Erik Williams pictured. India Blue photo
Three veteran politicos teamed up to launch a one-stop political consulting firm. Former Democratic state party chairman John F. Droney, of Levy and Droney, P.C., lobbyist Patrick J. Sullivan of Sullivan and LeShane, Inc. and Erik A. Williams, former political director for the state senate Democrats launched Campaignswon.com, LLC this month to fill a void in Connecticut’s political landscape. “There was a lack of comprehensive political consulting firms in the state,” Williams said Tuesday. “We saw an opportunity in marketplace.” But the marketplace for the firm extends past Connecticut’s borders.
“Whether it’s a political campaign in Connecticut or across the country, local referenda, business initiatives needing public opinion polling, strategic direction or strong employee grassroots effort, this team has the expertise and experience to design, plan, direct, manage and implement the project,” Sullivan said in a press release. Patrick SullivanThere are maybe a handful of political consulting firms in the state, but what makes Campaignswon.com unique is they will be handling all their clients needs from media purchases to the creation of campaign blogs to polling. Williams said they have hired two people and will contract with others based on customer needs and locations. The firm will be based in Hartford, but will service clients throughout New England and Washington DC. While the trio already have a few clients, that for obvious reasons they weren’t able to name, Williams said they will be taking this new adventure slow. “This is a long-term venture, so were not looking to take on a bunch of clients and lose campaigns our first year,” Williams said. “Between the three of us we have an incredible record and we’re not willing to risk that.”John DroneyDroney who has been active in politics in the past said he’s excited about the new venture. “Quite frankly, I love politics,” he said in a phone interview Wednesday. Droney recently re-entered the political arena as an advisor to U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman during his last race. Lieberman, the three-term incumbent faced a challenge from a candidate in his own party and even though he received the party endorsement, the challenger Ned Lamont gained widespread popularity within the party. Droney publicly advised Lieberman in a Courant article to drop out of the Democratic primary and run as an independent because Droney predicted he would lose the primary. Droney reasoned that Lieberman would lose the primary because Lamont’s campaign consisted of “every single weirdo in the left wing.“Droney’s prediction, as much as Lieberman’s campaign at the time didn’t want to admit it, was right. Lieberman lost the primary, but won the general election.Droney said politics is “the art of persuasion,” even if the medium of communication has changed. He said the firm expects to serve clients from both sides of the aisle. The services it will offer include campaign management, political research and focus groups, employee and membership grassroots campaigns, message development, strategic advice and direction for federal 527 and political action management, website design and blog management along with targeted direct mail services. The firm expects to serve clients in the political, business, professional services and institutional arenas.The only thing they won’t be doing is fundraising. “Campaignswon.com is keenly aware of the Connecticut prohibition on all fundraising activities conducted by lobbyists,” Droney said.The new campaign finance legislation prohibits the trio from fundraising. Droney said that’s fine with him because fundraising is “a completely different animal.” He said fundraising is very time consuming and intimate. “It takes a lot of personal time,” he said. Time he doesn’t have. Droney said he manages a successful law practice and other business interests.