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High Voltage

Wealthy attorney Mikal Watts, who is battling state Rep. Rick Noriega for the Texas Democratic Senate nomination and the right to face Sen. John Cornyn (R) next year, has hired a full team of consultants to advise his campaign.

Handling media are Rich Davis and David Dixon, of the Washington, D.C.-based Democratic firm Dixon/Davis Media Group.

In charge of polling is Harrison Hickman of Global Strategy Group. Global Strategy is a Democratic firm advising corporate and political clients, with offices in Washington, D.C., New York, Hartford, Conn., and Little Rock, Ark. [IMGCAP(1)]

Ed Peavy and Adnaan Muslim of Mission Control secured Watts’ direct-mail work. Mission Control has offices in Connecticut and D.C.

Macon Phillips and Thomas Gensemer of Blue State Digital are in charge of Watts’ campaign Web site. Blue State Digital is a Democratic firm based in D.C.

All in the Family. Matt Salisbury, challenging freshman Rep. Bill Sali in Idaho’s 1st district Republican primary, is being advised by, among others, his mother, Nancy Markus Salisbury.

Though now an Idaho resident, Nancy Salisbury is a veteran of California Republican politics, having served as senior district representative for then-Rep. Steve Horn from February 1993 through June 1997.

She also served as finance director of Horn’s 1992 campaign.

Nancy Salisbury also served as assistant finance director of the California Republican Party from March 1987 through March 1989.

Viva Iowa! New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) is adding staff to his presidential campaign in the key caucus state of Iowa.

Joining Richardson’s Hawkeye State team are Jim Farrell as deputy state director; David Rogers as political director; Shari Fitzgerald as caucus director; T.K. Anderson as deputy political director for Eastern Iowa; Lauren Rose as Iowa communications director; and Valerie Herold as scheduling/advance director.

Several of Richardson’s new hires have Capitol Hill ties.

Farrell previously was communications director for the late Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.) and comes most recently from Montana, where he served as executive director of the state Democratic Party. Rogers recently ran two Congressional campaigns in Western Iowa.

Fitzgerald is an experienced Iowa caucus hand, having worked every such contest since 1972. She served on former Rep. Richard Gephardt’s (D-Mo.) two presidential bids as an Iowa adviser.

Anderson is a veteran of multiple Democratic campaigns in Iowa, including those for Sen. Tom Harkin, former Gov. Tom Vilsack and current Gov. Chet Culver. Rose is a veteran of retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark’s (D) 2004 presidential campaign.

Herold, meanwhile, served on the Virginia Coordinated Campaign in 2006 during now-Sen. Jim Webb’s (D) winning campaign over then-Sen. George Allen (R).

Fair Hire. The Federation for American Immigration Reform has appointed Julie Kirchner as executive director. FAIR bills itself as the nation’s largest national nonprofit organization dedicated to immigration reform.

Before joining FAIR, Kirchner worked as counsel at the Minnesota House of Representatives, staffing the Judiciary and Civil Law Committees. Additionally, she has worked both as a private litigator and criminal prosecutor.

In a League of Their Own. The League of Conservation Voters Education Fund and its California affiliate have launched a network of politically active donors for the purpose of raising the environment as an issue in the 2008 presidential election.

The LCV Education Fund, together with the California League of Conservation Voters Education Voters Fund, has formed a bipartisan network of influential campaign donors with the goal of forcing the next president to prioritize addressing the issue of global warming.

This group of donors working under the moniker Presidential Leadership Network, includes seven co-chairmen, among them Robert Redford, Teddy Roosevelt IV, Laura Turner Seydel, Larry Rockefeller, Laurie David, former Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.) and Vinod Khosla.

“As citizens, our challenge is not to hope that one of these candidates is up to the task, but to ensure that all of them will be,” Redford said in a statement.

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