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Shop Talk: Melissa Williams Is on the List

EMILY’s List has hired Melissa Williams as deputy director of Women Vote!, where she will run the group’s Congressional independent expenditure program.

The group, which backs Democratic female candidates who support abortion rights, is already active this year, spending almost $200,000 this month on today’s special election in Oregon’s 1st district.

Williams, a Harvard graduate and D.C.-area native, most recently was a consultant for communications firm SS+K. She spent the previous four years at the Democratic direct-mail firm MSHC Partners.

Berman Staffs Up

California Rep. Howard Berman, who is engaged in a tough re-election battle with a fellow Democratic Member, has hired Allison Jaslow in his Congressional office.

Jaslow, who brings significant campaign experience, has held stints with the Virginia Democratic Party and EMILY’s List and worked as as a special assistant to the White House communications director and with former Reps. Steve Kagen (D-Wis.) and Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.).

Jaslow, an Iraq War veteran, most recently served in the office of Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), who is retiring.

Thanks to the state’s new independent redistricting commission, Berman is facing a bitter battle against Rep. Brad Sherman in the new San Fernando Valley-based 30th district.

A New Platform

Crossroads GPS has promoted Steven Duffield to vice president for policy.

Duffield, a former policy director and chief counsel to Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), previously served as a policy adviser at the conservative issue-advocacy organization. According to his online résumé, Duffield is also founder of public affairs firm Endgame Strategies and a former policy adviser at the Republican National Committee.

The group announced Duffield’s promotion along with its “New Majority Agenda” issue platform, which includes “pro-growth tax reform” and replacing Democrats’ health care reform.

“We plan to educate millions of Americans on the New Majority Agenda and how it will strengthen our economy and financial health,” Crossroads GPS President Steven Law said in a statement.

Santorum Promotes Latham

Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) has named Jill Latham deputy campaign manager for his presidential bid.

Latham, daughter of Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa), served as a senior adviser to the campaign in Iowa, where Santorum won the caucuses by a slim margin.

“When expanding our national team, there is no one who would better fit this role than Jill, because it was through her planning and diligence that we were able to craft the campaign to defeat both Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich in the Iowa Caucus,” Santorum said in a statement.

Latham previously served as Iowa political director for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s 2008 campaign, political director for the Wisconsin Republican party and on President George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election.

Golden Statewide Race

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D) re-election bid is not among the top-tier races on the Senate landscape this year, but there is still a long list of Republicans hoping to take her on.

Among them is Elizabeth Emken, a conservative businesswoman and child advocate who ran unsuccessfully for the House in 2010. Roll Call previously reported she would name Mark Standriff her communications director, and Emken announced the rest of her campaign team last week.

Emken’s lead strategist is Tim Clark, who managed Steve Poizner’s 2006 race for state insurance commissioner. Managing the campaign is Jeff Corless, who served as deputy campaign manager and political director for Carly Fiorina’s 2010 Senate campaign. Joanne Davis is finance director, Becki Donatelli is senior adviser for digital strategy and fundraising, Jesse Huff is senior adviser and policy director, and Kevin Roy is senior adviser for policy.

Feinstein is sticking with the small team that’s mostly been around since she first won a special election to the Senate in 1992. Bill Carrick, who’s been with Feinstein since her unsuccessful gubernatorial campaign in 1990, is serving as general consultant, chief strategist and media strategist. Her pollster is Geoff Garin, president of Peter D. Hart Research Associates, and Michelle Maravich is her finance director.

Just Seven Months to Go

The Republican National Convention Committee on Arrangements named Jason Osborne director of external affairs for the GOP convention this year.

Osborne is the primary point of contact for everyone who falls outside of the categories of delegate, media and security operations, which includes elected officials, political organizations and other groups.

This isn’t Osborne’s first convention rodeo. He developed and ran special operations within the Sergeant-at-Arms program for the 2004 and 2008 conventions, and he served as a caucus team director in 2008.

Osborne also served as a senior adviser in 2008 to Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) presidential campaign and previously worked for the late Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), the National Rifle Association and the MITA Group.

The GOP convention will be held Aug. 27-30 in Tampa, Fla.

Not Talking Ketchup

New media firm Hynes Communications has hired two new team members: Leonardo Alcivar as senior vice president of public affairs and Andrew Clark as strategic partner and account executive. Amelia Chasse, who has been at the firm since 2010, was promoted to senior account service director.

Clark, a social media specialist and Southern California native, previously worked at communications and strategy firm CRAFT.

Alcivar, who began his career as a deputy press secretary to then-New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, is a former manager of public affairs for Burson-Marsteller. He’s worked on national and statewide campaigns for the past decade.

His experience includes serving as communications director for Bill Brady’s (R) Illinois gubernatorial campaign in 2010, Republican National Committee press secretary for the 2004 Republican National Convention and as an RNC field director in Florida in 2004.

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