View Full Version : Ron Paul e-campaign director makes "Campaigns and Elections" Rising Stars List

06-03-2008, 10:38 PM
Her name is Justine Lam.

Campaigns & Elections' Politics Magazine Names Its 2008 Rising Stars

Campaigns & Elections' Politics magazine today named its 2008 Rising Stars. One of the most prestigious honors in politics, the award goes to people 35 or under who have already made a significant mark in political consulting or advocacy. The magazine chose 10 Democrats, 10 Republicans and five nonpartisan leaders this year out of a pool of several hundred nominees.

"The number of nominations this year was three times higher than last year," said Politics Editor-in-Chief Bill Beaman. "It has never been harder to select our Rising Stars, especially given the impressive pool of nominees."

Past Rising Stars have included David Axelrod, Paul Begala, Donna Brazile, James Carville, Alex Castellanos, Rahm Emanuel, Ed Gillespie, Alexis Herman, Karen Hughes, Laura Ingraham, Celinda Lake, Jim Pinkerton, Ralph Reed and George Stephanopoulos. This year's recipients will be honored at a special reception, sponsored by Micro Target Media, at the 25th annual Campaigns & Elections campaign training seminar, "The Art of Political Campaigning," on June 12 in Washington, D.C.

The 2008 Rising Stars are:


David All
When David All started working in the office of Rep. Jack Kingston at age 24, he hadn't even made his first YouTube video yet. Now he is leading the Grand Old Party into the new Internet era. "I started realizing in late 2005, there were all these bloggers out there that absolutely no one was talking to," All says. He started engaging the online community and helped earn Kingston the moniker "King of the Blogosphere." All spearheaded a workshop for other staffers, and blogs started popping up all over the Hill. "It was like explaining water to people who had only lived in the desert," Kingston says. In early 2007, All founded Slatecard PAC, the GOP's answer to ActBlue, the Democrats' online fundraising vehicle. In less than a year, Slatecard has raised more than $350,000 for Republicans.

Luke Bernstein
A career in politics never crossed Luke Bernstein's mind until Sept. 11. At the time, he worked for a financial firm in the south tower of the World Trade Center. After the terrorist attack, Bernstein says he decided almost immediately to devote his life to public service. A staunch conservative, he moved to Washington, D.C. and became a driver for Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.). Soon he was working in Santorum's press office and served as deputy campaign manager for Santorum's 2006 reelection bid. After tough statewide losses (including Santorum's seat), the state party tapped Bernstein as executive director. He helped lead the state GOP to critical wins in 2007. "Luke was always able to navigate the grassroots folks and bring together parts of the party that might have been unhappy with me because of a particular stance or a vote I had cast," recalls Santorum.

Robert Bluey
Robert Bluey came to Washington hoping to make it as a political reporter, but it wasn't long before he became enamored with the blogosphere. Working as a reporter at Cybercast News Service, Bluey gained national recognition as one of the "Rathergate bloggers," a group of bloggers and reporters who broke the story of the falsified documents CBS relied upon for its report on President Bush's National Guard service. Bluey went on to become the managing editor at the conservative newspaper Human Events, where he developed the paper's first blog. Now at the Heritage Foundation, Bluey leads a weekly gathering of conservative bloggers to talk media strategy and public policy.

Mike Bober
Mike Bober got into the fundraising game by chance. "I was just looking for a paid position out of college," he says. "Some of my classmates were taking unpaid internships in congressional offices or on [congressional] committees. I just couldn't afford that." He landed at Hammond & Associates, a PAC fundraising firm, where he found he has a head for numbers and quickly rose to senior associate. Now executive director of the House Conservatives Fund, Bober has helped grow the fund's donor base from 3,000 to more than 10,000 individual donors, and he's a regular at Grover Norquist's weekly gathering of conservative activists. "He's obviously raising money in an environment that's not that great for Republicans," Norquist says, "which makes what he's been able to do even more impressive."

Jessica Keegan
It was the spring of 2005 when Jessica Keegan realized just how much she missed politics. "I was writing press releases about engine technology and I said 'I just can't do this anymore,'" she remembers. For someone who had managed some $20 million in media expenditures for the National Rifle Association when she was only 27, working PR for an ad agency focused primarily on aerospace technology just couldn't cut it. Plus she missed the excitement. So in late 2005, Keegan headed back to Edmonds & Associates, where she had worked for six years as a production manager. As a vice president, Keegan pushed the firm into the digital age by launching a new media division in 2006-and was soon winning accolades for her online media campaigns.

