Steve Schmidt personal relations:
Matthew S. David - protege
Danny Diaz - protege
Brian Jones - protege
Katie Levinson - protege
Kevin Madden - protege
Matthew McDonald - protege
Angela Schmidt - spouse
Other current Steve Schmidt relationships:
Mercury Public Affairs - partner
Steve Schmidt past relationships:
1998 Matt Fong Senate campaign - communications director
2000 Lamar Alexander presidential campaign - communications director
2004 George W. Bush presidential campaign - media strategist
2006 Arnold Schwarzenegger (CA) gubernatorial campaign - campaign manager
2008 John McCain presidential campaign - senior adviser
George W. Bush - deputy assistant to the president
Richard B. Cheney - counselor
Karl Rove’s breakfast club - participant
National Republican Congressional Committee - communications director
Republican National Congressional Campaign Committee - spokesman
Stephen E. Schmidt
Steve Schmidt is a Partner of Mercury Public Affairs and leads the firm’s operation in California.
Recognized as one of the top political strategists in the country, Mr. Schmidt provides high-level counsel to political candidates, elected officials, and major corporations and organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, Hollywood studios and professional sports teams. He most recently served as a Senior Advisor to Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign.
Prior to joining Mercury, Mr. Schmidt served as Campaign Manager for the re-election of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006. Schwarzenegger’s landslide victory was described by The New York Times as “particularly remarkable given that the Governor appeared to be all but finished just six months ago.” The Los Angeles Times commended Mr. Schmidt as having “ran a nearly flawless campaign” and overseen a re-election that “ran against a political tide that swamped other Republicans across the nation.”
Before the Schwarzenegger campaign, Mr. Schmidt served as a member of the White House senior staff as Deputy Assistant to the President and Counselor to the Vice President. In that position, Mr. Schmidt advised on a wide range of issues and worked at the intersection of public communications, policy development, legislative advocacy and political strategy.
During his tenure at the White House, Mr. Schmidt played a leading role in the confirmations of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. Mr. Schmidt directed strategic communications for the nomination of Chief Justice Roberts and led the nomination team for Justice Alito. Prior to Justice Alito’s nomination, Mr. Schmidt served in Baghdad, where he performed a month-long assessment of media relations in the war zone at the behest of U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad.
Mr. Schmidt served as one of the top strategists on President Bush’s 2004 re-election and was a member of the senior strategic planning group that directed the campaign. Mr. Schmidt was responsible for directing and implementing the campaign’s daily tactical and strategic communications effort, overseeing rapid response, regional media, research, e-campaign, and television and radio operations. Mr. Schmidt served as a national spokesman in print, radio and television, appearing on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, as well as national networks and local affiliates across the country.
Prior to the President’s re-election campaign, Mr. Schmidt worked on Capitol Hill as the Communications Director for the National Republican Congressional Committee where he served as chief communications and media strategist for the U.S. House of Representatives Republican majority during the historic 2002 midterm elections. Described as a “damage-control master”, Mr. Schmidt has served on dozens of campaigns at the national, state and local levels.
The Honorable Emil Jones, Jr. is a Senior Counselor of Mercury Public Affairs.
Emil Jones, Jr. joined Mercury Public Affairs in 2009 and leads the firms operations in Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Jones served as President of the Illinois Senate from 2003 to 2009, a position that culminated more than three decades of service in the Illinois legislature. Recognized as one of the most effective political leaders in Illinois state history, Mr. Jones left an unparalleled legacy of achievement, making lasting contributions throughout the state, particularly in the areas of education, healthcare and criminal justice.
Mr. Jones was the first Senate President in recent history to establish a bipartisan select committee on Education Funding Reform. In 2007, he secured an additional $600 million in public education funding, the largest increase in the states history, increasing funding for every public school student by $400. Mr. Jones also led efforts to reduce the number of uninsured citizens by spearheading the Governors All Kids initiative to offer healthcare to all children. In 2008, he passed legislation allowing the elderly and disabled throughout Illinois to travel on the states mass transit system for free. And he established a prescription drug discount program that reduced prescription drug prices for the elderly and disabled by up to 40 percent.
California Rail Contract Raises Favoritism Questions
Los Angeles Times (LATWP News Service) (CA) - Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Author: Shane Goldmacher
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California’s high speed rail commission, dominated by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s appointees, is set to award a $9 million contract to a company led by the governor’s top political adviser and his former campaign manager.
The three commission staff members charged with recommending a public relations firm have advised the board to give the contract to Mercury Public Affairs at its Thursday meeting. Schwarzenegger strategist Adam Mendelsohn is a partner at Mercury, as is Steve Schmidt, who managed the governor’s 2006 re-election effort.
Two members of the staff panel are former Mendelsohn colleagues.
Ethics watchdogs raised questions about the appearance of favoritism.
“You can’t help but raise your eyebrows,” said Kathay Feng, executive director of California Common Cause. “We are seeing a revolving door of legislators and former state officials and state employees going from public service to private PR firms ... and pulling on all the personal relationships that they’ve developed to build up their business.”