Democratic Businessman Brings On Seasoned Team of Campaign Consultants and Operatives for Orange County Congressional Race
LAGUNA BEACH, CA — Shortly after news broke of his dominating fundraising performance which highlighted his total funds raised and cash-on-hand as within striking distance of incumbent Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, today businessman and Democrat Harley Rouda, who has already assembled an operation comprised of 400 volunteer signs ups and 48 precinct captains, made public the hiring of his full campaign team, including the following:
- Jacobson & Zilber Strategies, Lead Strategists and Media Consultants
- Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (FM3), Opinion Research and Polling Team
- Burnside & Associates, Field Strategists and Community Outreach Consultants
- Mandate Media, Digital Strategists and Consultants
- Tracy Austin, Fundraising Consultant
- Katharine Abrahamson, Call Time Manager
- Anita Narayana, Director of Communications
Upon announcing his official team for his Congressional bid, Rouda stated:
“I’m excited to announce our team of veteran campaign strategists and operatives. With so much at stake for Orange County, California and the people of our great nation, I’m fully confident that this team will help ensure I run an aggressive, robust and competitive campaign that’s districtwide and gets my message of common sense for common ground to every corner of the 48th. I look forward to having their help in the months ahead as we work tirelessly to flip the 48th District from red-to-blue so that we can bring sanity, progress and pragmatism to Washington.”
Notably, Dave Jacobson, John Fairbank and Sue Burnside, collectively were key team members in California’s first-in-the-state jungle primary back in 2011 for then Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn’s Congressional bid. In that campaign, the team helped navigate the uncharted waters and guide Hahn through a crowded field of 16 candidates, including California’s then sitting Secretary of State Debra Bowen, to victory and ultimately as the state’s representative for the pre-redistricting 36th Congressional District.
Co-founded by Dave Jacobson and Maclen Zilber, Jacobson and Zilber Strategies is one of the nation’s top strategic communications, media and political consulting firms. The firm’s partners have extensive experience in Orange County, having recently served as strategists for CA-48’s bordering Congressman, Lou Correa, in his 2016 primary election who prevailed among a crowded field of candidates. Both Jacobson and Zilber are regular guest political commentators on CNN Newsroom, CNN International, FOX News Channel and FOX Los Angeles, as well as regular Huffington Post contributors. They represent a range of clients including Ed Hernandez for California Lieutenant Governor, Ricardo Lara for California Insurance Commissioner, Eric Bauman for Chair of the California Democratic Party, and have worked with Congressman Mark DeSaulnier, Congressman Ro Khanna, former Congresswoman and L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn, former California State Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, State Senator Steven Bradford, State Assembly Member Reggie Jones-Sawyer, Hillary Clinton for President, SEIU, AFSCME, LiUNA, along with myriad others elected leaders and organizations.
Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (FM3), a California-based opinion research firm, offers a wide range of opinion research, communications strategy and consulting services to assist political candidates, ballot measure committees, corporations, non-profit organizations and government agencies. The firm’s partner John Fairbank and Paul Maslin, along with its Vice President Rick Sklarz, will serve as the campaign’s official pollsters. Some of FM3’s clients have included California Governor Jerry Brown, California United States Senators Patty Murray and Barbara Boxer (Ret.), DCCC, Congressman Lou Correa, Congressman Tony Cardenas, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, Congressman Jared Huffman, Congressman John Garamendi, Congressman Ro Khanna, Congressman Jimmy Panetta, among others.
Burnside & Associates is the first national field consulting firm –and still the best. The firm prides itself on its ability to create innovative field programs that handle every aspect of a campaign’s needs. Time and election results show there really is nothing like a good field program. For nearly thirty years, Burnside & Associates’ grassroots field operations, turnout programs, ground-based vote-by-mail programs, and coalition building have been renowned for giving candidates and their clients the winning edge. Founder Sue Burnside helped set the standard for field operations and strategic voter contact. Burnside & Associates is proud to have worked with the Democratic National Committee to create the foundation of their vote-by-mail training programs. Burnside & Associates has proudly led grassroots trainings for the California Democratic Party, America Votes, Moving America Forward, the Human Rights Campaign Youth College, The Women: Organized to Win PAC and Victory Fund – where they have helped mobilize thousands of volunteers and political operatives. Their creative and innovative early and absentee voter programs have repeatedly produced come-from-behind wins for our clients- many times by less than one percent. Historic campaign victories include: Former Congressmember Janice Hahn’s special election in 2011; the election of Assemblymember Cristina Garcia in 2012, and in 2010, State Senator Juan Vargas victory by just 22 votes.