Justine Lam
Prior to her role on Republican Rep. Ron Paul's presidential campaign, Justine Lam had never worked for a politician-and she's not sure she ever will again. "It was about the ideas and the message from the get-go," she says. But Paul was a different kind of politician, and Lam says he spoke to her political philosophy. As the campaign's second hire, her job was to set up the traditional campaign infrastructure, but in her free time she scanned blogs and social networking sites. "He had a lot of support online, and it only made sense to use that." The result: a record for the most money ever raised by a candidate online in a single day, and arguably the most successful netroots campaign in political history.

Patrick Ruffini
Patrick Ruffini first saw the potential for the intersection of the Internet and politics back in 1998. He started a grassroots website and e-mail support list for then Texas Gov. George W. Bush and grew it into the largest online political community in the 2000 presidential race. Ruffini became the Bush-Cheney web guru for the president's reelection bid, and later the RNC's eCampaign Director from 2005 to 2007. "It's sort of the classic outsider to insider story," Ruffini says. He oversaw the party's online strategy for the 2006 elections, and despite a tough cycle for the GOP, many credit Ruffini with developing new strategies to reach supporters and raise money online.

Chris Russell
In Chris Russell's six years leading the Burlington County Republican Party in New Jersey, the GOP never lost a county race. "He has tremendous political instincts," says pollster Jim McLaughlin, who has worked with Russell on numerous races. "He's the first guy I'd want on a campaign." And now, for the Traz Group, Russell is running a Republican congressional race in a district targeted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Russell's other passion is the Caitlin Elizabeth Russell Foundation, which he founded in honor of his daughter, who died from complications due to premature birth. The foundation has raised more than $85,000, from people in both parties. "I try not to see people in reds and blues, and the foundation really helps me do that," Russell says.

Melissa Sellers
Melissa Sellers' political education came at an early age. A journalism major, Sellers interned on George Bush's 2000 presidential campaign and a little more than a year later found herself running a campaign for the Texas state House at age 19. "That was when I realized, 'Hey, this is really fun,'" she says. In her first seven years in professional politics, Sellers has worked on six campaigns, winning five. She served as the northeast regional media coordinator for President Bush's reelection campaign and ran the communications shop for Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's campaign in 2007. Now, as Jindal's communications director, Sellers has a coveted office directly across from the governor-a space usually reserved for top legislative staffers, but that Jindal insisted on giving her.

Dee Stewart
Watching Ronald Reagan's first inaugural address in 1980, Dee Stewart decided he was a Republican-at the ripe old age of 7. "I've basically been running elections since I was in sixth grade," he says. By age 24, Dee was the finance director of the North Carolina Republican Party. At 25, he moved to the Iowa Republican Party as one of the country's youngest state party executive directors. At 27, Dee started his own firm in North Carolina and soon boasted one of the best winning percentages in the state. He helped lead North Carolina Rep. Patrick McHenry to an improbable victory in a three-person GOP primary. "Dee was the only person, other than me, who actually believed we could win," says McHenry.


J.J. Balaban
J.J. Balaban, who works with The Campaign Group in Philadelphia as a media consultant, has been involved with campaign advertising in 27 states and 42 congressional districts. A TV spot he co-wrote for Michael Nutter's successful mayoral bid in Philadelphia last year was broadly credited with helping Nutter win. But his favorite story comes from an earlier race. "In 1996, I had a great time working for [Pennsylvania Democrat] Ron DiNicola in his fierce challenge to then-freshman Congressman Phil English," Balaban says. "Ron was Muhammad Ali's attorney, so Ali came to Erie to help Ron the afternoon before the election. The press hadn't publicized the visit ahead of time, so people opened their doors and were astonished to see The Greatest standing outside. His appearance caused enough of a splash that Election Eve TV and the Election Day newspaper provided fantastic coverage-something the media is usually loath to give so close to the election."

Meredith Chaiken
Since graduating from Cornell University in 1998 with a degree in labor economics, Meredith Chaiken has been involved in numerous key Democratic races, including serving as John Kerry's deputy New Hampshire political director, and developing critical GOTV models for Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm in 2006. She's currently a senior analyst at the Mellman Group in D.C., a firm that specializes in Democratic polling and general strategy. "I would say that I relish the analytical role I have now, but also draw on my campaign experience constantly-what it means to run a walk list, how hard it is for volunteers to knock on strangers' doors," she says. "It is important to me to be to be able to understand the constraints of both polling and running campaigns and to communicate effectively in both worlds."

