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To the Very Dopp

Darren Dopp, a major figure in the controversy over whether New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) improperly used state police resources to document his political rival’s use of state aircraft for political trips, has landed on his feet — and very nicely. [IMGCAP(1)]

Dopp, a 20-year veteran of Empire State politics who once worked for then-Gov. Mario Cuomo (D), resigned as Spitzer’s communications director this week to become a communications consultant and partner in Patricia Lynch Associates, one of Albany’s top lobbying and public relations firms. Lynch is a former top aide to state Speaker Sheldon Silver (D).

Republicans — buttressed by a report from state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (D), the former governor’s son — have accused Dopp of orchestrating a publicity campaign to embarrass state Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno (R) for flying on state planes and helicopters to political events. But the Albany County district attorney recently concluded that by making the information public, Dopp was merely responding to requests from newspaper reporters for Bruno’s travel records and did not commit a crime.

Dopp’s attorney told Newsday that Dopp is certain to exceed his $175,000-a-year state salary in his new gig.

“A lot of money,” Bruno groused. “I wonder what he’s going to do to earn that.”

Dan the Man. Crosby@tildeVolmer International Communications, a Washington, D.C.-based public relations firm, has hired Dan Woodley as an account executive.

Before joining CVIC, Woodley worked for Sen. Richard Burr (R), helping to manage correspondence between the North Carolinian and his constituents, including local, state and national advocacy organizations.

The Lew Crew. Career Air Force veteran Rand Lewis, running in Idaho’s 1st district Democratic primary, has tapped the Washington, D.C.-based Kenneth Christensen as his chief fundraiser.

Christensen, of Christensen & Associates Inc., doubles as a Democratic fundraiser and general political consultant. In the previous cycle, his clients included now-Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.), who scored an upset victory against then-House Resources Chairman Richard Pombo (R).

Lewis has hired military veteran and longtime friend Gary Vest as campaign manager. David Domke, a political communications professor at the University of Washington, has been hired as communications director.

Lewis, a former international affairs professor and owner of Lewis and Associates Appraisal Services, is running against 2006 Democratic nominee Larry Grant, an attorney who came within 5 points of defeating now-Rep. Bill Sali (R) in the heavily Republican western Idaho 1st district.

What’s the Big Idea? The centrist Democratic Leadership Council has unveiled a board of advisers charged with generating a policy blueprint that the organization will recommend the next president pursue once he or she is inaugurated in January 2009.

Leading this effort for the DLC is Kansas Gov. and Democratic Governors Association Chairwoman Kathleen Sebelius, former U.S. Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, former Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman, Delaware Treasurer Jack Markell, California Assemblywoman Nicole Parra, Colorado Speaker Andrew Romanoff, former Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater and former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers.

Others also are aiding the effort.

Proposals generated by the project can be viewed at

Staffing St. Paul. The Republican National Convention, set for Sept. 1-4 in St. Paul, Minn., has added staff.

Recently hired were Frank Spicka as director of security; Mike Miller as director of operations, media operations and production and and official proceedings; Joby Boland as deputy director of operations and logistics; Gordon Pennoyer as deputy director of media operations; and Anthony Foti as director of external affairs.

The 2008 GOP presidential nominating convention is taking place at the Xcel Energy Center.

“We are delighted to have such talented people join us in Minneapolis-Saint Paul as planning for our party’s 39th nominating convention shifts into high gear,” convention President and CEO Maria Cino said in a statement.

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