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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Lamont Hires Bill Hillsman

There's a new face at Team Lamont.

Ned Lamont's campaign for U.S. Senate has parted ways with his media consultant, Ken Swopes & Associates, and hired a political ad man known for edgier, attention-getting commercials.

Bill Hillsman, whose clients have included Ralph Nader, the late Sen. Paul Wellstone of Minnesota and that state's wrestler-turned-governor, Jesse Ventura, is the campaign's new choice.

Samples of Hillsman's work can be found on his web site. Be sure to check out his ad for Jesse Ventura. Hillsman's work always grabs your attention. It doesn't have the look or feel of traditional political spots. I can't wait to see what they come up with. It should be a nice contrast to the commercials that the Lieberman campaign is running.


Pasniokas, Mark. "Lamont Goes For Edgier Ad Firm". Hartford Courant. 4/27/06


Blogger Gabe said...

IMHO - This is a great hire. Hillsman is known for ads that make you stop from turning the channel and transform politicians into potential citizen legislators. He also has an amazing track record of winning the races he takes on.

To second GC's point, I expect the contrast between Lamont's ads and Lieberman's ads to be as wide as the Grand Canyon.

This also signals a shift away from Democratic Consultants that are much of whats wrong with the party. Hillsman has reported his clients often face enourmans pressure to not hire him from teh Beltway Dems.

Finally, I highly recommend Hillsman's book, Run The Other Way. It is an easy read and fascinating. It gives you a look inside a campaign and shows an alternate to the politics-as-usual way to disseminate a candidate's message.

4/27/2006 08:55:00 AM  
Blogger Genghis Conn said...


CGG wrote the post, not me.

4/27/2006 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger truth squad said...

CGG, one thing to also note is that this firm worked with Former State Republican Party Chair Tom D'Amore on a race in Virginia and D'Amore also worked for the Reform Party with Jesse the Body. Very strange that the Greenwich Millionaire is the first Democrat that D'Amore has worked for....

4/27/2006 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger Gabe said...

I apologize to all involved.

CGG - I love the post!

Truth Squad - I may be especially slow this morning, but can you spell it out for me? What are you implying? Also, is Tom D'Amore actually working on this campaign? So confused...

4/27/2006 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger BRubenstein said...

Hillsman is a good ad guy....Damore has gotten paid from Lamont..and i suspect that Damore was the guy who brought in Hillsman or recommended Hillsman to Lamont..there is nothing wrong with that and i for one think edgier ads then usual are needed so i am delighted with the choice of Hillsman.

4/27/2006 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger BRubenstein said...


Lamont isnt the only Democrat Damore has worked or advisedfor...I was a state and national player for Dean...i personally know of meetings Damore had with Dean...Damore was being looked at for work in the campaign and advise..( i dont know if he was actually hired or not)...Damore also has given advise to other democrats and doesnt look at himself as a " former republican state party chair" anymore...that was many many years ago and long after Damore has evolved into a more centrist political operative.

4/27/2006 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger truth squad said...

Gabe, as a DTC member I just find it strange that the former State Republican Party Chair is a the major consultant in a Democratic Primary, espescially when this is the first dem race he has ever done.

4/27/2006 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger TrueBlueCT said...

It isn't strange that D'Amore has connected with the Lamont campaign. No more strange than the fact that a Lieberman staffer is here, anonymously, working a smear angle against Ned.

Look, if the best you can do is have your young fools run around Lamont events saying that "Lamont has the former head of the RNC working for him", your campaign is in trouble. (This was what Scott, a young Lieberman staffer was repeating ad nauseum in Hamden on Monday. That and calling Lamont's presentation "All-Spin.")

D'Amore is partners with ex-speaker of the CT House, Rich Balducci. He is also a Weicker guy. (and that Weicker is on board with Lamont is FABULOUS!) Otherwise, BFD.

We all know who is the closted Republican, and it's not Lamont... My question for you: With the knowledge that Lamont can't be painted a liberal wack-o, is Lieberman now running to the Left? If so, it might explain his recent abscence from Sean Hannity's talk radio show...

4/27/2006 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger truth squad said...

Bruce, doesnt really make a difference what he sees himself as, the fact is that he is a former CT State republican Party Chair. and he has done the large majority of his paid public work for Republicans or republicans turned independent.

4/27/2006 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger ctkeith said...


If the man paying your salary had paid attention to another Greenwich millionaires grandsons follies instead of promoting them he might not be in all this trouble.

Even Fox News left the News Conference called today by Collins and Lieberman a minute after Lieberman took the mike,LOL.CNN and MSNBC dropped it even sooner.

