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Shop Talk: Bainter Brings in Baker

Tim Baker, an up-and-coming GOP strategist, has joined Florida-based Data Targeting Inc. as a junior partner.

Baker, who’s managed and served as research director on federal, state and municipal campaigns across the country, will lead the firm’s new political research and strategic communications divisions, serving its political, corporate and trade association clients.

“We are incredibly happy to have Tim on board,” Data Targeting President Pat Bainter said. “Tim has an unmatched skill set and proven record of success in the most difficult campaigns. His talents will be a great asset to our firm and our clients.”

Bainter and Baker left Mike Haridopolos’ Florida Senate campaign in July, a few days before Haridopolos dropped his bid to challenge Sen. Bill Nelson (D).

Baker, who was Haridopolos’ campaign manager, is a University of Arizona graduate, served in the Marine Corps and received his law degree from Florida State.

New Media Mike

Mike Liddell has been hired to head digital services at NGP VAN, a leading technology provider for Democratic campaigns, including President Barack Obama’s re-election.

Liddell has worked on presidential, gubernatorial, Congressional and local races. He served as director of online communications at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in the 2006 and 2008 cycles and in the same capacity at the 2004 Democratic National Convention — the first to credential bloggers.

Most recently, he served as new media manager for the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Financial Stability, where he’s worked since being appointed in February 2009. He is just the latest addition to the team from the Obama White House.

Preceding him was Rob Winikates, who recently joined NGP VAN after serving as deputy director of new media at the White House.

NGP VAN combines new media products and services with fundraising and field databases, and its products include the Accelerator website platform, online contributions, social fundraising and a virtual phone bank.

Titus Team Set, District Not

Former Rep. Dina Titus (D), who is running for a still-to-be-determined Congressional seat in Nevada, recently announced her campaign team, which includes several Titus campaign veterans.

Her pollster is John Anzalone; Kully Hall will provide media consulting and strategic guidance; Ambrosino, Muir & Hansen is handling direct mail; Dick Cooper is research consultant; Dan Geary of Proof Interactive is running new media and Web design; Michael Naft is finance director; and Kalik & Associates is the political action committee fundraiser.

Managing Titus’ campaign is Jay Gertsema, who also managed her 2008 Congressional victory and then served as her chief of staff.

Titus must wait until at least late next month to find out how Nevada’s Congressional map will be configured. The process went to the courts after the Democratic-controlled Legislature and Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval stalemated.

See You at the Crossroads

American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS is expanding its communications team with the hires of Nate Hodson and Patrick Hynes.

Hodson, who starts next month, will serve as director of state and local media relations for the sister organizations and as spokesman for Senate and House advocacy efforts. Hodson has Capitol Hill experience in the offices of Rep. Adrian Smith (R-Neb.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and two other Kentucky Members, and he managed Republican Trey Grayson’s unsuccessful Senate campaign in Kentucky last year.

Hynes, of Hynes Communications, will handle blog and online media outreach for both groups. Hynes led Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) online media outreach in 2008 and served in a similar capacity last cycle for the National Republican Senatorial Committee. He was also a consultant to former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s Freedom First PAC.

“These two new hires will help both American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS generate more visibility for our efforts in regional news sources and online,” Crossroads spokesman Jonathan Collegio said in a statement.

Sticking Minnesotan

Veteran strategist Eric Woolson has joined Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-Minn.) presidential campaign to lead her communications efforts in Iowa.

Woolson, a former journalist, has worked for a long list of Republican candidates in the state. Most recently, he was a senior adviser to Tim Pawlenty’s presidential campaign before he dropped out of the race in August.

He’s a former spokesman for Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, was Sen. Chuck Grassley’s campaign spokesman last year, managed Mike Huckabee’s 2008 caucuses victory and was President George W. Bush’s communications director in the state in 2000.

Back With Mack

Jeff Cohen is returning to the office of Rep. Connie Mack IV (R-Fla.) to serve as chief of staff after two years as executive vice president at grass-roots public affairs firm Direct Impact.

Cohen served as Mack’s chief of staff from 2005 to 2009 and was his campaign manager in 2004, 2006 and 2008. Cohen has been a part of numerous local, state and federal political candidates and issue advocacy initiatives, including two presidential campaigns.

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