Brady Campaign on Hunt for New President

It looks like the board of the Brady Campaign is shaking things up. Paul Helmke’s contract wasn’t extended, and he doesn’t have any future plans for work. Dennis Henigan will be the acting president while the search is conducted, which indicates they don’t even have anyone in mind. It would seem that means they just wanted Helmke gone.

So, any nominations to suggest for the Brady family? They recruited a Republican in 2006 thinking that they could somehow appeal to more GOP leaders in switching over to the dark side. That didn’t work, and the Democrats haven’t done them any favors, either. If they follow the same strategy, maybe they will try to find a far left leader to try and earn back the attention of the party in the White House.

30 thoughts on “Brady Campaign on Hunt for New President”

  1. My front runners:

    Bloomberg (consolidates MAIG with Bradys) or snipe off any of the MAIG mayors.

    Colin Goddard (would be a big risk but he’s young and has a compelling story) or anyone from CSGV, VPC, LCAV, etc..

    There are plenty of people to step up to take over, fortunately for us they don’t seem so dangerous.

  2. Sebastian mentioned the Colin speculation, but I don’t think that is likely at all. The guy, as far as I know, has no experience raising serious money. The Brady operations have been in financial free fall for a while, and they are a multi-million dollar a year operation. They need someone who knows how to raise and manage that cash.

    They also need someone with management experience. While Colin’s title has been widely inflated for someone of his actual professional experience, it doesn’t mean he actually knows how to manage an operation of their size (or of any size, managing people isn’t fun or particularly easy in many cases – especially a stressed environment where money is tight and you’re losing legislative and political battles).

    The same actually applies for many of the staff of the other operations. They don’t actually have a demonstrated ability to raise a lot of money for the cause outside of the same sources over and over (i.e. Joyce). From a strictly business standpoint, I would suggest they look outside of their immediate networks. My guess is someone from the political left who has some leadership experience, and is looking for the next step up the (somewhat) corporate ladder.

  3. Ohhh pleasepleaseplease let it be “shoulderthingthatgoesup”. Or Laddy Everitt. Or some of their FB goofballs like Donnaruma or Summitt.

  4. I think he would be perfect too. He couldn’t help himself and would be an obnoxious ass. The thing is that the gun banners are looking for a more in your face leader. It’s a win win. They get their in your face leader, and we get a non stop gaff-a-thon to attack. He’s lived in a bubble all these years and wouldn’t think before he shot his mouth off and alienated tens of millions of undecided voters

  5. Do you think they want to shake things up at the Brady Bunch or is it possible they just don’t have the support and donation any longer to commit to paying his salary…

    Dann in Ohio

  6. Dann, they have had a number of high level staff changes this year. The odd thing is that several of the changes seemed to include bringing in people Helmke worked with before his time at Brady, which would normally indicate you plan on being around to work with those people again.

    They are still the most high profile name in the gun control movement, and they still have professionalism that surpasses many of the other groups in their issue, so I doubt it’s a payroll issue. They are having financial troubles, but that doesn’t mean they are broke.

  7. How about Snuffy or Jesse. Colin is still a little wet behind the ears. If I had to place a bet I’d say that Daley’s name will be floated very soon.

  8. I’m trending more towards Daley like Sean. However, one commenter on SayUncle mentioned your former governor Ed Rendell.

    He’s anti-gun, been on TV a lot, and was chairman of the National Governors Association. He’s also getting divorced so might be willing to move.

  9. “It looks like the board of the Brady Campaign is shaking things up. Paul Helmke’s contract wasn’t extended…”


    However, my gut instinct is leaning towards a rat leaving a sinking ship. I’ve noted for the past year or so that every time I see Helmke his expression seems ‘pained’ and his ‘jovial’ appearance forced.

    Particularly watching him as he watches someone *else* spouting their party line, I get the impression his thoughts run along the lines of “Oh, jeeze…I can’t believe They’re still having us spout this crap. Nobody believes it anymore. Only (X) more months to go and my contract is up…I can get away from these lying bastards…”

  10. My guess is that Daley would not accept the job unless he were to get more than $250K/year. I don’t think The Brady’s will be willing to pay that much unless it were in the form of bonuses based on fund raising results.

  11. I just looked up the Brady scorecard. Indiana is a 4.

    If Helmke returns to the Hoosier State will that be an acknowledgement that it is a safer place to live than metro DC?