4/27/2006 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger TrueBlueCT said...

And truthy--

If you're going to play this stupid smear game, don't you think we deserve a simple link?

Doyle, D'Amore & Balducci.

If I read my FEC report correctly, they got a whopping $2,500/month last quarter. Is that a lot of money for campaign advice? I don't think so.

However, if the two Kens really want to talk about unseemly Republican connections, this blogger is more than ready to rumble.

4/27/2006 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger BRubenstein said...

truthsquad...I suspect Damore was hired by Lamont to come up with a " U to D plan" and i know that in this state he has done that before successfully...so it would appear to be a good fit for the campaign.

Secondly,..we all "evolve" and its no longer valid to equate Damore as a "former republican state party chair"...that was a generation ago...he works with all kinds of folks and (yes) even progressive democrats.....

4/27/2006 10:51:00 AM  
Blogger ctkeith said...

I wonder which Dem candidate recieved more money from "Greenwich Millionaires",Lamont or Lieberman?

I also wonder how many "Grennwich Millionaires" who gave to BUSH also gave to LIEBERMAN?

We have the research,truthy,do you?

4/27/2006 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger truth squad said...

trueblue and ctkeith, i'm sorry you both continue to resort to calling facts a smear campaign and tha tactics of attempted bullying on the blog.

4/27/2006 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger TrueBlueCT said...


Get this. LieberTruthy is implying that the Greenwich millionaire is secretly a Republican, and is conspiring to buy our Democratic Senate seat.

That's the laughable bullshit the Lieberman camp is actively floating to the "low-information" voters in CT's cities. Greenwich millionaire=closeted Republican.

Does it surprise you that like the Iraq war, the bulk of Lieberman's campaign will be one big lie? Add to that a multitude of threats, and FEAR! and you have the gist of Senator Lieberman's campaign. (man of integrity, I think not!)

Bleck. Instead of retiring gracefully, Joe is about to go down in history as the biggest Schmoe, ever.

4/27/2006 10:59:00 AM  
Blogger truth squad said...

trueblue, think it was $7500 for the quarter. enjoy the spring day.

4/27/2006 10:59:00 AM  
Blogger TrueBlueCT said...

Yeah, it's a fact. Bruce first pointed it out, and I was the one who then posted the $7500 payment to the firm, as listed on Lamont's FEC report.

So what? Is that all you've got? It's pathetic dude. Lamont is seizing the middle, and you're doing this head-fake to the Left?

I wish you could have been at the Lamont petition training last night. Of the fifty people squeezed into the room, at least a third of them were unaffiliated voters. These are people who will be joining the Party in droves to stand up against Bush and the idiotic foreign policy he promotes in conjunction with Joe Lieberman. Heck, even Republicans want to join us. ;)

It must scare the heck out of you that the non-partisans are breaking our way. Wasn't that Joe's strong suit? lmao.

And if you think Joe can outflank us with liberals, you are dreaming. Seriously dreaming. Zell-out supporters can't begin to match the energy, passion, and authenticity of the Lamont Grassroots. Bottom Line --Joe will be flushed out as the Big Phony he has always been.

4/27/2006 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger cgg said...

Update: The Lamont Campaign is also running a petition drive to pay for a TV ad buy. Neal at My Left Nutmeg has the details.

4/27/2006 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger cgg said...

ARGH! The petition drive and the ad drive are two completely different things. The ad drive is what I was trying to refer to.

4/27/2006 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger Paul Vance said...

Call me jaded, but I find most political commercials bland. The Jesse Ventura action figure commercial is pretty cool.

4/27/2006 01:11:00 PM  
Blogger Mr. Reality said...

Actually, this is a very good hire. Hillman I beleve was behind the Paul Wellstone commercials in 1990 that won national acclaim. The theme was "where is Rudy?" in reference to his challenger incumbent Rudy Boschwitz. They were real good ads. They showed Wellstone going all over the state looking for the senator...Boschwitz called them negative but they were no worse than Joe's "sleeping bear" ads. In fact by today's standards they would be considered good spirited.

Of course Wellstone and Jesse had personality, I'm not sure how well Lamont fits into that category.

4/27/2006 04:35:00 PM  
Blogger MikeCT said...

I can remember the Fast-Paced Paul ad from Paul Wellstone in the early 90s - it made a splash back then, and you can view it on the Bill Hillsman page.

The 1990 "Where is Rudy?" ad that Mr. Reality refers to can also be viewed on another site. It is also hysterical - in the ad, Wellstone showed up at then-incumbent Rudy Boschwitz's campaign office and his Senate office looking for him and asking for a debate.

4/27/2006 07:05:00 PM  

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