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The Postman Always Rings Twice

Two Republican operatives have joined forces to launch Politicalink, a firm specializing in direct-mail services for state and federal candidates.

Based in Richmond, Va., the company is anchored by Greg Capelli and Ben Mitchell. [IMGCAP(1)]

The two bill their firm as one that provides “unmatched service … producing award caliber mail that ensures our clients are sending the right message to the right people at the right time.”

Capelli’s political career began on Rep. Shelley Moore Capito’s (R-W.Va.) successful 2000 House campaign. In 2001, he went to work for Creative Direct, a Republican direct-mail firm based in Richmond, where he resides.

Capelli has created mail for more than 200 campaigns in 28 states, including House Chief Deputy Minority Whip Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) 2002, 2004 and 2006 victories, and November’s wins by Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) and Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.).

Mitchell, who is based in Washington, D.C., plans to hit the road soon to meet with potential clients. He has managed several campaigns, including Rep. Mike Rogers’ (R-Ala.) open-seat victory in 2002. Mitchell also helmed Corker’s campaign until he was replaced about six weeks before the election.

Mitchell also has worked for the National Republican Congressional Committee and the Republican National Committee, as a field operative and in opposition research.

Easy Come, Easy Go. Even as Hildebrand Tewes Consulting has seen its two founding partners sign on to Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-Ill.) all-star presidential campaign, the firm has continued to expand its roster of clients and add staff to keep the company running at full speed.

Democratic strategist and researcher Benjamin Jones has joined Hildebrand Tewes after spending the previous cycle as a political tracker for EMILY’s List. Jones was brought in to launch Hildebrand Tewes’ political research division. The new service could come in handy for three of the company’s new clients, Philadelphia mayoral candidate Tom Knox (D), and the groups Americans Against Escalation in Iraq and Campaign for Youth Justice.

Meanwhile, founding partner Paul Tewes is busying himself as Obama’s full-time Iowa state director, while Steve Hildebrand continues to act as a senior adviser to the Senator’s campaign.

Rapid Response. Response Consulting, an Arlington, Va.-based Republican firm, announced this week that GOP operative Bo Harmon has come on board to direct the firm’s voter contact division.

Harmon managed former Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich’s (R) failed 2006 re-election bid and worked in communications for the NRCC during the 2004 cycle. In 2002, Harmon helmed now-Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ (R-Ga.) victory over then-Sen. Max Cleland (D).

Mitt’s Latest Catch. Presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) has added another Washington, D.C., veteran to his team, hiring Terry Sullivan to run his South Carolina primary campaign.

Sullivan, based in Columbia, S.C., and currently a partner in a political consulting firm there, managed Sen. Jim DeMint’s (R-S.C.) 2004 primary and general election Senate victories, as well as Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s (R-Texas) 2006 re-election contest.

Also, Phil Musser, the just-departed executive director of the Republican Governors Association, has opened New Frontier Strategy, focusing on political consulting and strategic public affairs.

He will offer his services to various political candidates and governors, but he will focus much of his effort on aiding Romney’s presidential campaign.

Romney served as RGA chairman in the previous cycle.

McCain Media Madness. Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) official media consulting team is now in place, featuring some of the biggest names from among the operatives who worked for President Bush’s previous campaigns.

Stuart Stevens and Russ Schriefer of the Stevens & Schriefer Group and Fred Davis of Strategic Perception have teamed up with Stevens Reed Curcio and Potholm, as well as Mark McKinnon, to round out McCain’s media consulting team.

Schriefer is set to supervise the day-to-day media operation, with Davis serving as the campaign’s chief creative consultant.

RNC Ramps Up. The Republican National Committee this week named Anne Hathaway to be its chief of staff and Rich Beeson as the political director.

Hathaway since 2001 had served as RNC political director for the Great Lakes region. Prior to that she was on then-Vice President Dan Quayle’s payroll as an assistant to the vice president and director of scheduling and public liaison.

Beeson, before assuming his new post, served as RNC regional political director and regional finance director for the Western region. Lisa Camooso Miller, already on the job as communications director, also formally was introduced this week as the RNC’s communications director.

Every Contest Needs Consultants. The ultimate insider contest is taking place in New York right now, to name the new state comptroller. The previous comptroller, Alan Hevesi (D), resigned amid scandal earlier this month, and it is up to the state Legislature to replace him.

Several would-be replacements have put their names forward, and at least three, according to the New York Daily News political blog Wednesday, are using high-powered consultants to advise them — all on a pro bono basis.

According to the paper, Jerry Goldfeder, a Democratic strategist and one of the top election lawyers in New York, is advising financier Buddy Fletcher (D). Micah Lasher of Knickerbocker SKD, a firm co-founded by Josh Isay, a former chief of staff to Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), is helping state Assemblyman Joe Morelle (D). Katie Burke of the Glover Park Group is advising investment banker Bill Mulrow (D).

Every Candidate Needs Consultants. Hugh Cort III, who touts himself as an “internationally recognized counter-terrorism expert,” apparently is running for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, and he announced this week that he has hired Kush and Associates, whose founding partner is Steve Kush, to guide his campaign.

“We’re happy to be associated with a true Christian gentleman who is right on all the issues,” Kush said of Cort, in a news release announcing their association.

Josh Kurtz contributed to this report.

Please send news about the political consulting community to dmd@rollcall.com.

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