Shop Talk: From Hack to Flack

Posted March 30, 2012 at 5:20pm

California Rep. Brad Sherman has brought on an award-winning Los Angeles journalist as campaign spokesman for his high-profile race with fellow Democratic Rep. Howard Berman.

John Schwada was a reporter at the Los Angeles Times from 1989 to 1996 and for the next 15 years worked at the Fox affiliate KTTV in LA.

“I remember interviewing Brad in his Congressional office during a five-week period when I was in D.C. covering the Clinton impeachment. A long time ago,” Schwada wrote in an email. “I still have one of Brad’s tchotchke campaign-combs; the Brad Sherman pot-holder went up in smoke during a campfire mishap in the Sequoias.”

Schwada was brought on board by Parke Skelton of SG&A Campaigns, Sherman’s campaign consultant, and together they’re tasked with helping introduce Sherman to some new voters in the redrawn 30th district.

“Many San Fernando Valley voters already know Brad as one of the hardest-working, most fearlessly principled Congress Members to come down the pike in a long time,” Schwada said. “Those who are new to his district will soon learn the same.”

No Relation to Harry

Whitney Potter, who has served as Rep. Martin Heinrich’s (D-N.M.) official press secretary for three years, has moved over to work on his Senate campaign as communications director.

Potter previously served as a spokeswoman at the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico and before that at the D.C.-based Institute of Women’s Policy Research. When not at work, she can be found mountain biking or skiing.

Just Gotta PowerThru

Mike Nellis and Sara Ackerman have joined PowerThru Consulting, a 2-year-old tech strategy firm that helps clients recruit more online supporters and turn them into activists and donors.

Nellis, a senior online strategist, spent the past two and a half years at BuzzMaker providing strategic new media support for nonprofits and campaigns, including for North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall’s 2010 Senate campaign and for former Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.). The Omaha, Neb., native previously served as new media director for the Kansas Democratic Party.

Ackerman, an online organizer, was a deputy organizer at Burnside & Associates and project coordinator for the Move Your Money Project, a campaign created by Arianna Huffington.

“Mike and Sara are proven leaders who fundamentally understand how to utilize the power of the Internet in politics,” PowerThru Consulting founding partner Drew Hudson said in a statement.

Fiddler on a New Roof

Carolyn Fiddler is leaving the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee for a new position with the American Federation of Teachers.

In an email, Fiddler said she will join the union in April for “an exciting new gig developing an aggressive and agile communications operation with AFT” as assistant director for communications and strategic response.

Fiddler has served for nearly two years as communications director at the DLCC, which works to win state legislative seats and chambers for Democrats. Before joining the DLCC in May 2010, Fiddler was director of external affairs at Media Matters for America.

The Virginia native also served as deputy finance director and later communications director at the Virginia Democratic Party before attending law school at the College of William & Mary.

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