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Party Bosses in Deep Trouble in New York and Boston

Massa of the Universe. Eric Massa (D), a former Navy commander who is challenging freshman Rep. Randy Kuhl (R-N.Y.) in the Empire State’s 29th district, has a full complement of consultants on deck.

Massa, a former top aide to retired four-star Gen. Wesley Clark, is using Bob Doyle and Doyle’s Sutter’s Mill Fund Raising and Strategy as his national consultant.

Joe Slade White & Co., which is based in Western New York — though not quite in the 29th district — is the media consultant, and Alan Seacrest will be the pollster.

Ethan Rabin is the campaign’s staff assistant and policy director, and Kellie Jensen is serving as finance director.

Kean and Able. New Jersey state Sen. Tom Kean Jr., the Garden State’s likely Republican nominee for Senate next year, has lured a chief of staff away from Capitol Hill.

Evan Kozlow, who’s been leading the Congressional office of Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.), has signed on as director of Kean’s Senate campaign, the New Jersey Herald reported this week.

Kean launched his campaign assuming that Sen. Jon Corzine (D-N.J.)

will be elected governor of the Garden State this year, therefore setting up a race for a full term against an appointed replacement.

Kean, son of the popular former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean (R), is considered a moderate in the mold of his father, whereas Garrett has enjoyed the support of the conservative Club for Growth.

The Rhode Less Traveled. Cranston Mayor Stephen Laffey, who is challenging Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I.) in next year’s GOP primary, has hired a campaign coordinator.

John Dodenhoff has been tapped to handle the campaign’s day-to-day operations, “doing everything from organizing volunteers and phone banks to running the Web site,” the Providence Journal reported this week.

Dodenhoff began as a volunteer, the paper noted. A campaign manager is still being sought.

Leaving the Hill. Edith Robles has left the Hill to join the Walker Marchant Group.

Robles, who was communications director for Rep. Hilda Solis (D-Calif.) assumes client public relations and media campaign responsibilities for the Washington, D.C.-based boutique communications firm.

Party Bosses Behaving Badly. The head of the Brooklyn Democratic Party was found guilty Tuesday of seeking illegal campaign contributions.

Clarence Norman Jr., a minister, lawyer and state Assemblyman, faces up to eight years in prison at his Nov. 29 sentencing. Because of the conviction, he is forced to resign his legislative seat.

Norman, who has led the party since 1990, was charged with accepting almost $13,000 in donations between his 2000 and 2002 Assembly campaigns from a lobbyist, though the limit for individual contributions in New York is $3,100.

Meanwhile in Boston, the vice chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party was arrested on federal money-laundering charges.

Lawrence Novak, who previously served as party treasurer, was arrested earlier this month for directing illegal drug proceeds into the bank account of a jailed client.

Shades of Gray. Daniel Zingale, a one-time deputy chief of staff to then-California Gov. Gray Davis (D), has now gone to work for the administration of Davis’ successor, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R).

The Sacramento Bee reported on its Web site Wednesday evening that Zingale will become the chief of staff to California’s first lady, Maria Shriver. Donna Lucas, who previously held that post, will remain a senior adviser to Shriver.

Zingale, a prominent gay rights activist, joins Schwarzenegger’s administration at a time when the moderate Republican is under fire from gay groups for his announcement that he will veto a bill to establish same-sex marriage in the Golden State.

In the 1990s, Zingale was director of the AIDS Action Council in Washington, D.C.

Wellstone’s Wins. Want the secrets to the late-Sen. Paul Wellstone’s (D-Minn.) electoral success?

Bill Lofy, communications director of Wellstone Action, has penned “Politics the Wellstone Way: How to Elect Progressive Candidates and Win on Issues.”

The book is touted as a step-by-step guide to grass-roots organizing and campaigning for left-leaning candidates who want to emulate the fiery Senator’s techniques.

Josh Kurtz contributed to this report.

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