Who’s to blame for the GOP’s Golden failure?

Who’s to blame for the GOP’s Golden failure?

by Sean J. Miller / May 06 2013

In California, some Republican consultants are getting rich while their party sinks to new depths of electoral failure. At least, that’s how Shawn Steel sees it.

Steel, a Republican National Committeeman and former head of the state GOP, is pointing the finger at the paid help for the (largely negative) electoral outcomes of his party’s candidates in recent years.  

“In California we have the worst of the worst and the slowest of the slow,”

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America Rising: Not your father’s research firm

America Rising: Not your father’s research firm

by Sean J. Miller / Apr 30 2013

Matt Rhoades, Joe Pounder and Tim Miller are out to bring their party's research infrastructure into the digital age. 

Having been schooled by the 2012 cycle, these strategists are now shopping their services to campaigns, committees and PACs. Their pitch is simple: We’re not your father’s opposition research firm.

“You have to have a way to translate the field research -- the going out to the courthouse and, metaphorically speaking, digging through the trash --

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Murder of Dem strategist rocks North Carolina consulting world

by Sean J. Miller / Apr 25 2013

The murder of a young North Carolina political consultant has shaken her colleagues and left many wondering what could have led to the attack that also wounded her husband.

Jameson “Jamie” Hahn, who ran Sky Blue Strategies, died early Wednesday from stab wounds sustained in an attack Monday night. Police told the News & Observer the suspect is Jonathan Broyhill, a 31-year-old employee of Sky Blue. He’s accused of stabbing Hahn, 29, and her

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COO at top Democratic polling firm steps down

by Geordy Boveroux / Apr 24 2013

Howard Briskin, the longtime chief operating officer at the Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research (GQRR), is stepping down at the end of this month.

In an email Tuesday, GQRR announced the move and thanked Briskin “for his many contributions to the firm. We wish him every success in his new endeavor.”

No word from the company on where Briskin is headed next and he didn’t immediately respond to an email request from C&E.

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Stoneridge Group adds new digital strategist

by Geordy Boveroux / Apr 24 2013

The Stoneridge Group, a Georgia-based Republican consulting firm, has announced the hiring of a new senior digital strategist in Anthony Bonna.

Formerly the Florida director at Harris Media, Bonna will work out of The Stoneridge Group’s Orlando office, expanding the firm's regional reach ahead of the 2014 election cycle.

“My biggest passion is electing conservative Republicans nationwide and The Stonridge Group has a lot of exciting opportunities to do that in the next couple election

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Cyrus Krohn: RNC post-election report raised ‘more questions’

by Sean J. Miller / Apr 19 2013

The recent report commissioned by the Republican National Committee raises “more questions than answers,” according to Cyrus Krohn, who led the GOP’s digital operations in the 2008 cycle.

Krohn left the RNC in 2009, less than two years after he was brought on to revamp the committee’s online infrastructure. He’s since founded Crowdverb, a digital outreach and advocacy firm.

The RNC post-2012 election report, issued last month, contained a potpourri of suggestions for

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Romney strategist: We were two years behind Obama

Romney strategist: We were two years behind Obama

by Sean J. Miller / Apr 18 2013

It would have taken Mitt Romney’s campaign an extra two years to match the digital infrastructure assembled by President Obama’s reelection effort. 

That’s according to Warner Jones, who was the digital program manager on Romney’s presidential bid. During a panel at C&E’s CampaignTech conference in Washington on Thursday, Jones said his team needed between nine and 24 months to catch up to Obama’s online organization. Part of the reason they were so far behind was

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NRCC to launch ‘digital college’ to train Hill staffers

NRCC to launch ‘digital college’ to train Hill staffers

by Sean J. Miller / Apr 18 2013

The National Republican Congressional Committee is starting a “digital college” for Hill staffers in an effort to improve the GOP’s online outreach.

The program, which begins in May, will train House staffers who do campaign work in setting up webpages, conducting email outreach and navigating Google AdWords. And to make sure it sinks in, the staffers’ bosses will be held accountable by the NRCC for their development.

“We’re prioritizing that at the top so that

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The end of the viral campaign video?

by Geordy Boveroux / Apr 18 2013

Is having to click on a YouTube video just too much of an ask for voters? BuzzFeed’s Viral Politics Editor Benny Johnson thinks it just may be.

Speaking on a panel at C&E’s CampaignTech conference on Thursday, Johnson said the viral campaign video is “on its way out.”

“It requires a click,” Johnson said. “And do I really have 15 seconds to devote to watching this ad [before the video]?”

Johnson spoke alongside Slate’s Dave

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