Amy Gershkoff
The director of analytics for MSHC Partners in Washington, Amy Gershkoff has already established herself as a major authority on microtargeting, polling and campaign strategy. Her most impressive accomplishment to date is SmartClus, a software program she designed last year that improves the accuracy of the clusters used in targeting. Prior to joining MSHC, Gershkoff taught at Princeton University and then served as a senior associate at Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research in Washington. But Gershkoff's early days at MSHC weren't all smooth sailing, thanks to the intensive computer code she writes. "I actually broke the first computer I had when I started working here," she laughs. "I was like, wow, I've worked here less than six months and I just broke a $4,000 machine. I was a little nervous how that was going to go over. The IT guy took it as a challenge to find a computer I couldn't break."

Carrie Giddins
Carrie Giddins became a familiar face as communications director of the Iowa Democratic Party before the historic caucuses back in January, traveling the state to help explain the quirky system to voters. "This past year, working in Iowa was a real highlight for me," Giddins says. "Iowa was the center of the universe for almost a year, and to have an opportunity to be out there was amazing." The contacts she made in the media have helped her become a regular pundit on national media outlets. But her most ambitious undertaking yet has been creating her own business, Giddy Up! Communications, a political communications consulting firm in Washington.

Bill Hyers
Bill Hyers is currently up in Manchester, N.H., managing Jeanne Shaheen's Senate campaign, but it's not his first high-profile campaign. He managed Kirsten Gillibrand's unlikely victory in her 2006 congressional bid in Upstate New York, and managed Michael Nutter's surprising rise to Philadelphia mayor last year. Hyers has often jumped at the opportunity to work for candidates the punditry initially dismissed-and with Hyers' help, most ultimately won. "To me, this business is all about getting good people elected to great positions," he says. "And while a lot of people send their resumes to the top campaigns with the best salaries, for me, working for decent people-not just the hottest candidates at the time-is very underrated."

Daniel Jester
A media supervisor with GMMB, a D.C.-based political media firm, Daniel Jester served as Sen. John Kerry's lead media-buying strategist during his 2004 presidential bid. Most recently, he directed Sen. Barack Obama's general market media buys. "So far, my most gratifying professional experience has been working with such an incredibly well-run presidential campaign for one of the most inspirational candidates that we've ever seen," Jester says. "And it comes at a time when we need hope and excitement in our politics. Jester's clients include A-listers like the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Montana Sen. Max Baucus and former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner.

Jonathan Karush
President and founder of Liberty Concepts in Boston, Jonathan Karush was also a co-founder of WinWinCampaign.org-one of the first vote-swapping sites-to soften the blow of Ralph Nader's presence in the 2000 presidential election. "Two of my best experiences in this business were helping Tammy Duckworth run for Congress in Illinois in 2006-even though we didn't win, she's one of the absolute best people I've ever worked for-and growing my company 500 percent a year while I was at Harvard in grad school," Karush says.

Byron LaMasters
In 2004, Byron LaMasters, who founded the Burnt Orange Report blog, and about three dozen other bloggers were credentialed for the first time to cover the Democratic National Convention. But LaMasters, a senior strategist for The Tyson Organization, says his most gratifying professional achievements have often involved working on small campaigns. "I'm actually proudest of the work that I've done in down-ballot races, particularly at the state legislative level," he says.

Louis Levine
Nine years ago, Louis Levine joined NGP Software, a firm that provides technical assistance for Democrats, including creating online contribution programs and maintaining FEC compliance. In that relatively short time, he has become a central force behind raising the company's profile and a leader in campaign finance compliance law. "My proudest professional accomplishment was the first time I saw NGP listed as a line item in a job description: 'prior knowledge of NGP a plus,'" Levine says. "It's a great feeling, knowing something that I have helped create is that central to what campaigns do." Today, NGP is involved with nearly 75 percent of Democratic federal incumbents and almost every major race out there.

Steve Marchand
In 2005, at age 31, Steve Marchand was elected mayor of Portsmouth, N.H., the youngest in the state's history. The distinction gave him statewide credibility that helped launch his brief Senate bid last year. Hoping to unseat incumbent Republican Sen. John Sununu, Marchand vowed to bow out if former New Hampshire Gov. Jeanne Shaheen entered the race. He made good on that promise once she announced, winning him the good graces of party elders likely to help him in the future. After putting his Senate ambitions aside for the time being, he founded the Marchand Group, a political and public affairs consulting firm.


Shane Cory
When Shane Cory took over the helm of the Libertarian National Committee in 2005, he worked overtime to turn the financial situation of the organization around. After 9/11, the LNC suffered financially due to a lack of contributions and other budgetary constraints. But slowly, largely through direct mail efforts, Cory stabilized the LNC's finances, and even brought them into the black. His prudence served the organization well, as well as his constant mantra of thriftiness to his staffers. Cory recently moved on from the LNC to take a position as president of the Internet division at American Target Advertising, as well as to serve as a senior political adviser to Libertarian Party presidential candidate Bob Barr.

