Blueprint Communications made its first splash Tuesday, hiring veteran GOP communicator Lisa Camooso Miller as a partner at the new Republican public-relations firm.
The move is a coming-out of sorts for managing partners Jim Morrell and Chad Kolton, who quietly founded Blueprint in April after leaving public affairs firm HDMK. The news that Miller, a well-respected Washington insider, is joining the firm next month is sure to turn heads among K Street’s ultra-competitive consultant class.
Miller joins Blueprint from the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, where she built the trade group’s earned media program as vice president of media affairs. Last year, Miller ran a political-style campaign in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia that helped make coal an issue in those battleground presidential campaign states. For years, ACCCE has been at the forefront of surround-sound communication campaigns that target lawmakers in Washington and at home.
In her new role, she’ll continue to work with ACCCE; she’s taking them on as a client.
All the firm’s partners have worked on the Hill and know the pressures staffers face, she said. It’s why at ACCCE, Miller, who has done communications for the House speaker, the Bush administration and the Republican National Committee, said she regularly sent recess kits and background material to the press secretaries of lawmakers interested in energy issues.
“She understands the Hill much better than most people do,” said Doug Heye, a deputy chief of staff for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. “That’s not just because of her jobs on the Hill in the speaker’s office or the RNC. After leaving the Hill, Lisa kept close tabs on what’s happening not just legislatively but with the people making the decisions.”
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In a release Tuesday afternoon, the White House announced that President Obama has commuted and/or reduced the sentences of another 111 convicted criminals, mostly convicted of drug possession or trafficking. About 35 were serving life sentences.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said Monday he'd now be willing to hold a hearing on Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland in a lame-duck session of Congress. While he said he wouldn't push for it, he said if "Hillary Clinton wins the White House, and a majority of senators convinced him to do so," he would soften his previous opposition.
We can call this the anti-Sherman-esque statement: If reelected, Marco Rubio ... might serve his whole term. Or he might not. The senator, who initially said he wouldn't run for a second term this year, now tells CNN that if reelected, he wouldn't necessarily serve all six years. “No one can make that commitment because you don’t know what the future is gonna hold in your life, personally or politically,” he said, before adding that he's prepared to make his Senate seat the last political office he ever holds.
Since Rodrigo Duterte took over as president of the Philippines in June, he has made a serious of controversial statements and launched a war on drugs that has led to nearly 2000 deaths. He called the US ambassador to the Philippines, Philip Goldberg, "a gay son of a bitch." Next week, President Obama will meet with President Duterte at the East Asia Summit in Laos, where he " will raise concerns about some of the recent statements from the president of the Philippines," according to White House Deputy National Security advisor Ben Rhodes.
The Convention of States Project, which seeks to force a constitutional convention under Article V of the Constitution, will hold a "dry run" in Colonial Williamsburg starting Sept. 21. "Several states have already followed the process in Article V to endorse the convention." Thirty-four are required to call an actual convention. "The dry run in Williamsburg is meant to show how one would work and focus on the changes and potential constitutional amendments that would be proposed."