High-powered GOP pollster enters joint venture with Boise's Gallatin Public Affairs

Greg Strimple, currently polling for Senate Republican candidates across the country, has joined forces with Gallatin, a regional firm co-founded in 1990 by aides to former Idaho Democratic Gov. Cecil Andrus, who still works for Gallatin Public Affairs.

Marc Johnson, a former Andrus chief of staff who works in the Boise office, said the joint venture, "G Squared," will focus on measures popular in western states where voter initiatives can directly enact law at the ballot box.

"This is an exciting thing," Johnson said Wednesday, adding that the new venture will not work for either side in the three Idaho referendums aimed at repealing the 2011 education laws that Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna calls "Students Come First."

"We're trying to get ourselves in position for the next go-round," Johnson said.

G Squared will not do any partisan work, Johnson said.

Strimple advised GOP Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential race and also has polled for New Jersey GOP Gov. Chris Christie. Strimple was in Boise several years ago doing work for Gallatin and decided to relocate, Johnson said.

The offices of Strimple's GS Strategy Group are co-located with Gallatin, which also has offices in Montana, Oregon and Washington.

On Thursday, a Strimple poll of Washingtonians on their attitudes about the state's economic future will be released at events in Spokane and the Tri Cities, Johnson said. A news release about the joint venture was timed for release Friday to take advantage of the buzz from the poll, Johnson said.

But Johnson on Wednesday waived the embargo. The full news release follows:

Gallatin and GS Strategy Group Announce G Squared

EMBARGOED: NOT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Shannon Berg
June 22, 2012 503-220-0780

GALLATIN AND GS STRATEGY GROUP ANNOUNCE JOINT VENTURE: G SQUARED

“G Squared” will offer public opinion research, legislative issue advocacy and ballot measure strategy, advertising and digital communications

Portland/Boise -- Gallatin Public Affairs (Gallatin) and GS Strategy Group (GSSG) announced today the formation of a joint venture – G Squared Public Strategies. G Squared will offer public opinion research and strategic counsel, fundraising, advertising and digital activation tools for legislative issue advocacy campaigns and ballot measures.

G Squared will combine Gallatin’s deep roots in the Northwest and extensive roster of bipartisan campaign and communication professionals with GSSG’s national reach and reputation for effective research and communications strategies. Gallatin has offices in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana. GSSG is based in Boise, Idaho. Both firms will continue to operate their separate research and public affairs businesses.

G Squared formally unites strategists Dan Lavey with Gallatin and Greg Strimple with GSSG. Lavey and Strimple have collaborated on public policy and political campaigns for more than seventeen years. Lavey served as a senior strategist for sixteen years to Oregon U.S. Senator Gordon Smith and Strimple served as senior advisor in Senator John McCain’s 2008 presidential bid, and to numerous congressional and state legislative campaigns across the country.

“This joint venture makes formal a partnership that’s been providing smart, research-based public affairs strategies for many years. In one place, clients can now get it all – polling, strategy, management, fundraising, digital and advertising,” said Lavey. G Squared will focus on issue advocacy and ballot measure campaigns, not partisan candidate campaigns.

“Our combined resources, experience and bipartisan political talent, should make G Squared attractive to businesses, trade associations and organizations with political opportunities and challenges, not just in the Northwest, but beyond,” said Strimple.

Other G Squared professionals include Marc Johnson who advised the successful 1986 and 1990 campaigns of Idaho Governor Cecil Andrus, Anna Richter Taylor who was communications director for the successful 2006 re-election campaign of Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski, Shannon Berg who served in top positions in the 2001 and 2005 campaigns of Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, Aaron Toso, who served as a top aide to Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire, and Brooks Kochvar who managed the successful 2010 campaign of New Hampshire U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte.

In addition, G Squared consultants have advised and worked on the successful 2008 campaign of Illinois U.S. Senator Mark Kirk, the successful 2006 and 2008 campaigns of Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the successful 2009 campaign of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and dozens of other state legislative and local issue campaigns.

G Squared also includes Lori Hardwick, one of Northwest’s premier political fundraising consultants. Since 1998, Hardwick has helped raise more than $100 million for candidates, political action committees and ballot measures.

For more information about G Squared services and professionals, visit us online at www.gsquaredwins.com

About Gallatin Public Affairs

Since 1990, at the often complex intersection of government, business, politics and the media, Gallatin Public Affairs has helped our clients seize opportunities, overcome challenges and grow. We are strategists, lobbyists, communicators, policy experts, researchers and organizers - experienced bipartisan professionals who can help you succeed. Gallatin has offices in Portland, Oregon, Seattle and Spokane Washington, Boise Idaho and Helena Montana. To learn more visit www.gallatinpublicaffairs.com and follow us on Facebook.

About GS Strategy Group

GSSG helps the country’s leading corporations, business coalitions and advocacy organizations proactively manage reputations to stay in step with public opinion and voter behavior and a step ahead of the public policy curve. Led by some of the country's most experienced corporate and political strategists, GSSG’s survey research and disciplined application of the results provides clients with a sophisticated understanding of the forces driving public opinion and a complete communications approach—positioning them at the forefront of opinion trends and enabling them to anticipate and benefit from future trends and behavior. To learn more visit www.gsstrategygroup.com

About Lori Hardwick Fundraising

G Squared also includes Lori Hardwick, one of Northwest's premier political fundraising consultants. Since 1998, Hardwick has helped raise more than $100 million for her clients across the Pacific Northwest. Her clients have included every level and genre of fundraising including races for U.S.
President, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Governor, the State Legislature and Mayor, as well as national political committees, ballot measure advocacy campaigns and fundraising for non-profit organizations.

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Every issue becomes partisan

It will be interesting to see if G Squared can remain truly non-partisan or bi-partisan. There are many issues that seem to be "no-brainer, non-partisan issues", but also a great impetus by political parties to make them partisan and to ignore or denigrate the problems we face today.

My god, Buffy, I'm astonished

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You fry wants with that?