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Enterprising Adviser

Karen Hanretty, a Republican consultant based in Sacramento, Calif., has added the Free Enterprise Fund to her roster of clients, signing on with the group as a senior fellow for political strategy and communications. [IMGCAP(1)]

Hanretty, the former communications director for the California Republican Party, served on now-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s (R) 2003 recall campaign. Before joining the state GOP in 2002, she handled communications for the leader of the California Senate Republican caucus.

“We are thrilled to have her join us,” said Jim Terry, the fund’s executive director.

Life of Brian. Brian Nick, the just-departed communications director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has landed in Raleigh, N.C., and is working as a senior adviser to North Carolina Conservatives United, a 527 organization headed by attorney Bill Graham, who is expected to run for governor in 2008.

Nick also joined Fetzer Stephens as a senior vice president. Tom Fetzer is a former three-term mayor of Raleigh; Mark Stephens was executive director of the NRSC in the previous cycle.

Fetzer Stephens is expected to handle Sen. Elizabeth Dole’s (R-N.C.) 2008 re-election campaign. Nick worked for Dole in the previous cycle when she served as NRSC chairwoman. Prior to going to work for the NRSC, Nick served as spokesman for Dole’s Senate office and deputy campaign manager for her 2002 Senate race.

I Thought I Was Out, but They Keep Pulling Me Back in. Speaking of NRSC spokesmen, Dan Ronayne, who was Nick’s deputy in the previous cycle, has resurfaced as deputy communications director for the Republican National Committee, where he worked from 2001 to 2003.

Prior to joining the NRSC in 2005, Ronayne, 36, served as a communications adviser to the Senate Republican Conference under then-Chairman Rick Santorum (Pa.), and before that he was a communications flack for the Bush/Cheney 2004 re-election campaign.

Earlier in his career the Maryland native worked as a mouthpiece for Republican legislators in the Maryland state House.

The Webbs They Weave. A trio of longtime Democratic operatives who worked together on Sen. Jim Webb’s (D-Va.) upstart Senate campaign have joined forces to launch Maverick Strategies and Mail, focusing on producing direct-mail political pieces and general consulting.

The Alexandria, Va.-based firm is anchored by Steve Jarding, who most recently served as senior adviser on Webb’s campaign; Kristian Denny Todd, who served as a senior communications strategist for Webb; and Jessica Vanden Berg, who was Webb’s campaign manager.

Bull’s-Eye. TargetPoint Consulting, specializing in microtargeting, has named Michael Meyers president and Alicia Davis as director of marketing and senior project manager.

Meyers, one of the company’s founders back in 2003, was before that the executive director of the Michigan Republican Party. Davis recently served as political director for the mid-Atlantic region at the Republican National Committee.

Meanwhile, Brent Seaborn, a co-founder and vice president of TargetPoint, has extended his current leave of absence to join former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s (R) presidential campaign. Seaborn will serve the Giuliani campaign as strategy director.

Alex Gage, TargetPoint founder and CEO, is maintaining his duties with the company, but he also has hopped on board former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s (R) presidential campaign, where he will serve as senior strategic adviser.

New Kidd in Town. Jane Kidd has been elected chairwoman of the Georgia Democratic Party. Kidd, of Athens, Ga., served in the state House of Representatives from 2002 to 2004.

Mrs. Schumer. Iris Weinshall, the New York City transportation commissioner who happens to be the wife of Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), is leaving her post to take over as vice chancellor of the City University of New York. Weinshall became transportation commissioner when Giuliani was still mayor back in 2000, but she remained on through the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R).

Nothing’s the Matter with Kansas. Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, the new chairwoman of the Democratic Governors Association, has finished appointing her executive committee. The roster, and their responsibilities, are as follows:

West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin will handle candidate recruitment; New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine — a former Senator — will serve as federal liaison; Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm will be in charge of policy; Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell will serve as campaign chairman; and Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer will be finance chairman.

Give ‘em Pelz. Washington state Democratic Chairman Dwight Pelz has been re-elected to another term. Pelz presided over the party during Sen. Maria Cantwell’s re-election victory in November and the Democratic pickup of six seats in Washington’s state House of Representatives and six seats in the state Senate.

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