Creative, Persuasive and Disciplined

Talking Shop

A few weeks back I was invited by Campaigns & Elections to get together with some other California based political consultants and to talk shop. Here’s the resulting piece by Sean Miller at Campaigns & Elections magazine online:

Shop Talk: The Consulting World’s Colorful Coast

One Woman in a Sea of Men

Growing up in the 1960s, it was rare to see a woman in a leadership position in government, politics or journalism.  No woman had ever been CEO of a Fortune 500 company, or a television news anchor.  For 20 years, 1955 - 1975, not one woman served in any President's cabinet.  At the end of the sixties, only one woman served in the U.S. Senate, joined by 10 in the House - a tiny 2.5% of the Congress.

In this context, White House correspondent Helen Thomas stood out like a beacon. In her fearless questioning of Presidents and their staff, she demonstrated that women could go toe to toe with the leader of the free world.  Just as powerful, the image of Helen Thomas in the front row of the White House briefing room showed a woman leading the way in a room full of her male peers.  Her election as the first woman to lead the White House Correspondents Association was recognition of her relentless practice of journalism.  She cracked the glass ceiling long before the term was invented.

The anti-Semitism that was revealed at the end of her life was a shocking disappointment to many of us who followed her career.  Those revelations don't diminish the power she had as a role model for generations of young women, who saw her playing the game at the highest level and were inspired to pursue dreams of a career in journalism, politics or government.

This Washington Post photo gallery illustrates how Thomas was often the only woman in a sea of male journalists.

Washington, DC - AAPC

I'm in Washington, DC for the annual conference of the American Association of Political Consultants, the national organization of campaign consultants.  The annual conference is a great way to keep up with the best practices in campaigns and hear from the top consultants in the country how they see the landscape evolving.   I was honored to be selected to join the board of directors last year and it has been great to get to know consultants from both parties from around the country.   Our next conference will be in Sacramento in June - hope to see you at one of our events this year.

Looking Back on DOMA

As the Supreme Court considers the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a look back at the original debate reminds me of the swift change of public opinion on this issue.  During  the original passage of DOMA in 1996, I was working for Senator Barbara Boxer as her state director. Read More...

California's Success with Online Voter Registration

California's new online voter registration system is a huge success.  In the one month the system was available just before the November 2012 election, more than 839,000 people registered online, an increase of about 5 percent. Read More...