Senate Democrats Unveil New Message Operation

Posted January 5, 2011 at 7:30am

Senate Democratic leaders announced Wednesday their new communications structure led by Sen. Charles Schumer that will drive the Conference’s messaging for the 112th Congress.

Schumer (D-N.Y.) will head the new Senate Democratic Policy and Communications Center and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) will serve as vice chairwoman. Schumer holds dual roles in leadership — he serves as the Democratic Policy chairman and Conference vice chairman.

The new message operation will merge two existing entities: the former Democratic Communications Center with the Democratic Policy Committee, according to a joint release from Schumer and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

“This new structure builds on our past success to ensure that our commitment to the middle class is communicated as effectively as possible to the public, and that we provide the best resources available to our caucus,” Reid said in a statement.
Schumer added, “We will be aggressive and use every tool at our disposal to show that we are focused like a laser on the middle class.”

Last month, Reid announced that he was tapping Schumer to oversee a massive reworking of the way the caucus coordinates public relations, policy and floor operations. This included merging the Democratic Policy Committee, which primarily issues legislative papers, and Reid’s communications “war room.” Previously, the bulk of the caucus’s message efforts were coordinated out of Reid’s leadership office.

Reid and Schumer’s statement Wednesday also listed the staff that will run the new communications shop. Schumer aide Katie Beirne will become the DPCC’s staff director. Jon Summers, Reid’s communications director for Nevada, will serve as the center’s communications director and Schumer press aide Brian Fallon will be the new operation’s chief spokesman.

The war room was formerly run by Rodell Mollineau, who recently announced he was leaving the Hill to pursue other opportunities. Jim Manley, who served as chief spokesman, also announced he was leaving the Hill.
Emily Pierce contributed to this report.