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September 29, 2006

Poorly Chosen Foley Press Release Picture

Foleyheaderpullout0 I hate to pile on poor Mark Foley spokesguy Jason Kello -- who is surely having a bad day -- but an anonymous tipster points out that Foley's e-mailed press release announcing his resignation included this unfortunate photo (left) in its header graphic.

UPDATE: The same graphic is at the top of Foley's website.

Some Things Are Just Unspinnable

Foley To Resign Over Sexually Explicit Messages to Minors

Noble effort anyway, Jason.

Flack Job of the Week: Stick Up for Sand

Have a thing for pebbles, dirt, and rocks?  This week's Flack Job of the Week (courtesy of the Republican Communicators Assn) just might be for you:

11. Communications Director - National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association - Pro-business association seeks Communications Director to assist Vice President for Communications in preparation and dissemination of communications and public affairs materials to national audiences both inside and outside the aggregates industry. Duties include: managing editor, Stone, Sand & Gravel Review (staff liaison with contract publisher), assistant

Continue reading "Flack Job of the Week: Stick Up for Sand" »

HUD Spokesgal A Wee Bit Zealous in Spinning?

Remember the controversy a while back about HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson telling a Dallas audience he canceled a company's government contract because they criticized President Bush?

Well, the HUD Inspector General apparently has done a report on the the fallout from the whole affair, and the folks over at Think Progress say that HUD spokesgal Dustee Tucker (left) admits in the report to "making stuff up":

On May 2 or May 3, the Dallas Business Journal (DBJ) called Tucker and inquired whether the contractor incident in Jackson’s story actually happened. Tucker replied, “I can’t speak to a hypothetical, you know. You’re speaking about a verbal agreement.” But according to p. 17 of the HUD report, when asked if she had “made up” the “concept of a verbal agreement,” Tucker acknowledged she had: “Yes. I probably did when I responded to her.”

For those who haven't heard of Dustee before, Wonkette is apparently obsessed with her.

Friday People: Keith Richards Pal to AARP

  • Brian Marriott, "who counts [Rolling Stones] guitarist Keith Richards (right) among his friends," has joined AARP as publicity director.  Marriott was previously special assistant to FCC Chairmen Kevin Martin and Michael Powell; Missouri political director for Bush-Cheney 2004. (CongressDaily).
  • Brooke McNally joins Hoopes Strategies as a communications and political strategist.  She previously flacked for Rep. John Tierney and PR firm Venture Communications. (National Journal)

Spin of the Week: We Get Pics of All Our Interns...

A Potomac Flacks reader suggested we start a "Spin of the Week" feature highlighting the ballsiest spin effort over the past week by a Washington spokesperson.  So, without further adieu this week's inaugural Spin of the Week:

Kello also said that it is not unusual for someone from Foley's office to seek photographs to keep on file in case people seek recommendations.

- Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL, left) spokesguy Jason Kello to Wash Post's Jeff Birnbaum, explaining why Foley e-mailed a 16-year old former House page asking him to "send me a pic of you as well."

September 28, 2006

Edelman vs. Consumerist: It's On

Ben Popken, author of Gawker Media's Consumerist blog, is very unhappy with Edelman D.C. blogger and RedState vet Michael Krempasky (right), who reps Wal-Mart.  I'm a latecomer to the tiff and don't have a dog in this fight, but here's the chronology as best as I understand:

  1. Consumerist posts several unflattering posts about Wal-Mart.
  2. Krempasky invites Consumerist to drinks as part of Edelman's blogger outreach on Wal-Mart's behalf.  Consumerist says Krempasky asks that discussion be off the record, then asks, "What can we do to get you to stop writing about our companies?"

Continue reading "Edelman vs. Consumerist: It's On" »

Energy Dept Lights Up Pro-Flourescent Campaign

Lightbulb The U.S. Department of Energy, along with the EPA, is next week launching a month-long campaign to encourage U.S. households to switch at least once incandescent light bulb with a compact flourescent light bulb (CFL), PR Week reports.

This is actually the 7th annuval version of the "Change a Light, Change the World" campaign, and Energy Secretary Bodman will kick things off in a visit next Wednesday to "BioTown USA," (really Reynolds, IA).  Apparently all 600 households in town have promised to change at least five of their bulbs.  And in a nice bit of synergy with the previous post, those bulbs have been donated by Wal-Mart.

The campaign will also include podcasts of speeches, outreach to retail groups, and an internal website for federal government agencies.

Flack Profile: Nu Wexler, Wal-Mart Watch

Nuwexler3 Our profile series continues with Wal-Mart Watch Communications Director Nu Wexler.  Wal-Mart Watch is a non-profit that’s pressing the company to make changes to its business practices.

Hometown: Highlands, N.C., pop. 909

How long have you been in your current position? Almost a year and a half.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grow up? Either center fielder for the Atlanta Braves or quarterback for the Miami Dolphins. I thought Dale Murphy and Dan Marino walked on water.

Continue reading "Flack Profile: Nu Wexler, Wal-Mart Watch" »

Thursday People: Top LieberFlack Moves to CDF

  • My friend and former colleague Casey Aden-Wansbury, who has filled nearly every role there is in Sen. Joe Lieberman's press shop over the past five years, is leaving her post as communications director to assume the same title at the Children's Defense Fund.  CDF also plans to expand its comms department in the coming months.
  • New faces are joining Qorvis Communications to handle the firm's Medicare "doughnut hole" project for PhRMA, including: Quin Hillyer, ex-senior editor at the American Spectator and ex-press secretary for Rep. Bob Livingston (R-La.); Eric Alvarez , a former CBS reporter and anchor; Kathleen Corcoran , PR director for Volunteers of America; Jarrett Bens , ex-director of Luntz Maslansky Strategic Research; and Kathleen Michael , ex-assistant managing editor of the Pink Sheet, which covers the pharmaceutical industry (Washington Post)

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  • Matt Mackowiak - Site Manager
    Matt Mackowiak is a Washington, D.C. and Austin,TX-based Republican strategist and communications consultant and President of Potomac Strategy Group, LLC. In his career he has managed a winning Congressional campaign and worked in the U.S. Senate, at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, at a leading international PR firm, on a presidential campaign in Iowa and in White House presidential advance. Follow him on Twitter - @MattMackowiak

    Laura Gross - Contributor
    Laura Gross is currently president of Scott Circle Communications. She has served as deputy director of communications at the DNC, was Gov. Howard Dean's Communications Director and she worked in the press office at USAID during the Clinton administration. Her experience also includes time in the PR department of National Public Radio and she was part of Vice President Gore's advance team when he was in The White House.
    Follow her on Twitter: @ScottCircle

    Blain K. Rethmeier - Contributor
    Blain K. Rethmeier is currently the Senior Vice President for Public Affairs for the American Insurance Association (AIA). Rethmeier joined AIA from the White House where he served as Special Assistant to the President for Communications and directed communications for the National Economic Council and Homeland Security Council. Prior to joining the White House, Rethmeier served as Press Secretary for the Senate Judiciary Committee.
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