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Jungle Primary Angst for California Democratic Consultants | Shop Talk

The fallout in the consulting world from two obscure local races continues to reverberate in the Golden State political world. At issue is the involvement of Democratic consultants in two 2012 Democrat-vs.-Democrat California Assembly general-election campaigns.

Two union-backed Democratic incumbents lost re-election to Democratic challengers who were supported by business groups that sent out anti-union mail. Irate union groups and high-level California Democrats began to look into who was behind the mailers.

The Sacramento Bee reports that Steve Glazer, a 2010 campaign aide to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, was involved in the anti-incumbent efforts as a consultant to the state Chamber of Commerce.

In March, CQ Roll Call first reported that this digging resulted in the breakup of the Mack|Crounse Group, a nationally prominent Democratic direct mail firm.

In an email to the Bee, Glazer defended his participation in the effort, further exhibiting the new world order of California politics.

“The party and labor used to hand pick candidates,” Dan Morain of The Bee writes. “The top-two primary system alters that equation.”

De-Lux Edition

Rick Weiland, a former aide to ex-Sen. Tom Daschle, announced last week that his South Dakota Senate campaign “was planning” to hire Democratic operative Mike Lux of Democracy Partners. Lux is a Clinton White House veteran who worked on a number of presidential campaigns.

Weiland announced his candidacy last week. Former Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin withdrew her name from Democratic primary consideration on Monday. Former Republican Gov. Mike Rounds is the only declared Republican candidate in the race, but fields are in flux. This is an open-seat race to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson.

Pete’s Fleet

Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar has signed Boris Medzhibovsky as his campaign manager, according to a campaign fundraising email.

Aguilar is challenging Republican Rep. Gary G. Miller for California’s 31st District. Democrats are lining up to run in the California primary system that puts forth the top two primary vote-getters. Besides Aguilar, the most notable Democratic name in the mix is former Rep. Joe Baca, who ran for re-election in the 35th District in 2012.

Global Strategy Group Hires Redistricting Expert

Mark Gersh, a Democratic expert on redistricting, joined Global Strategy Group as a senior adviser on May 8.

Gersh joins the firm in an advisory role and will continue his current role as the Washington director of NCEC Services.

“Mark’s talent and contribution to national politics cannot be overstated,” GSG President Jefrey Pollock said in a release. “He will be a tremendous asset to our team and to our political and corporate clients alike.”

Gersh is an adviser to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, AFL-CIO and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. He is also a consultant for CBS News.

In Kingston’s Court

Rebecca Cummiskey has joined Georgia Republican Rep. Jack Kingston’s Senate campaign finance team. Cummiskey has both state and national experience, including as finance director on former Gov. Sonny Perdue’s 2006 re-election race. Kingston’s finance director is Alexandra Kendrick.

Keystone Backbone

Democratic Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz has rolled out her gubernatorial campaign team. The Democratic field for her party’s nomination could get crowded, but for now, the May 7 announcement is further evidence that she is the most organized Democratic challenger to Republican Gov. Tom Corbett.

Her team includes:

• Media consultant: Rich Davis of the Dixon/Davis Media Group

• Pollster: Pete Brodnitz of the Benenson Strategy Group

• Direct mail: Ed Peavy, Adnaan Muslim and Mark Bergman of Mission Control Inc.

• National fundraising consultant: Rachel Hirschberg of Berger Hirschberg Strategies

• Senior adviser: Pat Millham

• Finance director: Aubrey Montgomery

• Communications director: Reesa Kossoff

• Political director: Neil Deegan

• Deputy finance director: Erin Gorman

Magellan’s Compass

VoterTrove and Republican polling firm Magellan Strategies have announced a new “strategic partnership” with big ambitions: “to empower Republican candidates and conservative organizations with cutting-edge data and technology and secure victory,” according to a release from last week. VoterTrove is a “cloud-based application” that aides campaigns in voter outreach data and strategy.

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