Monday, April 18, 2005

Possible Guv candidate Rauschenberger considers retaining Pascoe, Proft, et al.

The recent buzz has been that the Rauschenberger for Governor campaign effort [still viewed as a potential as opposed to a “for sure,” thing] has hired the Urquhart Media political consulting firm to run his campaign. Senator Raushenberger’s brother John said not quite, but he did confirm today that the Urquhart political consulting firm is being considered by Senator Rauschenberger to run his campaign, along with two unnamed firms—one from DC and one from Michigan.

The plans to hire a solid, political consulting firm could be an indication that Senator Rauschenberger is ready to make this a serious, full-steam ahead effort. John Rauschenberger appears to be working very hard and well at fund raising, along with his candidate-kid brother, but if the Rauschenberger for Governor team is truly going to take off, he needs a full-time, professional campaign team-something state senator Rauschenberger was lacking [notwithstanding Charlie Stone's solid media skills] when he ran for the U. S. Senate last year.

The Urquhart team, whose name has a certain charm to it, has had its choice of name and campaign techniques questioned, not surprisingly, by some on the left. The team includes Bill Pascoe [who joined the Jack Ryan train wreck as a Communications Director and as the resident “grown up,” two months before the train was derailed], Dan Proft [known for running the Illinois Leader when he is not telling pols which fork to use, what to say and what their strategic focus should be-- joined the Jack Ryan debacle early on as a youngish, senior adviser. That was after Proft had worked for and with such diverse individuals as old GOP type and former Illinois House minority leader Lee Daniels, quite moderate Republican North Shore State Rep. Beth Coulson and conservative, reformer former State Senator Pat O’Malley on his 2002 Guv effort], Jeff Davis [who has a penchant for campaign nitty gritty and keeping track of the campaign hardware, e.g., campaign signs, etc. and how they can best be positioned] and Brian Timpone, who among his website skills and other talents, has worked with Proft on keeping the Illinois Leader afloat-which some view as a full time, if not futile, effort.

Pascoe [who knew Ambassador Keyes going back to the heady days of the Reaganadministration] and Proft, after they had worked together on the Jack Ryan debacle, helped pull and put together the Alan Keyes U. S. Senate effort, a mission improbable they quickly realized they had little control over-- as Keyes made every effort to make sure success was less and less likely with each passing day. Proft, Keyes' Deputy Campaign Manager, wrote recently, “On paper, Keyes could have provided a legit challenge [to Obama] lasted for about a week before Keyes embarked upon the Road to Damascus by himself.” As Larry Handlin at Archpundit has pointed out, perhaps Pascoe and Proft should have anticipated Keyes' predilections and been prepared to deal with them, if their motives were as pure as they suggest. In the alternative, if Pascoe and Proft really could not have anticipated the antics of Alan Keyes, then perhaps when they saw what Keyes had in mind, they should have done what the British used to recommend as the honorable thing to do in such circumstances: resign.

Urquhart Media can claim as a victory the recent Larry Dominick win for Cicero Town President over incumbent Cicero Town President Ramiro Gonzalez. Of course, in Cicero nothing is ever what it seems to be, so who-- other than now Chicago Sun-Times columnist and TV documentarian Carol Marin, who has seemingly made Cicero her life's work-- really knows who won there or what they won, if anything.

Also recently, Republican Cook County Board member Tony Peraica-- one of the Board’s Four Horsemen or Gang of Four [along with Democrat Commissioners Claypool, Quigley and Suffredin] who seem intent on bringing Board President Stroger to his Apocalypse Now-- retained Urquhart to run Peraica’s nascent campaign for Cook County Board President, a campaign whose first hurdle might be to win a Republican Primary, should County Commissioner Liz Gorman [or someone else] decide to jump into the race.

Peraica, Dominick and possibly Rauschenberger—before you know it-- Urquhart Media might have a bit of a name for itself within political circles, unless the entity turns out to be just a House of Cards, so to speak.
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at