Julie Germany
Julie Germany, the director of George Washington University's Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet, has devoted herself to examining how evolving technologies impact the political process. She has already authored an impressive assortment of papers examining the roles and potential of online political fundraising, peer networking groups, and other web-based technologies that are quickly becoming critical to waging effective campaigns. Carol Darr, who was Germany's predecessor at IPDI, says Germany always stays ahead of the curve. "Julie stays on the cutting edge of the new communication technologies and has a consistent record of spotting trends well before the political community is aware of them," Darr says.

Peter Greenberger
Some people say Peter Greenberger, manager of elections and issue advocacy with Google, Inc., has memorized the names and faces of every politico listed on the popular search engine. Once, in New York City, he and a co-worker were stuck in traffic, so they jumped out of a car and started sprinting to their meeting. "As we are running, sweating, trying to hold onto our bags, figuring out where we are, Peter goes, 'Oh, there's Steve Forbes!'" recalls Rena Shapiro, who works in the same division with Greenberger. "Sure enough, Steve Forbes was down the street walking towards us. Not only is this a testament to how Peter stays calm under pressure, but it shows how he keeps things in perspective in the most crazy moments of his job." Greenberger continues to face many sweat-inducing challenges, largely centered on convincing candidates and advocacy groups that they should be spending more on search and site targeted advertising. His early advice that politicians buy up "AdWords" on Google, for example, led to Sen. John McCain becoming one of the first to buy in. The Republican nominee now says he gets six to seven fundraising dollars in return for every dollar spent on buying AdWords.

Aaron Houston
When Aaron Houston, director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project, appeared on "The Colbert Report" in July 2007, he was prepared for the munchies jokes. Stephen Colbert didn't disappoint, asking Houston if he was "high right now" and proceeding to chow down on Doritos. Keeping a straight face, Houston just kept hitting home his talking points-just as he does when he regularly contacts members of Congress to educate them on marijuana policy. "People who are closeted about their marijuana use sometimes regard me as a person they can confide in, almost like a priest," Houston says. He's heard the confessions of everybody from bike messengers to members of Congress. "I'll never tell who they are," he says, "but if everyone who tried it knew in reality how many people are just like them, I think there might be much less stigmatization of its decriminalization."

Daniel Ureña
Daniel Ureña, Director of the MAS Consulting Group in Spain, has quickly turned the firm from a startup in 2004 to a leading presence in the international campaign consulting world. A San Antonio-based firm, MAS has offices in Spain and Mexico. During the last Spanish presidential election, he managed the Internet campaign of the conservative People's Party candidate, Mariano Rajoy, and has since developed an impressive roster of political and business clients. He's accomplished all this despite restrictions that American consultants don't have to face. Spain, for instance, doesn't allow campaigns to buy TV ads, campaigns can last only two weeks and the state assigns how much ad time candidates receive. Founder and CEO of MAS Consulting, César Martínez, says Ureña was key in developing the firm's media strategy. "Daniel made me do so many TV shows, radio and print interviews around Spain that I understood the pain our clients go through when they run for office," recalls Martínez. He credits his own growth as a consultant to Ureña's work ethic, along with his motto, "all politics is global."

William Beaman
Campaigns & Elections' Politics magazine

06-04-2008, 02:57 AM
That's funny I taught her everything she knows about the internet. duh.

06-11-2008, 07:12 PM
Here's the article on the site (about 2/3 of the way down)


06-11-2008, 08:52 PM
That's funny I taught her everything she knows about the internet. duh.

So, that means she don't know much then, huh. :D

New York For Paul
06-12-2008, 05:39 AM
Prior to her role on Republican Rep. Ron Paul's presidential campaign, Justine Lam had never worked for a politician-and she's not sure she ever will again. "

It was about the ideas and the message from the get-go," she says. After college, Lam spent a few years in the non-profit world. She met Paul in 2004, while she worked at George Mason University's Institute of Humane Studies. Looking back, did she ever envision herself working for a candidate even then? "Never, ever, ever, never," she says firmly.

But Paul was a different kind of politician, and Lam says he spoke to her political philosophy. As the campaign's second hire, she was tasked with setting up most of the traditional campaign infrastructure, but in her free time she would scan the social networking sites and read the blogs. "He had a lot of support online, and it only made sense to use that."

Lam developed online strategies that encouraged supporters to network and raise money outside of the campaign's website. The result: a record for the most money ever raised by a candidate online in a single day, and arguably the most successful netroots campaign in political history. Lam says she's been approached by the Republican National Committee and other GOP groups inquiring about her post-Ron Paul plans. "Something has to really appeal to me emotionally for me to do it," she says.