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New Dem Campaign Firm Opens in Harrisburg

By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor

There’s a new Democratic consulting firm in town.

Political operatives Brad Koplinski, Eric Nagy and Dan Hartman have managed their share of campaigns across Pennsylvania. Now they’re launching Penn Blue Strategies, which will work with Democratic campaigns, non-profits, and other groups.

The three have served in a variety of positions on dozens of federal, state and local races and have partnered in the past.

“I’m very excited about this venture.  We know every corner of the state and can help candidates at every level,” said Koplinski, a Harrisburg City Councilman who recently managed Kathryn Boockvar’s campaign for Pa. Commonwealth Court.

PoliticsPA named Koplinksi one of Pa.’s Top Political Operatives in 2010; he has worked for Arlen Specter, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. He has also done work with the Pa. Democratic Party.

Nagy managed Rep. Tim Holden’s 2010 re-elect as well as the 2011 Democratic ticket in Bucks County and multiple state house races, including the 2008 bids of Reps. Paul Drucker and Tim Seip.

“Penn Blue has a level of knowledge about the Commonwealth and its voters that is hard to match,” he said. “With resources being as scarce as ever, being able to offer these services individually or in a package will benefit candidates even more.”

Hartman has spent over a decade running field operations and directing hard hitting opposition research for large and small campaigns throughout the country. Holden’s field program race last cycle was rated top in the country by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

“Pennsylvania is really five or six states in one and it is vital to know the electorate, their values and how they vote. We know the people of the Commonwealth,” he said.

Hartman and Nagy were each named to PoliticsPA’s Rising Stars: 30 Under 30 list of political operatives in 2011.

The firm will be based in downtown Harrisburg and offer a variety of services, including campaign management, field, research, compliance, direct mail, and polling.

14 Responses

  1. S.S.S.–I realize they only hired one person from Bucks County but that is what you are supposed to do. Any professional staffer will tell you that it works better that way. To suggest that is a bad thing points to you having a severe lack of knowledge in the way campaigns work. You or I or anyone not directly involved with the campaign has no right to say that they didn’t work hard enough or they were bar hopping. The fact is we were not there.

    About the register of wills–what are you talking about? I got a couple mail pieces about it (one of them used those heart shaped candies you get on valentine’s day). And I remember seeing it on one of the scripts they gave me to make calls off of. For you to say they didn’t try and use it on it only serves as more proof of your lack of knowledge of this campaign and campaigns in general.

    And you asked me where I was–I was in the campaign HQ. I saw on more than one occasion multiple staffers reaching out to committee people. I also saw a member of their staff at 2 of our committee person meetings. They definitely tried to reach out and definitely wanted to work with all of us. I witnessed that much myself. If you didn’t see it–ok fine. But they tried. Just because you didn’t see it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

  2. Sour Grapes; Great spin on the name. At least my initials are really S.S.S. And I did volunteer, I phonebanked, canvassed, and did lit drops with the unions on election day. And what was the reason they were brought in? To win? They did a great job there. I have lived in Bucks and have been a committee person for over 10 years. I have done whatever the party needed and volunteer as much time as I can. Sadly there aren’t many people who do. We have to live with the consequences of the campaign, or lack of. If you want to say its sour grapes then fine by me. They get to go back to Harrisburg and we are stuck with the aftermath of their bad campaigning. Its not that I didn’t like their personalities on the campaign it was more I didn’t like their lack of work ethic. You have to have fun, but only if you can get the work done which they didn’t seem to do. Like I said I have been involved in Bucks and Diane should not have come in 3rd, and Det should be there with her. We didn’t even win the Register of Wills when the last one was stealing money from people! Where were all the ads and publicity on that??? How about the investigations of the other offices?? Why didn’t that come up??

  3. Seriously? I’m wondering what a “Real Harrisburg Dem” would be doing so intricately involved in an election in Bucks County. Maybe you should have been paying a little more attention to the races in your own backyard, where the Dems have a registration edge yet somehow managed to systematically lose every row office in Dauphin County. Great Job!

    And SOS- maybe if you spent less time concerned about the after work habits of campaign staffers, who by the way are brought in from outside for a reason, and more time knocking on doors and making phone calls the outcome would have been different. Det and Diane were great candidates and great people. If you refused to do your duty as a committee person because you didn’t like the personalities of campaign staffers with a proven record of success in hard races, then shame on you.

  4. I wish you all good luck. You will be needing it, especially if you have the same attitude that you had in Bucks this past election. Words of advice, don’t be so cocky it will only hurt you in the end.

  5. Bucks Committee Person, Where were you on the campaign? They barely worked with anyone and only hired one Bucks County Resident on the campaign. Maybe if they didn’t bar hop as much as they did then they would have won the campaign. They say they are “experts” but they may have one or two wins each, where is the expertise in that? Eric and Dan say they got Diane elected but that was a given, one Democrat had to win. I am also a Committee Person in Bucks and was not impressed at all. This was the Dems chance to take back Bucks, and I have heard from numerous people that they didn’t feel welcomed in the office and where talked down to especially by the Deputy Field Organizer. Maybe that is why there wasn’t many people involved RajinBensalem.

  6. I don’t know where or how “realist” is involved, but speaking as a committee person in Bucks County I can tell you they definitely tried to work with local party officials–to say otherwise is a lie and you should be ashamed of yourself for saying something like that. I myself worked with them on ways we could better talk to committee people and I saw members of their staff call committee people. The problem was there weren’t enough of us willing to work with them, not the other way around.

    Dan and Eric–Good luck. Wish things could have worked out better here.

  7. Nothing will ever change the Democrats fortunes in Bucks County unless it’s a Republican President screwing up or a pump station that fires up moderate republicans and independents. Bucks is almost as bad as Delaware County. As a friend of a 2011 candidate in Bucks, I can tell you that the committee people dont care either. They have never won a thing, everything is won without them and lost because they are a complacent group of do-nothings. The truth is in the results, every year.

  8. Are you kidding me, Hartman and Nagy lost every row office in Bucks County and brought our incumbent down from first place to third. They refused to work with any of the local Party officials.

  9. As someone who has worked with both Eric and Dan before in Schuylkill County, I wish them the best of luck. They are both very smart and hard working. The Pennsylvania Democratic Party is lucky to have these guys to help them out.

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