Campaign Insider

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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Campaign pioneer Harry Walter dies in Canada

by C&E Staff  / Jan 03 2014

Harry Walter, whose ads were credited with helping Willy Brandt remain chancellor of West Germany in a 1972 snap federal election, passed away in his sleep Dec. 31 at his ranch in Canada.

He was considered one of the pioneers of European political consulting and one of the first to bring American campaign techniques across the Atlantic. 

A longtime member of the International Association of Political Consultants, he served as the organization's president from 1983

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Fundraisers eye FEC after Rep. Stockman accepts Bitcoins  

Fundraisers eye FEC after Rep. Stockman accepts Bitcoins  

by Sean J. Miller / Jan 03 2014

Despite a lack of clarity from the FEC, at least one prominent Senate candidate is now accepting donations via Bitcoin.

The move has some fundraising experts wondering how the FEC will react. When the commission heard a proposal to allow candidates to accept Bitcoins last November, commissioners were concerned about campaigns collecting the personal data of the donors.

During transactions involving the currency, only the parties' bitcoin addresses are public. The hearing ended

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New Year's resolutions for every campaign

by Jason McDonald / Jan 01 2014

Over the last year, I had the opportunity to interview operatives from around the country as host of the “Getting Elected” podcast. At the end of each interview I like to ask my guest, “What’s the biggest mistake you see campaigns and candidates making over and over?” Based on their answers, here are the four common mistakes that every campaign should resolve to avoid in 2014.

Neglecting to focus on the big picture
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Success outside the Beltway

Success outside the Beltway

by Anne Hathaway / Dec 27 2013

If you're asking yourself whether it makes sense to base your operations outside of the Beltway or set up a regional satellite office, the answer is definitely yes.

Whereas the media power centers are still based in New York and Washington, D.C., the political power centers are rapidly relocating to state capitals.  

I saw this firsthand in the spring of 2011 when then-Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) weighed a potential campaign for president. Reporters

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