Lessig Presidential Campaign Adds Experienced Message and Legal Team With Background in Winning Outsider Campaigns

For immediate release
September 25, 2015

Cambridge, MA— Democratic presidential candidate Larry Lessig today announced additions to his core campaign team, which offers a mix of veterans in campaign management, messaging, election law and social media, with a track record of winning races they were not supposed to win.

Included in Lessig’s campaign team are:

Steve Jarding, general consultant – Jarding is a Harvard professor with a 37-year career of managing or serving in senior level political positions for some of the most difficult Democratic campaigns of the past 30 years, including campaigns for Tom Daschle of South Dakota, Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, Mark Warner of Virginia, Tim Johnson of South Dakota and Jim Webb of Virginia. Jarding also served as communications director and senior advisor for two cycles at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and has run presidential leadership PACs for Bob Kerrey of Nebraska and John Edwards of North Carolina. Jarding’s course on campaign management at Harvard has twice been nominated as the “most influential course” in America, and Jarding has been called a political operative “who wins races he is not supposed to win.”

Bill Hillsman, media consultant, North Woods Advertising – Hillsman is the creator of some of the most successful and attention-getting marketing campaigns of the past 30 years. His work for Paul Wellstone’s successful 1990 U.S. Senate campaign won the Grand Effie award as the most effective marketing ad in the nation. In 1998, his ads for Jesse Ventura’s upset win in the Minnesota gubernatorial election were also recognized as some of the best in America. Hillsman has also done pioneering work for Air America Radio Network, Iraq veterans’ organization Operation Truth, VoteVets, Ralph Nader for President, among many others. Slate dubbed Hillsman “the world’s greatest political adman,” and the National Journal called him “one of the nation’s foremost authorities on swing voters and independent voters.” North Woods has also been recognized as a cutting-edge leader in pioneering effective use of the Internet and social media.

Richard Dickerson, campaign manager – Dickerson, from Charlottesville, Virginia currently living in Birmingham, Alabama, has a lengthy public service career in both the public and private sectors, including having served in a variety of political and policy positions during the administration of President Bill Clinton. Dickerson served in leading roles in the presidential campaigns of Al Gore and John Kerry. Dickerson also ran the GOTV program for Doug Wilder, the first black governor in America. In addition, he served as a consultant to the Democratic National Committee during Ron Brown’s tenure as chairman. Dickerson has been enormously successful leading cutting-edge grassroots organizing efforts across the country, including work for Jesse Jackson, Michael Dukakis, Chuck Robb and Bill Clinton. His work includes stints as deputy assistant secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy and as director of the mayor’s desk at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during the Clinton administration. Dickerson also managed a host of states for the Clinton campaign during Clinton’s two runs for the presidency. He has served as senior director for Strategic Communications at the U.S. Agency for International Development and at the National Democratic Institute.

Drew Westen, message consultant – Dr. Westen is a clinical, personality, and political psychologist and neuroscientist, and professor in the departments of Psychology and Psychiatry at Emory University. He is founder of Westen Strategies, a political and corporate consulting firm. He formerly taught at the University of Michigan, Harvard Medical School, and Boston University, and is the author of one the most influential books about political psychology and messaging, “The Political Brain” (2007).

Adam Bonin, legal counsel – Bonin is a Philadelphia-based lawyer whose firm exclusively represents clients in campaign finance, election law, pay-to-play and lobbying compliance matters, and has been a leader in efforts on behalf of the rights of online speakers. In 2005–2006, he led the fight and achieved a major victory before the Federal Election Commission on behalf of major political bloggers, securing significant new rights for speakers on the Internet to engage in online political speech and advocacy. He has been successful on both sides of ballot access battles, successfully representing candidates for office in defending their right to appear on the ballot, as well as removing others from the ballot whose signatures had been procured fraudulently or unlawfully.

“I am honored and proud to have this extremely talented team come on board. Their track records of success speak to their collective skills and fearlessness to take on any challenge and come out on top,” Lessig said.

“Larry is the only candidate, the only one, in either party who understands that if we don’t get special interest money out of our politics, our democracy will suffocate and die. I personally believe that the American people understand it better than the politicians, and it is for the people that Larry is fighting,” Jarding said.

“Money has frozen our government’s capacity to function, and Larry Lessig is the only candidate who understands that. No campaign is more important, and I am proud to be a part of taking this message to the American people,” Hillsman said.

“I am excited and encouraged by the serious team we have recruited,” commented Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia and chairman of Lessig’s campaign.  “This is a campaign that must win. We have the talent — and the candidate — that can win.”

The team picks up from the success of the launch team for the Lessig campaign, including its manager, Ryan Clayton. Clayton will return to his position managing Wolf PAC after successfully raising the $1M in commitments necessary to get Lessig into the race. “It was an honor and privilege to manage the launch of the presidential campaign for my personal hero and friend, Larry Lessig,” Clayton said. “As I return to my work promoting a constitutional amendment to fix Citizens United and affiliated electoral work in 2016, the Lessig2016 campaign is now in the hands of some of the best in the political business.”

“I can’t describe my gratitude to Ryan, both for his work and inspiration,” Lessig said. “He started this and had faith before anyone else.”

Szelena Gray
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Sofia Royce
[email protected]
(202) 789-7783
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