Last month, we told everyone to keep their eyes peeled for an intriguing venture at one of Montpelier’s marquis lobbying firms.
This week, KSE Partners officially unveiled its latest division, and it should add a fascinating new dynamic to Vermont’s electoral-politics landscape.
“KSE Campaigns” is being described as a “top to bottom campaign arm” that will develop, design and implement specialized political strategies for state and federal candidates and political action committees.”
The new division, according to Kevin Ellis – the “E” in KSE – transforms the 25-year-old operation into a “full-service political communications firm.”
“'We have political operatives with decades of campaign experience, communications specialists with new media expertise and fund raising professionals on staff,” Ellis said in a written statement. “We have exclusive relationships with pollsters and grassroots organizers. Or plan is to take our expertise and past success for clients and apply it to this emerging new political arena.”
KSE will shop its services to state and federal candidates for office, as well as PACs, SuperPACs and organizations engaged in more issue-oriented campaigns.
KSE executives see particularly high growth potential in the proliferation of SuperPACs, to which corporations and wealthy individuals this election cycle will invest heavily to influence the outcome of political campaigns.
“We saw that there was a need for a new breed of campaign consultant both in Vermont and nationally,” KSE staffer Nick Sherman said in a statement. “We spent the summer and fall developing strategies that will work in 21st century political campaigns. The Internet has changed the way messages are developed and delivered; the way money is raised and the way grassroots and get-out-the-vote campaigns are developed. For now, SuperPACs have altered the way messages are delivered. We will help candidates and clients use all these tools to be successful.”
KSE is already providing consulting services to a SuperPAC called “Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Today.” “Vermont Priorities,” a soon-to-be-unveiled Montpelier-based advocacy organization, will also be among the early clientele.
The move isn’t without risk. Though KSE officials are promoting their services to all comers, their first two clients have a decidedly progressive bent. Advancing the partisan political interests of some clients, it stands to reason, might make it a less attractive business partner to others.