Political Blog

Find posts by keyword
Find posts by date


Conway campaign hires bedevil Mongiardo spokesman

by Joe Arnold


Posted on December 9, 2009 at 11:13 PM

Amid double-digit unemployment, Kentucky politicians might have the best job plan of all..... staffing the U.S. Senate campaigns to replace retiring U.S. Senator Jim Bunning (R).  Jack Conway's latest hires have the Dan Mongiardo campaign aflutter, characterizing Conway's high-powered assemblage as a sign that his campaign is desperate.
And, in a theme that Mongiardo spokesman Kim Geveden clearly enjoys, Geveden is giddy that Conway's choice for campaign manager is, like Conway, an alumnus of Duke University, the hated NCAA Basketball nemesis of the Kentucky Wildcats.  “Jack Conway’s campaign of Dukies, by Dukies and for Dukies stands in sharp contrast to Daniel Mongiardo’s campaign of Kentuckians, by Kentuckians and for Kentuckians.  Regardless, we extend a warm Kentucky welcome to Mr. Drobis and wish him the best in his new endeavors on behalf of Jack Conway and the Blue Devil nation.”
Press releases from both campaigns follow.  Conway's release highlights the Bill and Hillary Clinton connections to his campaign team.

          Conway Campaign Assembles Top Tier Campaign Team
Team offers unmatched National, Senate and Kentucky experience
LOUISVILLE – The U.S. Senate campaign of Democratic candidate Jack Conway announced his campaign team today. The team includes some of the Democratic Party’s top advisors, leading experts on winning tough battleground states and unmatched Kentucky success.

”We have put together one of the best teams in the country. This team will allow us to execute a professional plan to win back Wendell Ford’s U.S. Senate seat. I welcome our new members of the team, Jonathan Drobis and Allison Haley, and I look forward to a great year ahead,"
Conway said.

Jack Conway’s Team includes: 

  •  Media Strategist: Mandy Grunwald of Grunwald Communications has served President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on both her Presidential and Senate campaigns, Senators Ken Salazar, Al Franken, Jeanne Shaheen, and Amy Klobuchar as well as numerous other national leaders. Grunwald also worked for Kentucky Senator Wendell Ford and Governor Wallace Wilkinson.

  • Campaign Manager: Jonathan Drobis. Drobis has experience in nearly every component of campaigning from working with field operations on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign to political strategy and direct mail with a prominent consulting firm to his most recent position as Deputy Campaign Manager for Bill Thompson, Democratic candidate for Mayor of New York City.

  • Press Secretary: Allison Haley. Haley is one of the most experienced communication experts in Kentucky having served as Communications Director for Bruce Lunsford’s U.S. Senate campaign, the Kentucky Democratic Party and House Speaker Pro Team Larry Clark’s office and as a long-time political reporter.

  • Media Strategist and General Consultant: Mark Riddle of Fletcher Rowley Riddle, has served as Conway’s longtime advisor. His media firm has elected over a dozen Members of Congress and numerous leaders across the country. FRR, Inc has worked for Attorney General Jack Conway, now Congressman Ben Chandler, Mayor Jerry Abramson, Mayor Jim Newberry and elected leaders across Kentucky.

  • Pollster and Senior Strategist: Pete Brodnitz of Benenson Strategy Group was named Pollster of the Year in 2007. Brodnitz’s firm polls for President Barack Obama, the Democratic National Committee and DSCC Chair Senator Bob Menendez. Their work includes huge Democratic wins for Tim Kaine for Governor, Senators Jim Webb, Jeff Merkley the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, among others.

  • Direct Mail and Senior Strategist: Joe Hansen of Ambrosino, Muir & Hansen, a leading direct mail firm that currently represents 20 US Senators and 14 Governors. AM&H was also chosen as the Western region mail firm for the Obama campaign. Joe Hansen has been active in Democratic campaign for 25 years. He has managed 4 successful US States Senate campaigns, and has served as the executive director of the DSCC in the 2000 cycle.

  • Research and Strategic Positioning: Benjamin Jones of New Partners has served as a lead research strategist with the Obama campaign and the DNC during the 2008 election cycle, and served as Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee's director of research during the 2001-2005 election cycles. Jones has worked with more than 65 campaigns in 27 states, including U.S. Senate, congressional, gubernatorial, mayoral and state legislative races.

  • Senior Advisor: Charles Halloran of DC-based Spectrum partners boasts a career spanning from Bill Clinton’s New Hampshire Primary through his work at the Democratic National Committee, DCCC and Capitol Hill. Halloran is one of the top campaign operatives in the country, and will now primarily be assisting the campaign from his office in DC. He recently served as general consultant to five winning congressional races in 2008 and played an integral role in Conway’s record-breaking fundraising effort while serving as interim campaign manager.





Fellow Duke Blue Devil to Manage Conway Campaign

 FRANKFORT---Trailing Lt. Governor Daniel Mongiardo by double digits in the latest Survey USA poll (39-28)  Attorney General Jack Conway has now hired his third campaign manager in the past three months, turning to Jonathan Drobis, a fellow Duke Blue Devil alumni.


 “Jack Conway has switched managers more times than he’s switched positions on ‘cap and trade.’  Jack Conway’s problems have nothing to do with his campaign manager. Jack Conway’s problem is that he’s invested millions in a Texas natural gas company that does not support the development of clean Kentucky coal, his campaign is largely supported by New York and California special interests, and he can’t even take a firm position on President Obama’s decision to send more troops to Afghanistan to defeat Al Qaeda,” said Kim Geveden, campaign spokesman for Mongiardo.

 Drobis, who lives in Washington, D.C., was most recently deputy manager to losing New York City mayoral candidate Bill Thompson.

 Conway’s first manager was Mark Riddle. After Conway’s profane outburst at Fancy Farm and faltering fundraising numbers in the 3rd quarter, Riddle was replaced with Charles Halloran. Halloran had recently served as Chief of Staff to now disgraced Congressman Tim Mahoney of Florida.

 Geveden poked fun at Conway’s turning to a fellow Duke alum to be his manager,  “Jack Conway’s campaign of Dukies, by Dukies and for Dukies stands in sharp contrast to Daniel Mongiardo’s campaign of Kentuckians, by Kentuckians and for Kentuckians.  Regardless, we extend a warm Kentucky welcome to Mr. Drobis and wish him the best in his new endeavors on behalf of Jack Conway and the Blue Devil nation.”