Former Iowa GOP Chair Matt Strawn and two prominent Illinois Republicans have formed Next Generation Public Affairs Inc, Jennifer Jacobs reported for the Des Moines Register today.
The firm will provide strategies in government affairs, issue advocacy and media relations, as well as strategies in sourcing capital and structuring large-scale public-private partnership projects, Strawn said this morning.
It will have an upper Midwest focus and initial offices in Chicago and Des Moines.
“Too often comprehensive public affairs strategies for transactions that require both public and private resources are an afterthought, or used defensively in attempt to rescue failing or stalled deals,” [Chicago-based business owner] Fitzsimmons said in a written statement. “The ability to develop sophisticated advocacy campaigns, source capital and navigate complex transactions to completion truly is the next generation of public affairs.”
Strawn and [former Illinois GOP state party Chair Pat] Brady became close friends during their tenure on the Republican National Committee.
The concept for the firm has been in the works since last year, Strawn said. He will lead the company’s social media engagement and data capturing technologies.
Strawn may have felt that he was criticized unfairly over problems with reporting the 2012 Iowa caucus vote, but in retrospect he probably benefited from stepping down early as state party chair. He can still claim credit for rebuilding the Iowa GOP while riding the 2010 wave and registration gains related to the 2012 caucuses. At the same time, Strawn doesn’t get the blame for Iowa Republicans’ subpar early GOTV in the 2012 general election. I believe President Barack Obama would have carried Iowa in any event, but turning out more Republicans and identifying more GOP-leaning independents would have kept things a lot closer. Strawn can say those failures didn’t happen on his watch.
I am seeking comment on whether Strawn will remain involved with the 527 group GOPAC. Last year the troup tapped Strawn to chair its efforts in down-ticket Iowa races.
P.S.- Here’s some free advice for Jennifer Jacobs: see how easy it is to provide a link and a mention when you first saw a story on someone else’s website? If the Des Moines Register were more willing to do the same where appropriate, people like Kevin Hall might not ridicule you so much about getting scooped.