Take Me To Your Leader: Romanoff Hires Manager

UPDATE: The Romanoff campaign requests a correction:

To whom it may concern,

Regarding your blog post of Monday, Dec. 21, titled “Take Me To Your Leader: Romanoff Hires Manager,” you note that Bill Romjue is a registered lobbyist for the Missouri Biotechnology Association. In fact, Mr. Romjue has not worked for or lobbied on behalf of that company since September of 2004. We respectfully request you correct your post.

If you require written evidence from either the Missouri Biotechnology Association or the State of Missouri, we can provide that to you. Should you have any questions or concerns, please email me.

Sincerely,

John Schroyer



John Schroyer

Communications Director, Romanoff for Colorado

We don’t dispute this clarification, and appreciate the feedback. It’s worth noting that the record we obtained from the Missouri Ethics Commission does not show an end date for his services (and there is a spot for it), though we have since found another record for Romjue which does indicate he stopped lobbying for this trade group in the fall of 2004. Original post follows.

After months of bumbling, former House speaker Andrew Romanoff’s U.S. Senate campaign may have taken a step in the right direction with the hiring of a relatively experienced–if locally unknown–campaign manager. Bill Romjue managed presidential candidate Joe Biden’s ’08 Iowa operations, as well as the unsuccessful ’06 gubernatorial campaign of Dina Titus in Nevada (although in fairness to Romjue, he was a late replacement for a previous manager and didn’t join Titus until Labor Day 2006). Mr. Romjue is also the (former, see correction above) registered lobbyist for the Missouri Biotechnology Association, which we expect is good for an acerbic comment or two all by itself.

Here’s the bio from the Romanoff campaign email making the announcement:

Bill earned a Bronze Star in Vietnam, where he served in the U.S. Army. He brings more than 30 years of political experience, having organized more than a dozen statewide races around the country and played key roles in a host of national campaigns, including those of Joe Biden, Gary Hart, Bob Kerrey, and Jimmy Carter.  He also served as chief of staff to House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt.

Interesting that the campaign chose to highlight Romjue’s Vietnam War experience as the first item on his resume (does Romanoff think he needs the foreign policy credentials, or are they putting emphasis on getting veterans to support him?), but Romjue has been represented to us as experienced enough to run a campaign at the level of a U.S. Senate race. Which, of course, is a big boost for Romanoff after relying on Ken Gordon for (apparently very bad) advice since his last campaign manager quit.

Having to import a professional with basically no local connections highlights Romanoff’s credibility troubles among those who understand this race best. On the other hand, this is a sign that perhaps Romanoff is getting things together enough for a real race, because it’s hard to imagine that Romjue would uproot from Missouri just to lead a campaign that might sputter out in a few months.

Click below for the full announcement from Romanoff’s campaign:

I’m writing to share some exciting news.  I am putting Bill Romjue, a nationally respected political strategist and decorated veteran, at the top of our talented team.  I have enormous respect for Bill’s service to our country and his skill as a campaign manager, and I hope you will have a chance to meet him as well.

Bill earned a Bronze Star in Vietnam, where he served in the U.S. Army.  He brings more than 30 years of political experience, having organized more than a dozen statewide races around the country and played key roles in a host of national campaigns, including those of Joe Biden, Gary Hart, Bob Kerrey, and Jimmy Carter.  He also served as chief of staff to House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt.

Bill will lead a statewide operation that is growing stronger every day.  We’ve hosted 75 house parties and added more than 700 donors in the past two weeks alone.  

Click here to show your support.  

Bill knows how Washington works – and he’s just as determined as I am to change it.  He rejects the “pay to play” system that allows powerful special-interest groups to bankroll Congress and block reform.

He shares the outrage so many of us feel as we watch one senator after another cut deals with the drug lobby, cave in to the insurance industry, and compromise the health of the American people.

It’s time to take a stand.

Bill and I believe that Coloradans – and all Americans – deserve better.

We deserve the best Senate that money can’t buy.

Click here to join our fight.

32 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Skyler says:

    I mean, Joe Biden did a bang-up job in Iowa, didn’t he?

    We’ll see how this all plays out. But I was on the ground in Iowa during the caucus, and there wasn’t really any notable organization to Joe Biden’s presence there.  

  2. It appears to be a credible decision.  

  3. JO says:

    Wherein we read:

    the campaign chose to highlight Romjue’s Vietnam War experience as the first item on his resume (does Romanoff think he needs the foreign policy credentials…?

    and

    import a professional with basically no local connections…

    and  

    highlights Romanoff’s credibility troubles among those who understand this race best.

    First, it was “no campaign manager.” Then it was “have to import a professional….” whose Vietnam combat experience provides “foreign policy credentials” (hey, Your Understanding Hosts wrote it, not me!). Followed by “those who understand this Wait, is that Reality World beeping our Pager? Or is she off tonight?

    If straightforwardness were a character trait, we would have read:

    “As Bennetian Blinds providing window cover for the Corporate Candidate, we say; ‘No matter what Romanoff did, or does, we will see no alternative to the incumbent, we will hear of no alternative, and we cannot bring ourselves to speak of the alternative, no matter what the facts.”

    But we didn’t. Pity.

