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December 31, 2010

Thank You for Making 2010 a Great Year for @potomacflacks

2010 2011 Thanks for making 2010 a great year for Potomac Flacks.

Since the blog was created, we have had over 488,000 hits to the website and we average about 10,000 hits each month.

We update this blog on a (nearly) daily basis in a non-partisan fashion with the goal of chronicling the comings and goings of flacks in DC.  Our site relies on your confidential tips and your continued interest.

For real-time updates, please follow our blog on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/potomacflacks.

Our blog authors may be followed on Twitter or emailed with tips (confidentiality guaranteed):


Matt Mackowiak – @MattMackowiak / [email protected]

Laura Gross – @ScottCircle / [email protected]

Blain Rethmeier – @BlainR / [email protected]


We look forward to bringing you flack news in 2011!



The Potomac Flacks Team

December 29, 2010

Chairman Upton Names Top Two Communications Staff at House Energy and Commerce Committee

Rep. Fred Upton House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) named Alexa Marrero Communications Director and Sean Bonyun Deputy Communications Director at the committee for the 112th Congress.  Marrero has served since 2007 as Communications Director for the House Committee on Education and Labor under Senior Republican Members Rep. John Kline (R-MN) and Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA).  She was previously Vice President of Communications and Industry Relations for the nonprofit Education Finance Council, and before that served as Press Secretary for the Committee on Education and the Workforce under then-Chairman John Boehner (R-OH).  Bonyun has served as Communications Director for Congressman Upton since 2003.  Prior to joining Upton's staff, Bonyun served as Press Secretary for Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-CT) and Rep. Steve Kuykendall (R-CA).  (PF tipster)


December 22, 2010

OVP Press Office: Deputy Press Secretary Tomasini to Harvard, Dudley Replaces Her

OVP According to Politico’s “Playbook”, Annie Tomasini, Deputy Press Secretary for Vice President Biden, is joining Harvard Public Affairs and Communications as Director of Intergovernmental Relations.  According to Harvard, Tomasini will have primary responsibility for managing Harvard's interactions with the Massachusetts legislature and executive branch on issues affecting higher education and research.  Tomasini began her career with the Boston-based consulting firm Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications.  In 2006, she began working for then-Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE).  Serving first as Iowa Press Secretary with the Biden for President campaign, she was eventually appointed Press Secretary on his U.S. Senate staff and ultimately Deputy Press Secretary for the Vice President.  She is a graduate of Boston University, where she was a three-time basketball team captain, and was inducted into the Boston Latin School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008.

Vice President Biden said, 'Annie has been a trusted and loyal member of my inner circle, as well as a source of support for the entire Biden family.  Jill and I will miss her deeply, but we wish her the best in her future endeavors.”

Vice President Biden has appointed Amy Dudley as Deputy Press Secretary.   Dudley most recently served as Senator Ted Kaufman's (D-DE) Press Secretary.  Prior to the Senate, she worked in the public affairs office of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs.  Dudley began her career in Washington as a staff writer for The Hotline.  A native of Brookfield, Connecticut, Dudley graduated from Colgate University with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and Peace and Conflict Studies.  Dudley joins the Vice President's communications office, which is led by Communications Director Jay Carney, Press Secretary Elizabeth Alexander and Assistant Press Secretary Liz Allen.  (Politico “Playbook”)

December 21, 2010

House Majority Whip McCarthy Names Top Two Press Staff

Kevin McCarthy Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the House Majority Whip for the 112th Congress, has named Sarah Pompei as his Communications Director.  Pompei most recently served as Press Secretary for the Meg Whitman campaign in California.  Before that she was Communications Director for the Senate campaign of Mike Johanns (R-NE), holding the same position for Johanns in the U.S. Senate.  Pompei was previously Deputy Press Secretary for the Mitt Romney for President campaign, Press Secretary for the 2006 Senate campaign of Conrad Burns (R-MT) and served as spokeswoman for the California Republican Party. 

Erica Elliott has been named Press Secretary for the Whip.  Elliott has served as Press Secretary for McCarthy in his personal office in the 111th Congress and previously served as Press Secretary for Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ). (PF tipster)

JOBS OF THE WEEK: DCCC Hiring Regional Press Secretaries, Staff Writer

DCCC The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is seeking experienced, strategic communicators to be Regional Press Secretaries for the 2012 cycle.  The regional press secretary is responsible for developing relationships with media in targeted congressional districts. The regional press secretary spends a significant amount of time working with individual candidates and campaigns to develop and implement aggressive media strategies, story pitches, writing press releases and talking points, and interview preparation. Campaign experience preferred.  2-3 years of on the record experience is required for the position.  To apply please send resume, cover letter, and 2 brief writing samples to Stephen Carter at [email protected].

