Skip to content

Enchanted by the Democrats

Matt Farrauto, press secretary to Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) for the past three years, is hitting the road next week to become communications director for the New Mexico Democratic Party. He joins a new regime there, soon to be led by the presumptive new state Democratic Chairman, John Wertheim, a lawyer and one-time Congressional nominee against then-Rep. Steve Schiff (R-N.M.). Wertheim has the blessing of Gov. Bill Richardson (D) and is expected to be formally elected on April 24.

Farrauto’s began working in politics for Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), first in the Badger State, then on Capitol Hill. In 2000, he worked for former Sen. Bill Bradley’s (D-N.J.) presidential campaign, primarily in Iowa and Missouri.

After Bradley dropped out, Farrauto

worked for unsuccessful Senate candidate Jan Backus (D) in Vermont and a state Supreme Court candidate in Ohio. While he worked for Sherman, he took unpaid leave and vacation time to work for Congressional candidate Joe Courtney (D) in Connecticut in 2002 and against the recall of then-California Gov. Gray Davis (D) in 2003 — a cause that was near and dear to Sherman’s heart.

Strangest of Bedfellows. The team that worked to bring California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) to Sacramento last fall — and the team that worked to keep him out of the Capitol — have joined forces to oppose a November ballot measure in the Golden State.

Opponents of a proposition to tack a surcharge on telephone bills to pay for emergency medical care have hired Schwarzenegger’s top political lieutenants, Mike Murphy and Todd Harris, according to The Sacramento Bee.

They have also hired most of vanquished former Gov. Gray Davis’ (D) political team: Garry South, Davis’ general strategist; pollster Paul Maslin; media consultant David Doak, and opposition researcher Ace Smith.

South told the Bee that the Republican and Democratic political operatives have one thing in common: they all dislike the consultant who has been hired to pass the phone surcharge measure, Richie Ross.

Ross is the top consultant to California Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante (D).

While elected at the same time as Davis in 1998, Bustamante, you’ll recall, had a strained relationship with the ex-governor — some of it born of the Davis’ team’s animosity toward Ross and vice-versa. That condition was exacerbated when Bustamante jumped into the recall election last fall, finishing a distant second to Schwarzenegger.

South hinted that the bipartisan consulting team could work together again some day.

Palmetto Picks. The South Carolina Republican Party elected its officers at its annual state convention last week.

Businessman Katon Dawson was re-elected state party chairman by acclimation. He has held the post for two years.

Also re-elected were Republican National Committeewoman Cindy Costa, Republican National Committeeman Buddy Witherspoon and First Vice Chairwoman Alexia Newman.

New members of the party leadership include Second Vice Chairman Ron Thomas and Third Vice Chairman Mike Ferrer.

Easy Being Green. The Green Party of the United States has hired a new national fundraising director and a new political director for its Washington, D.C., office.

Kara Mullen is the new fundraising director. She is a former board member and vice president of government relations at the Silicon Valley Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals in the San Francisco Bay area.

“I finally found a paid fundraising position in which I didn’t have to compromise my values and I can wear my heart on my sleeve,” Mullen said.

Brent McMillan takes over as the Greens’ political director. He is a co-founder of the Green Party of Seattle and the Green Party of Washington state. In 2003, McMillan ran unsuccessfully for the newly formed Seattle Monorail Board, though he was endorsed by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Anniversary Dinner. BAMPAC, Black America’s Political Action Committee, the only PAC dedicated to electing black Republicans to Congress and other offices, is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a gala dinner at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) is scheduled to be the keynote speaker.

BAMPAC is aiding several candidates this year, including Georgia businessman Herman Cain, who is seeking the Republican Senate nomination; Oregon state Sen. Jackie Winters, who is competing in the GOP primary to challenge Rep. Darlene Hooley (D-Ore.); former Detroit police officer Myrah Kirkwood, who is taking on Rep. Dale Kildee (D-Mich.), and Hempstead, N.Y., Mayor James Garner, the likely GOP nominee against Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.).