On Saturday, Bluestem posted some questions in Mum about Minnesota for Marriage: where's deputy campaign director Andy Parrish?:
As deputy campaign director of Minnesota for Marriage (M4M), Republican political operative Andy Parrish has never been shy about tweeting and Facebooking about the marriage restriction amendment.
Until October 2.
Since then, his tweets and Facebook page have been nearly all A Stronger Minnesota, the new political committee that's supposed to be the conservative answer to A Better Minnesota. We count three M4M-related posts out of over fifty tweets and retweets, as well as only A Stronger Minnesota material on his Facebook page.
Likewise, Parrish has disappeared in press accounts of M4M activity that Bluestem has found via Google News and Nexis, though he's there for A Stronger Minnesota. Moreover, eyewitness accounts claim that Parrish wasn't at Teh Gay Will Make Minnesota A Warm Alberta event M4M held Monday night.
Did the deputy director of the group leading the campaign for to amend Minnesota's constitution leave the coalition just shy of a month before the polls open--and while absentee balloting is going on?
Mr. Parrish read the post and tweeted back that he is still with M4M and doing fine:
@sallyjos still dpt camp manager, still make 10k month with MFM, and yes we're still winning.thanks for the concern.— Andy Parrish (@AndyParrishMN) October 14, 2012
That reply should relieve some minds, though it's difficult for Bluestem not to wonder, given the laudable Catholic appreciation for the dignity of work, whether the Archbishop is getting His money's worth for all that dawdling.
And the holy man shouldn't be the only one curious about the time sheets; take CD7 Republican candidate Lee Byberg. As Bluestem noted Friday in MNCD7: Lee Byberg raises only $86,591.06; $74,383.65 COH; $112,262.43 debt:
Among the interesting expenses: $3099.60 in "writing services" to Rootsky Books, a ghostwriting and editing service in Los Angeles; $8000 to Andy Parrish's Midwest Public Affairs LLC; $6105 to communications consulting to conservative operative David Strom.
Andy Parrish's firm has been receiving $4000 each month from Lee Byberg's campaign, which is somewhat less successful than M4M both in terms of fundraising and traction (though M4M's sole cause, the marriage discrimination act, is slipping in the polls, while Bybeg is literally singing to the choir).
Parrish joined the Byberg campaign in May with much fanfare. Fargo-Moorhead area Valley View News reported in Taking Aim at Collin Peterson:
Another sign the Republican's have painted a bulls eye on the back of Rep. Collin Peterson.
Lee Byberg, the Republican-endorsed candidate for Minnesota's 7th Congressional district, will be taking advice from GOP strategist Andy Parrish. Parrish will carry the title of general consultant.
Andy Parrish is known for his Karl Rove style tactics. He has deep roots in Minnesota politics.
In a news release sent out Tuesday morning, Byberg's campaign included this biography of Byberg.
Over the past decade, Parrish has served Minnesota from grassroots efforts to St. Paul, and then on Capitol Hill, as Rep. Michele Bachmann's Chief of Staff.
In 2006 he ran Bachmann's campaign, guiding an effort that made Bachmann the first Republican woman to be elected to federal office from Minnesota. Parrish's leadership of her 2010 re-election campaign earned him the nickname "Maestro." The campaign produced a record-setting $13.5 million in fundraising for Bachmann, along with 420,000 calls to voters and 40,000 doors knocked-on in the final five days before her decisive victory.
"Andy Parrish is a superb campaign strategist, and I am thrilled that he agreed to guide our campaign strategy," said Lee Byberg.
Parrish added "There are things about Collin Peterson that he does not want you to know about. Soon every one in the 7th district will learn shocking things about Peterson that they never knew before."
Apparently the operative thought that people in the Seventh didn't know about Peterson's musical group, The Second Amendments, since that seems to be the only thing sent down the sewer lines so far. But the Seventh isn't a district where middling-talent bipartisan congressional cover bands are shocking, merely another burden, like corn smut or soybean aphids.
As one wag tweeted:
SHOCKING BREAKING ZOMG NEWS: @andyparrishmn has exclusive video of Collin Peterson singing poorly. It's a gamechanger folks!— Eric Austin (@e_austin) May 25, 2012
Byberg seems to have resolved to fight cover bands by starting his own mega-choir rather than through more oppo research.
Is Parrish still consulting for Byberg? Inquiring minds have asked Bluestem since our post yesterday. Only the Byberg campaign and Parrish can answer.
Another tipster passed along this rumor circulating in select Republican circles:
. . .Senators Hann, Thompson, & [senate candidate] Downey have discussed that which ever of them becomes the next Majority Leader (HUGE IF) would name Parrish as their Chief of Staff. . . .
Bluestem has doubts about this story, since even the Senate Republican caucus surely can learn from the experience of having the deputy state party chair serve as communications head and executive assistant to the Majority Leader.
Having the leader of A Stronger Minnesota political fund serve as a Senate Caucus (whether majority or minority remains unsettled) COS would pose some of the same dog-wagging ethical issues, though the personalities involved would likely set fewer tongues wagging, even with Parrish's prior interest in dwarf and oil wrestling.
Cartoon: Andy Parrish, by Ken Avidor. Just how many contracts does he have to stuff that purse?