Blast from the past?

Blast #1: Spotted in a DSM Target parking lot:  a man wearing a Kerry/Edwards t-shirt.  I was intrigued, but not enough to run after him to find out more.

Blast #2:  Iowa native Aaron Pickrell, a former aide to Iowa Congressman Leonard Boswell who was state director for Obama ’08 in Ohio (not in Iowa; in Ohio), is now part of a new lobbying firm, started by former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland.  Pickrell is an Oskaloosa native who worked for former Iowa Congressman Dave Nagle and the Iowa Democratic Party before joining Edwards 2004 Iowa campaign.  Read the details about Pickrell’s new job below:

COLUMBUS — Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, joined by a team of his top policy and political advisers, announced he is heading  a new strategic consulting firm that specializes in Midwest business expansions and political and advocacy campaigns.

Midwest Gateway Partners has offices in Columbus and Washington, D.C. and includes Steve Ricchetti, a Washington-based consultant and Cleveland native who led the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee as the Executive Director, then served in the White House under President Clinton as Deputy Chief of Staff and Deputy Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs.
“Ted has a unique understanding of the inner workings of the White House and the Statehouse,’’ Mr. Ricchetti said.  “Policies he advanced during his four years as governor are credited with helping renew Ohio’s industrial base and expand educational opportunities for its residents. He is an invaluable adviser tobusinesses and elected officials.”

Prior to becoming Ohio governor in 2007, Mr. Strickland represented southeast Ohio in  Congress for 12 years.

In addition to Mr. Ricchetti, Governor Strickland’s team includes:
Attorney John Haseley:  John has spent nearly 25 years working for some of Ohio’s most influential political leaders, including Governor Strickland and astronaut and former U.S. Sen. John Glenn. John served as Governor Strickland’s chief of staff and helped advance the governor’s legislative agenda with support from both parties, cementing his reputation as an effective leader in both policy and politics.

National Political Consultant Aaron Pickrell:  On the eve of President Obama’s 2008 win, TimeMagazine named the Iowa native one of the “Five Most Important People In American Politics Not Running for President.’’  Aaron managed Ohio for Obama and assisted with the transition. He also ran Governor Strickland’s successful 2006 campaign and while the governor narrowly lost re-election in 2010, The Washington Post called it “one of the nation’s best run races last year….”

Veteran Communicator Sandy Theis:  Sandy parlayed a 25-year newspaper career into a media relations firm that has scored victories for clients ranging from exotic dancers to leading manufacturers.  She has the positive relationships with reporters, creativity and resources to tell your story in today’s ever-changing communications world.

Energy Czar Mark Shanahan:  Mark spent 22 years advancing Ohio’s energy economy to propel job growth under four governors. He has a deep understanding and robust track record of working with the Midwest’s strong fossil fuel heritage while simultaneously investing in the technologies of an advanced energy economy. Governor Strickland named him Ohio’s first energy czar.

“Our team knows the Midwest and understands how it connects to Washington and the world,’’ Governor Strickland said. “We are committed to helping businesses expand and promote policies that enhance innovation and competitiveness.”

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.