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) seeks an experienced Staff Writer for the 2010 cycle.  The Staff Writer is primarily responsible for writing and editing DCCC releases, speeches and talking points, as well as content for e-mails, letters, newsletters, and websites in a fast-paced environment.  Ability to multitask and produce well-written copy under tight deadlines is critical.  The position requires excellent research and organization skills.  This is not an entry level position.  To apply please send resume, cover letter, and 3 writing samples to Stephen Carter at [email protected].  (PF tipster)

December 20, 2010

Pelosi Announces Communications Staff Leadership for 112th Congress

Nancy Pelosi Outgoing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced today that she has named Nadeam Elshami as Communications Director / Senior Advisor and Drew Hammill as Deputy Communications Director / Press Secretary.

Elshami has worked as Deputy Communications Director and Senior Advisor to the Speaker since February 2007.  In his most recent position before joining the Speaker’s office, Elshami served as Senior Communications Advisor for Assistant Democratic Leader Richard Durbin (D-IL) and also worked for Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL).  Elshami has worked on Capitol Hill since 1992 and holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Evansville.

Hammill has served as the Speaker’s Press Secretary since 2007.  He began working for then-Democratic Leader Pelosi in August 2006 as Deputy Press Secretary.  Hammill previously served as Press Secretary to Congressman Kendrick Meek (D-FL).  Hammill holds bachelor's degrees from the University of Illinois in Political Science and Communications, and a master's degree in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics.   (PF tipster)

December 17, 2010

MSNBC Adds Hayre and Skowronski to Communications Team

MSNBC logo PR Newser reports that MSNBC has added two directors to its media relations team: Tanya Hayre, who joins from Fox News, and Lauren Skowronski, who was promoted to her current position.  Both directors will report to Jeremy Gaines, VP of communications.  According to Gaines, the two Director positions were created to capitalize on the talent available.  “We have two strong players, so now we have two directors,” he says.  They will work on a variety of shows including those airing during primetime and Morning Joe.  Alana Russo, who was previously Senior Director of Media Relations, joined CW as VP of Corporate Communications in October.  (PR Newser)

Dijulio Jumps from Wicker to Coats

Tara Dijulio According to Politico’s “Huddle”, Tara (Hendershott) DiJulio, has accepted a job as Communications Director with returning Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN).  Dijulio had been working in the same capacity for Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) and was Press Secretary for outgoing Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT) previously.  Dijulio received her undergraduate degree at the University of Washington.  (Politico’s “Huddle”)

December 16, 2010

House Conference Press Secretary Vought Goes to the Senate

Mary Vought Mary Vought, the House Republican Conference Press Secretary in the 111th Congress under outgoing Chairman Mike Pence (R-IN), is headed to the Senate to be Communications Director for incoming GOP freshman U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI).  Vought served at the Conference for the last two years, and had previously been a flack for Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ).  (Politico’s “Playbook”)

December 15, 2010

House Majority Leader-designate Cantor Rounds Out Comms Staff

Brad_Dayspring Thanks to our friends at Politico Playbook, we have learned that House Majority Leader-designate Eric Cantor (R-VA) has announced additional senior staff for the new Office of the Majority Leader in the 112th Congress: Brad Dayspring will be Communications Director; Matt Lira will be Director of New Media; and Laena Fallon, communications director for retiring Sen. Judd Gregg, will be Press Secretary.

DAYSPRING BIO: “Brad will develop and implement a long term communications strategy as well as manage all day-to-day communications and press operations. … Brad handled media relations for the National Restaurant Association after working for several years at the White House where he served as deputy director for press advance for President George W. Bush. Brad began his career working for then House Budget Chairman and current Governor-elect John Kasich (R-OH). Brad is a graduate of Villanova University and originally hails from Pompton Lakes, New Jersey.”

About the Authors

  • FOLLOW US: @potomacflacks
  • 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.
    Follow him on Twitter: @BlainR

    This is a personal group blog whose contents in no way reflect the views of any author's employer.

    Got a tip? Email Matt, Blain or Laura (anonymity guaranteed)

    Potomac Flacks Founder and Author Emeritus: Adam Kovacevich
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