IowaPolitics examined where the Iowa GOP political strategists are lining up for 2012. In the report, it suggested Pawlenty has built “the largest and most formal organization in Iowa:
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who has been to Iowa four times and has spent seven days here since last fall, appears to have built up the largest and most formal organization in Iowa so far as he works to improve his name recognition in the state. At least six Iowans are working for him, and he’s one of only two potential candidates who have formed an Iowa political action committee, Freedom First PAC – Iowa, whose treasurer is Mark Havlicek of Clive.
Former Iowans and national Republican strategists Sara Taylor and Terry Nelson are senior advisers for Pawlenty’s PAC, while Brian Hook is the policy director. Also working with Pawlenty as consultants are Chuck Larson and Karen Slifka of the Larson Shannahan Slifka Group (LS2g), a bi-partisan public relations, public affairs and government affairs firm in West Des Moines.
“Neither are helping in an official capacity, but they did help out with our recent travels in the area,” said Alex Conant, a spokesman for the Freedom First PAC.
Larson is a former state senator and former chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa who served as an ambassador to Latvia during the administration of President George W. Bush. Hook is a graduate of the University of Iowa law school. Nelson is an Iowa native who served for a time as John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign manager. And Taylor is an Iowa native who ran Bush’s White House office of political affairs.