Skip to content

Shop Talk: Republican Operative Lands at Direct Impact

Republican strategist Randy Bumps has signed on as executive vice president at Direct Impact, a communications firm in Washington, D.C., specializing in public affairs, public relations and corporate reputation campaigns.

“Our diverse group of experienced professionals from every corner of the industry understands the intersection of politics and policy making, its impacts on people and businesses, and how public perception drives a company’s reputation and bottom line,” Bumps said in an e-mail.

Bumps has a long résumé that includes serving as political director and later chief political strategist of the independent expenditure unit at the National Republican Senatorial Committee in the 2010 cycle. A former Capitol Hill Senate staffer, Bumps was a regional political director at the Republican National Committee in the 2008 cycle, chairman of the Maine Republican Party in 2005 and Maine executive director for President George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign. He also served in the Maine Legislature from 1996 to 2002.

Keller Moves to ACU

The American Conservative Union appointed Gregg Keller as executive director. New ACU Chairman Al Cardenas said Keller will help the ACU “continue to unite social, fiscal and national security conservatives for the tremendous opportunities we have in 2012 and beyond.”

Keller most recently served as executive director of the Faith and Freedom Coalition. Prior to that he was national coalitions director for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign, campaign manager for the 2006 campaign of then-Sen. Jim Talent (R-Mo.) and communications and coalitions director in Missouri for President George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign.

Host of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, the ACU touts itself as the oldest and largest grass-roots conservative organization in the country.

Barbour Makes Big N.H. Hire

Likely GOP presidential candidate Haley Barbour has hired one of New Hampshire’s last uncommitted top operatives, Michael P. Dennehy, to serve as an adviser during the Mississippi governor’s “testing the waters” phase. Dennehy was Sen. John McCain’s New Hampshire campaign manager during the 2000 presidential cycle and the Arizona Senator’s national political director during the 2008 campaign.

Barbour’s “charisma, personality and excitement for retail politics will make him an ideal candidate for New Hampshire should he decide to run,” Dennehy said in a brief statement.

Fletcher-Rowley, Riddle-Less

In a press release announcing its nine Pollie awards, the firm formerly known as Fletcher-Rowley-Riddle announced Tuesday that Mark Riddle “will no longer be a business partner” at the firm. “Bill Fletcher and John Rowley have been working and winning with Mark in various capacities since 1998. We are very proud of our partnership over the years,” the Nashville-based firm stated in a release. 

Reached by phone Wednesday, Riddle had no comment about his future plans but said he will be in Kentucky.

Pollie Award Boasts

Fletcher-Rowley was not the only firm that highlighted its success at Friday’s Pollie Awards, the 20th annual awards dinner hosted by the American Association of Political Consultants.

GMMB took home 23 Pollies, including Best Overall TV/Radio Campaign for its work on the re-election of Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Best in Show for its “Not My Job” TV ad for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

In all, more than 200 awards were distributed to consultants and firms for political and public affairs campaigns.

Tennessee Democrats Hire Staffer

Brandon Puttbrese was hired as communications director for the Tennessee Democratic Party. Puttbrese served in the same capacity on state Sen. Roy Herron’s campaign for Congress last cycle. 

“We’re glad to welcome Brandon Puttbrese aboard,” Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester said. “Brandon has a well-rounded understanding of the issues facing the state and will be an important asset as we work to support Democratic leaders who are focused on creating jobs and defending the rights of hard-working Tennesseans.”

Ex-DCCC Aide Finds New Home

Ryan Rudominer, who was national press secretary at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during the 2010 campaign cycle, has joined Democratic consulting firm New Partners.

Rudominer served as Midwest regional press secretary at the DCCC in the 2008 cycle. He was communications director to then-Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) in 2007 and press secretary for Rep. Steve Israel from 2004 to 2006. He also worked for the New York Democrat as communications director and with NARAL Pro-Choice America and for the National Jewish Democratic Council. Rudominer is known for helping promote and organize the “Hacks and Flacks” gatherings for reporters and press staffers around Washington, D.C.

“Ryan’s background and experience in the political communications realm will allow us to enhance and expand the services we provide to our growing roster of clients,” partner Cara Morris Stern said in a statement. 

Steve Peoples and Christina Bellantoni contributed to this report.

Submit campaign staffing news and tips to Shop Talk here.

Recent Stories

Gaetz plans move to oust McCarthy, says GOP needs new leader

McCarthy promises ‘punishment’ over Bowman fire alarm before vote

Shutdown averted as Biden signs seven-week spending bill

Stopgap funding bills hung up in both chambers

Who are the House Republicans who opposed the stopgap budget bill?

Taking it to the limit — Congressional Hits and Misses