Mandate Media, spearheaded by President Kari Chisholm, is a full service digital strategy and services firm specializing in progressive political campaigns and advocacy organizations. A team dedicated to finding and developing the unique voice of their clients – a voice that resonates and helps them win. They believe in the importance of the progressive movement to make a difference and they are committed to help. Their work is based on the internet as a radical medium that empowers passionate people and committed organizations. Mandate Media recruits volunteers, raises money, and shapes the media environment of the campaign through online advertising. Some of their clients have included U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, Congressman Bill Foster, as well as a host of others.
Austin Inc.’s Tracy Austin has fifteen years of experience in politics and government, on the national, state and local level. Prior to serving as a fundraising consultant, she was Finance Director for Governor Gray Davis’ recall election and a member of the Finance team that raised an unprecedented $68 million dollars for Governor Davis’ reelection campaign. Having worked for President Bill Clinton, Governor Ed Rendell, Governor Gray Davis, Senator Chris Dodd and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to name a few, Tracy has extensive networks throughout California.
Katharine Abrahamson worked on four different campaigns in the 2016 election cycle. Most notably she ran the fundraising operation for the reelection of Congressman Dave Loebsack, helping to rake-in and raise a significant $1.6 million plus for the cycle.
Anita Narayana has worked on several campaigns in California, most recently for then-Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. She is a longtime member of the California Young Democrats, serves as the Secretary of the Democratic Party of Orange County, an Executive Board Member of the California Democratic Party and previously work on Hillary Clinton’s 2008 Presidential bid.
Today’s announcement comes on the heels of several recent campaign updates, all of which reflect Rouda’s increasing momentum, including:
- Scoring over 50 grassroots endorsements, along with the backing of regional Democratic Party heavyweights like past Orange County Democratic Party Chair Frank Barbaro and former California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, among others.
- Releasing his first video ad, titled, Clean House, which garnered national attention in the Washington Post.
- Raising over $200,000 before the March 31, 2017 deadline, as reported by POLITICO and coming in neck-and-neck with incumbent Rohrabacher in Q1, as reported by the Orange County Register.
- Raising the campaign’s first $100,000 in only 12 days since entering the CA-48 contest, as reported by Roll Call.
- Unveiling his initial agenda items for what he plans to address in Washington.
- Publishing an Op-Ed titled, “Time to finally ensure that healthcare coverage is a right for every American” on Medium.com.
- Publishing an Op-Ed titled, “As Rohrabacher fights to revoke women’s healthcare, it’s time we fight to revoke his seat”
- Directly challenging incumbent Congressman Dana Rohrabacher to a series of five debates
Harley Rouda is a successful businessman who has created several successful companies, and now serves on the board of numerous companies in a variety of industries. Rouda received an MBA from The Ohio State University, and a J.D. from Capital University Law School. He lives in Laguna Beach, with his wife Kaira Rouda, a bestselling author. They have four children.
Active in numerous charities and civic organizations over the years, Harley has been involved in fighting homelessness and domestic violence; active with Human Rights Watch; supporting education for the disadvantaged as well as supporting access to higher education; saving military jobs; and working with civic organizations to drive economic development.
The 48th Congressional District is considered a ripe pickup opportunity for Democrats, as Hillary Clinton won the district by 2%. The district is seen as all the more winnable given that Rohrabacher is an unabashed supporter of Russia’s Putin, and is one of Donald Trump’s closest allies in Congress. The 48th Congressional district also had one of the largest swings of any Congressional district in the country from 2012 to 2016, with more than 13 percentage points at the presidential level shifting to Democratic.
For more information, please visit www.HarleyforCongress.com.