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Advantage, Hastings

InsiderAdvantage has purchased the Southern Political Report from Hastings Wyman.

Wyman founded the newsletter in 1978 and has been an authority on Southern politics ever since. He is expected to continue to serve as editor of the publication.

A South Carolina native, Wyman once worked for then-Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) and the Republican National Committee, though his politics have turned left — or at least become more libertarian — since then. Openly gay, he wrote a political column for The Blade, a Washington, D.C., gay newspaper, for several years.

InsiderAdvantage, through its Internet News Agency, owns several political Web sites and newsletters, including Bill Shipp’s Georgia. InsiderAdvantage also does polling, which is syndicated by Creators Syndicate.

Santorum’s Inner Sanctum. Vince Galko has been tapped to run the re-election campaign of Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), the Web site PoliticsPA reported.

Galko leaves his short stint as executive director of the Pennsylvania Republican Party. Last year, he was the state’s deputy executive director for the Bush-Cheney campaign. He also has worked for Santorum and the state’s senior Senator, Republican Arlen Specter.

Scott Migli will leave the New York Assembly Republican Campaign Committee to assume Galko’s executive director duties in Pennsylvania, the political Web site reported.

Pirro-etting Into New York. Westchester County District Attorney Jeanine Pirro (R) has hired three veteran Republican operatives in her bid for the right to challenge Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) next year.

Charles Black is senior campaign adviser, Mark Miller was named a senior adviser and fundraising manager while Chris Mottola will handle media.

Black was an adviser to former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, as well as a spokesman for President Bush’s 2000 campaign.

Miller was deputy finance director for the 1996 presidential campaign of then-Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.). He also was deputy co-chairman of the host committee for last year’s Republican National Convention.

Mottola, whose Philadelphia-based Chris Mottola Consulting is also doing television ads for Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I.) next year, has worked for Dole and the National Republican Senatorial Committee as well as New York Gov. George Pataki (R).

Pirro faces former Yonkers Mayor John Spencer and Ed Cox, son-in-law of the late President Richard Nixon, in the Republican primary.

Butler Gets Help. Republican Senatorial candidate Keith Butler has hired Michigan-based Dickerson-Govan Management to head up his fundraising efforts.

Butler is the early Republican favorite to challenge freshman Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) next year.

McLaughlin Group. McLaughlin and Associates has been hired by Mike Whalen, who’s seeking the Republican nomination in Iowa’s open 1st district race next year.

“Mike Whalen is the type of candidate we like to work with, he has a background of creating jobs and making things happen for his home state,” said John McLaughlin, senior partner at McLaughlin and Associates.

Whalen, in announcing his decision to go with McLaughlin and Associates, noted the firm has worked for California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R); he titled the news release announcing his decision to hire McLaughlin: “Key Advisor of the Governator Joins Whalen Campaign.”

Whalen is one of several Republicans running to succeed Rep. Jim Nussle (R-Iowa), who is vacating his House seat to seek the governorship of the Hawkeye State.

Report to Murphy. Patrick Murphy, the Iraq War veteran who is seeking the Democratic nomination in Pennsylvania’s 8th district, has hired a campaign manager.

Josh Nanberg, who worked for the Kerry-Edwards campaign in Pennsylvania and on the 2000 campaign of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), was tapped for the job.

Pete Giangreco, a partner with the Chicago-based Strategy Group, has signed on as Murphy’s general consultant.

Giangreco worked on the successful Senate campaign of then-state Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) last year. He also was a consultant to the Kerry-Edwards campaign.

Murphy faces last year’s Democratic nominee Ginny Schrader, as well as Coast Guard veteran Paul Lang and former Bucks County Commissioner Andy Warren for the right to face freshman Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) next year.

Georgia on Their Minds. First-time candidate Georgia Berner, who is seeking the Democratic nod in the Keystone State’s 4th district, has almost assembled a complete campaign team in the past month.

Denny Roberge was hired as her general consultant while John Marshall was named campaign manager.

Roberge worked for the 1992 and 1996 Clinton-Gore campaigns as well as the Gore-Lieberman presidential campaign in 2000.

Marshall worked on the campaign of Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D), and in the White House under then-President Bill Clinton.

Doc Sweitzer of The Campaign Group will handle media. His firm’s clients include Rendell, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D), and Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), to name a few.

Lake Snell Perry Mermin/Decision Research will handle polling.

Brian Quinn of the American Fund Raising Group also has signed on while Kimberly Scott will head up the national finance efforts.

Quinn’s team handled Rendell’s fundraising as well as that of Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.). Scott has worked on numerous House and Senate races, including those of Reps. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.) and Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.).

Berner faces former Congressional aide Jason Altmire for the right to challenge Rep. Melissa Hart (R-Pa.) next year.

Big Star in Big Sky Country. A former communications director for the late-Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.) has been hired to run the Montana Democratic Party.

Newly-elected party Chairman Dennis McDonald tapped Jim Farrell to serve as executive director, the Billings Gazette reported Wednesday.

Farrell, who most recently worked in California, succeeds Brad Martin, the longtime executive director who left for a position with the Democratic National Committee.

In 2000, Farrell worked as communications director for former Sen. Bill Bradley’s (D-N.J.) White House campaign, moving to become spokesman for the successful Senate campaign of Mark Dayton (D-Minn.) after Bradley lost the presidential nomination.

After Wellstone’s sudden death in a 2002 plane crash, Farrell became media director for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, then moved to California to work with film director Rob Reiner, who was trying to pass a statewide ballot initiative to provide more state funding for early childhood education.

David M. Drucker contributed to this report.

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