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Working Their Way Up the Latta

Matthew Parker, the former district director for ex-Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio) — who is now serving jail time for corruption — has opened his own consulting firm and is advising a candidate in Ohio’s 5th district special election.

Matthew D. Parker & Associates LLC is based in Heath, Ohio. Parker is state Rep. Bob Latta’s (R) campaign manager in his bid to replace the late Rep. Paul Gillmor (R-Ohio). Parker was hired to manage Latta’s campaign by Republican consultant Rex Elsass, who is serving as Latta’s media adviser. [IMGCAP(1)]

Parker was one of several Ney aides to be subpoenaed last year as part of the federal investigation into the then-Congressman’s dealings while in office. In January of this year, Parker launched his firm, and he has consulted a bevy of clients since. Before opening his own shop, Parker was a senior account executive at BrabenderCox, a GOP media consulting firm based in Pittsburgh.

Parker’s firm offers a wide range of services, including fundraising and media and general consulting. In addition to Latta, his clients have included candidates for mayor, city council and county GOP positions.

Latta’s other advisers include Elsass, of the Columbus, Ohio-based Strategy Group for Media, and Neil Newhouse of Washington, D.C.-based Public Opinion Strategies. Elsass is Latta’s media consultant and Newhouse is serving as his pollster.

Mintz Condition. Democratic fundraiser Richard Mintz has been named as a senior campaign finance adviser to rabbi and psychologist Dennis Shulman (D), who is running against Rep. Scott Garrett (R) in the Garden State’s 5th district.

Mintz has worked with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and retired Gen. Wesley Clark’s (D) presidential campaign. One of his tasks is to help Shulman develop an individual-donor fundraising program.

The 5th district leans Republican, presenting Shulman with an uphill climb in his effort to oust the incumbent.

Bruning Beefs Up. Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, running in the Senate Republican primary against former Gov. Mike Johanns, has unveiled his campaign’s finance committee.

Honorary chairman of the committee is David Sokol, president and CEO of MidAmerican Energy in Omaha.

Rounding out the Bruning’s finance committee are Tal Anderson, chairman of Baxter Chrysler Jeep Dodge in Omaha; Gordon Glade, president of AXIS Capital in Grand Island; Bob Gottsch, president of Gottsch Feeding in Hastings; Jim Gustafson, CEO of Quality Brands of Omaha; Fred Hawkins Jr., owner of Omaha-based Hawkins Construction Co.; and Mark Lakers, president of Omaha-based Ag and Food Associates.

Also on Bruning’s finance committee are Bob Lundeen, president and CEO of Standard Ethanol LLC in North Platte; Owen Palm, owner of The Mercantile in Gering; Jim Pillen, president and CEO of Progressive Swine Technologies in Columbus; Steve Pitlor, president of Omaha-based N. Pitlor & Son; Greg Rutherford, partner in the Omaha-based firm Tagge Rutherford; and Bruce Simon, president and CEO of Omaha Steaks.

Expanding the Project. The White House Project, a national, nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) organization whose goal is to see more women in elective office, has expanded its “Vote, Run Lead” program.

Vote, Run, Lead focuses on teaching women who have never run for political office what it takes to launch a campaign and compete to win. The program prides itself on reaching out to women who never have considered politics and planting the seed that leads to their eventual political involvement.

Vote, Run, Lead has trained more than 1,200 women since it was launched in 2005. Of the women that have gone through the program’s training, 41 percent are ethnic minorities, 46 percent earn less than $35,000 annually, 20 percent live in rural areas, and 50 percent are under the age of 30.

“Rebuilding America’s democracy is the most critical task we face as a nation; yet one of our country’s greatest assets is continually overlooked: women,” Marie Wilson, president of The White House Project, said in a statement.

Shira Toeplitz contributed to this report.

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