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Shop Talk: Working in Two Washingtons

Jennifer Morris has joined Nyhus Communications, which provides public relations, public affairs and social media services for organizations working at the intersection of business, government and the community.

Morris is a former press secretary for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). She’s worked on statewide campaigns in Michigan, Kentucky, Mississippi, Louisiana and Washington state, where she worked at the end of last cycle for GOP Senate nominee Dino Rossi.

Morris, who started two weeks ago, is based in Seattle but will frequently be back in Washington, D.C. As a public affairs account supervisor, she’s currently working on a number of accounts, including energy and financial services.

Rebuilding for 2012

President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign named its staff leaders in North Carolina, a state he won by some 14,000 votes in 2008 and is targeting once again in 2012.

According to the Raleigh News & Observer, Obama for America named Lindsay Siler as state director, Greg Jackson as state field director and Cameron French as state press secretary.

Siler had already been serving as state director for Organizing for America, the Democratic National Committee offshoot aimed at continuing the grass-roots work of Obama’s 2008 campaign.

Jackson also had held the same position at OFA, and French also worked on the campaign’s North Carolina efforts in 2008.

The News & Observer also reported that the campaign has opened offices in Raleigh, Charlotte, Greensboro and Fayetteville. The campaign’s state operation will also include a data director, digital director and regional directors.

Thompson’s Money Makers

The Macsata-Kornegay Group announced that it’s been retained by former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson (R), who is running for Senate, to manage the fundraising efforts for his political action committee in Washington, D.C., and at the national level.

Amanda Kornegay will serve as fundraising consultant for Thompson’s national fundraising efforts.

“Amanda Kornegay and her firm have an established history of setting fundraising records, including Senator Burr’s 2004 campaign that bankrolled over $13 million and most recently in Nevada raising Sharron Angle over $27.7 million,” Thompson general consultant Darrin Schmitz said.

Digging for Dirt in the Bayou

Democratic consultant James Hallinan has moved to Baton Rouge to join the Louisiana Democratic Party as director of research and communications.

Hallinan, a veteran of New Mexico politics, is part of a new team hoping to turn around the party’s fortunes in the state.

“I look forward to helping Chairman [Buddy] Leach strengthen and rebuild the Democratic Party in all of Louisiana’s 64 parishes,” Hallinan wrote in an email. “Under a new communications program, the Louisiana Democratic party will play an active and visible role in all 7 TV markets across the state and aggressively work to hold Republicans like [Gov.] Bobby Jindal and [Sen.] David Vitter accountable to the people of Louisiana.”

Hallinan’s New Mexico résumé includes stints as communications director for the state Democratic Party, as deputy spokesman on former Lt. Gov. Diane Denish’s (D) 2010 gubernatorial campaign and on the final stretch of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign in the state.

He recently took some vacation time following a stint as spokesman on the special election campaign of Democrat Kate Marshall in Nevada’s 2nd district.

Cut the Clutter

Project Vote Smart, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that seeks to offer voters relevant and accurate information on political candidates, is launching a new feature next week.

VoteEasy, which is still being finalized, will allow voters the ability to match their issue positions with those of the major presidential candidates. It includes 13 key issues, including energy, education, the economy and Afghanistan.

Clicking on the environment tab and answering “yes” to a question about supporting federal regulations of greenhouse gas emissions moves lawn signs with President Barack Obama and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R) to the foreground of the screen.

The group hopes the new interactive site, set to launch Nov. 7, will help voters cut through the hype and spin of the campaigns.

Gingrich Picks Up Pieces

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) announced three new staff members for his New Hampshire campaign operation.

The hires included Matt LeDuc, who recently resigned from Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-Minn.) New Hampshire campaign. LeDuc will serve as Gingrich’s state communications director.

Alex Talcott, a Dartmouth College graduate and former staffer on the presidential primary campaigns of Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) and former Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.), was named coalitions director. Pam Smith was named volunteer coordinator.

The campaign previously announced that Andrew Hemingway will serve as state director.

Going for Gold in Iowa

Fresh off the total turnover of her New Hampshire team, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) announced her team in Iowa, where the Congresswoman is focusing her efforts.

Eric Woolson, originally hired to lead her communication efforts in the state, was named Iowa campaign manager, and Wes Enos was appointed deputy state campaign manager.

“We have a strong, experienced organization in place that is equipped to build upon Michele Bachmann’s historic victory in the Republican Party of Iowa Straw Poll this summer,” national campaign manager Keith Nahigian said in a statement. “Eric is the perfect person to lead our team to victory on caucus day.”

Bachmann’s Iowa team announcement includes two faith leaders — Peter Waldron, who has worked for seven presidential campaigns since 1980, and Drew Klein.

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