  12. I think the limitations that Joe mentions for Daley (which I also believe would be a problem for him) would be a problem for Rendell, too. Plus, if the political gossip is true, the woman he’s been seeing for the last few years still lives here in Pennsylvania, so he might not be quite as willing to leave. He’s also got several media contracts he’d have to give up if he took the job.

  13. I would officially like to nominate Joan Peterson to take Helmke’s place. Ms. Peterson’s credentials are impeccable, as she had a relative who was shot AND goes to church with several men who hunt and probably own some kind of rifle thingy — though they do seemed to be ashamed of it.

    I have no doubt that under Ms. Peterson’s able leadership the Brady Campaign will continue to affect the gun control debate in this nation in a manner that will push it in the same direction as under Mr. Helmke. Perhaps the momentum will even be increased.

    Do I hear a second?

  14. It won’t be either Daley or the former Philly City Attorney who decided to burn down half of Philly (that would be Rendell for those unfamiliar his history).

    Both can make far too much elsewhere. Brady doesn’t get them anything. There’s plenty of folks with tons of fundraising experience running around DC looking to take over an association – you probably have never heard of 99% of them.

    My guess is its going to be the former Chief of Staff of some gun bigot congressman. As CoS they have experience with managing staff. They also have substantial fundraising experience and a ready supply of donors who they have hit up in the past. And they have a somewhat strategic political mind – but also deep connections to other like minded operatives who can help them out.

    At the same time, its not going to be CoS of any member of any importance. those will get snapped up for bigger dollars. But, thinking of folks like Jim Moran, Dennis Kucinich, etc. Its all possible. Heck, it could also be someone like Kucinich – though the politics aren’t good with him.

  15. Just a thought…Why is there more than ONE gun control group? By now, with all of their collective memberships meeting in the same Holiday Inn convention room….you’d think that they would just merge.

  16. I second Joan Peterson, Stephen.

    We can watch her go completely unhinged when a national reciprocity law gets passed or Illinois finally joins the other 49 states with “sensible gun laws” (…actually the lack thereof).

    It would be like a train wreck. You couldn’t avert your gaze even as it unfolds in all its horror.

  17. I’d like to see Ladd Everitt. Surely he can bring that aggressive relations strategy that gets your Twitter account suspended to the Brady Campaign.

  18. Another name just came to mind – Nina Vinik. She is the Joyce Foundation’s program officer for gun control and used to be the executive director of Legal Community Against Violence (LCAV).

    She brings fundraising and management experience plus her ties to the Joyce Foundation’s money. Moreover, as she has been the one responsible for doling out the bucks to gun control groups, she knows everyone in the gun control industry.

  19. A high-profile name from NPR.
    It is a big if, but if the budget negotiations have reached a point where both sides agree to defund NPR, that information would be leaked to the top dogs, who will be looking for jobs.

  20. Markie Marxist sez: “My nomination would be Sheriff Dupnik. He’s already demonstrated a willingness to gun down law-abiding private gun owners under a hail of government bullets. If we could take that to the national level . . .”
    “He has also shown that he has no problems with our Marxist/warrior/hero/criminals murdering people, since he kept Loughner on the street until he was ready to kill, despite more warning signs than a collapsed bridge. He also has law enforcement credentials, technically, anyway. Yeah, he’s a little daft, but he’ll never be dissuaded from our cause. No one will ever change his mind, since he doesn’t have enough of a mind to change. He’ll be a good useful idiot for us – Henigan will use him like a hand puppet!”

  21. @18, 21 Joan Peterson and Colin Goddard are probably about even as far as running things, but Colin has a significant edge over japete in that he’s actually been shot.

  22. I would like to nominate MikeB302000. He is incompetent enough to be an easy target for us, is a true believer, and he has a crush on Henigan. He probably would accept a salary half of what they were paying Helmke too.

  23. It looks as if Kenneth Melson may need a job soon; maybe he could send them a resume? ; )

  24. Pinnochio.

    Though he may be overqualified….he has the experience they’re looking for.

  25. I don’t get it. Why dismiss Colin Godard so easily?

    Lack of experience managing people? How hard could it be to manage nine or ten people? Or 17, after a merger or two?

    Fundraising? How hard would it be to raise $150? That would be triple what they made last year, if I recall correctly!

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