    • MADCO says:

      if you can.

      …step in the right direction with the hiring of a relatively experienced…

      …a big boost for Romanoff …

      …a sign that perhaps Romanoff is getting things together…

      Compliments all.

      I don’t know the guy, but his resume sounds solid.

      And I’m glad.  Congrats to the Romanoff campaign.

      • I’ve been as harsh as anybody on Romanoff’s late entry and questionable campaign since he got in but dismissing Romjue when Bennet’s campaign is led by Craig Hughes seems a bit disingenuous. What were Hughes’ last two campaigns? Hillary and Amend 59 weren’t they?

        Now that said, it’s going to take a whole lot more than a good campaign manager to turn that ship around. Is Ken Gordon out of the picture or will he still be sending silly emails every week? Does Romanoff have a campaign team or just a campaign manager? Who is running his fundraising? Who is in charge of their field and caucus organizing? Will this guy be bringing his people in and if so, will they all be from out of town? (On that note I have heard that Bennet has his share of field organizers who are either from out of state or new to colorado politics). I don’t expect them to have as big of a staff as Bennet given the $$ reality but they better have a lot more than one good guy at the top. If this guy just came on I don’t expect to see anything impressive in the 4th qtr fundraising which makes his job even tougher ahead.

        Everything said this does look like a pretty solid move by Romanoff and we could have a horse race after all.

    • redstateblues says:

      The only thing you can criticize Pols for is that they’re a little more subtle than you. As far as I can tell you’ve both read the same book when it comes to blogging.

    • Genius says:

      They could have been over the top excited and said “Romanoff has hired a manager with decades of big time experience including numerous presidential campaigns.”

      Or they could have been completely negative and said, “Romanoff just hired an out of stater who lobbies for pharmaceutical companies and hasn’t won a race since Jimmy Carter in 1976.”

      I thought they struck a neutral tone.

  4. heartbreaker says:

    Here is his bio from GWU:

    Campaign manager on Dina Titus’ gubernatorial campaign in Nevada during Fall 2006;

    earlier in 2006 was campaign manager on Bill Halter for Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas;

    Ran John Edwards’ primary campaign for U.S. Senate, 1998.  

    Managed the North Carolina campaigns for Clinton-Gore through the Coordinated Campaign.  

    Chief of staff to Rep. Dick Gephardt, planned and developed his 1988 presidential campaign, ran his political action committee, the Committee for Effective Government, starting in 1985, and served as his national political director.  

    Started working for Sen. Gart Hart in Iowa in the latter part of 1982, put together Hart’s Iowa caucus campaign, was Midwest director on the presidential campaign, then deputy national campaign manager.  

    Finance director in Bob Kerrey’s 1982 campaign for Governor of Nebraska.  

    State coordinator for the Carter-Mondale 1980 Iowa caucus campaign, and later deputy national field director.  

    Managed Chuck Robb for Lt. Gov. of Virginia in 1977.  

    Organizer in more than half a dozen states for the Carter-Mondale ticket in 1976.  

    Attended University of Missouri and graduated from Central Methodist University with a business degree.  

    Native of Macon, Missouri.

    http://www.gwu.edu/~action/200

    This makes Team Bennet look only “relatively experienced.”

    • Skyler says:

      Now let’s see how it plays out. There’s no doubt in my mind that Jared Polis won in CD-2 because Robert Becker remolded the direction and organization of the campaign.

      If the same holds true with regards to Romjue, Romo may be a lot more viable. He’ll still have to catch up in fundraising.  

      • Middle of the Road says:

        His 4th quarter fundraising efforts are going to be crucial to his ongoing effort. Hiring Romjue is an excellent step towards a more focused and organized campaign.  

        • I think another dig to Romanoff isn’t helping Bennet MOTR. Bennet is going to have a hard time getting reelected.  

          Hehehehe.

          Lucky, lucky Romanoff…with friends like you, who needs enemies?

          Now go fuck yourself. And that’s me asking nicely.

          “What or who do you serve? MOTR?” Sharon Hanson  

          ______________________________________

          by: Middle of the Road @ Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 08:29:03 AM MDT

  5. Middle of the Road says:

    Smart move getting someone that experienced on board.

  6. Automaticftp says:

    After being criticized for not having competent management, AR now appears to have it.  Good move, but will it make any difference given the fundraising and headline differential?

  7. Ralphie says:

    If we’re going to have a race, let’s have a race.

    If Romanoff is finally stepping up to execute an actual campaign, more power to him.

    If he can convince me that a bird in the hand is NOT worth two in the bush, double power to him.

    I have no dog in this fight.  If I am going to have one, someone will need to convince me.

  8. redstateblues says:

    Why didn’t he do this months ago? My sober assessment: Bill Romjue was not the first person who was offered this position, but he was the first who accepted.

    Next step: an actual message! If Romjue can start the campaign on the right track with something more cohesive than what Romanoff has been coming out with on the stump lately, then all the better for everybody.

    It’s in the Democratic Party’s best interest for Romanoff to either run a great campaign, and do well win or lose, or drop out. I have no problem with either of those scenarios, but we can’t afford a weak Romanoff. We still need him on the bench if he doesn’t get elected to the Senate.

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