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NC: Elaine Marshall campaign affirms commitment to progressive vision as it retools for the general

I got wind of a change over at the Elaine Marshall campaign the other day, and it definitely raised my eyebrows. The fully pro-equality U.S. Senate candidate running to unseat Richard Burr has elected to go with a seasoned campaign manager for the general, Tim Phillips. Take a look at his one of his past clients. (Under the Dome):

Tim Phillips of Alexandria Va. has started work for Marshall. He has managed the winning Georgia Senate campaigns of Max Cleland and Zell Miller, both the winning and losing gubernatorial campaigns of Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes among many others, Rob Christensen reports.

He said his arrival is an effort to beef up the staff for the fall election and not a shakeup. “We are augmenting, we not replacing,” Phillips said. “We are trying to build up for the fight ahead.” A.J. Carrillo, the campaign manager during the primary, will shift over to the role of deputy campaign manager with a particular emphasis on using the Internet. Thomas Mills will remain as the campaign’s general consultant.

Yes, that Zell Miller.

Miller was a speaker at “Justice Sunday II,” an event organized by conservative Christian evangelicals to combat alleged liberal bias in the Federal Judiciary of the United States. The event was organized by Tony Perkins and James Dobson, and held in Nashville, Tennessee on August 14, 2005. Miller criticized the United States Supreme Court, saying that it had “removed prayer from our public schools … legalized the barbaric killing of unborn babies and it is ready to discard like an outdated hula hoop the universal institution of marriage between a man and a woman.”

So naturally that caused me turn to our contact in the campaign, Mike Nellis, to answer as to whether Phillips’ addition to the campaign has any bearing on her strong commitment to progressive positions and messaging that she shared with us on the Blend during our liveblog. His answer:

Elaine Marshall is still the progressive champion she’s always been and will continue to be a fierce advocate for all people no matter who’s working for her. She sets message, we just spread it around a bit. No need to worry, friends.

Phillips also wanted to be clear about his role in the campaign.

I see that some of our friends are worried about what my being here might mean. I understand that concern, but it is misplaced. First and foremost, the campaign is and always will be Elaine Marshall’s campaign. The voice of this campaign is her voice, the heart of it is her heart.

My job is to enable her voice to be heard. The notion that the views of any of my past clients are my views is simply wrong. Max Cleland spoke for himself. So too did Zell Miller. So will Elaine Marshall, as she always has.

Fear not. Elaine Marshall’s voice will continue to be the voice of her campaign. I just wanna crank up the volume.

And A.J. Carrillo is stil with the campaign, shifting over to handle new media coordination as deputy campaign manager, who delivered this video campaign update:


* 3/28 Elaine Marshall liveblog

* NC-U.S. Senate: And the Blend endorses…

* Elaine Marshall’s position on civil rights

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding