360 Million Pounds Per Year?

The Chesapeake Bay is threatened by the millions of pounds of nitrogen pollution that run into its waters each year.  This pollution threatens public health and is strangling the Chesapeake ecosystem.  Through its innovative public and private partnership approach, the Chesapeake Fund is showing businesses, NGOs, government, and individuals how to reduce their nitrogen pollution.  MSC has helped the Chesapeake Fund hone its strategic plan and message as it develops this critical new tool to help restore the Chesapeake Bay. 

Clean Energy Alternatives and Global Warming

In the U.S., MSC is excited to be working with Fresh Energy and the RE-AMP coalition of nonprofits and foundations to spread the word about clean energy and reducing global warming pollutants across the Midwest. Click here to learn more.

One of the most environmentally destructive projects on Earth, the strip mining of tar sands in Alberta, Canada is on track to extend over a land mass the size of Michigan. Click here to learn more.

Not Big, Not Bad? Not Nearly Enough of Them

The Mexican Gray Wolf is the most endangered mammal in North America. There are only 52 left in the wild. And just two breeding pairs. We developed a communications and outreach strategy that is helping local, regional, and national groups that are working to save the Mexican Wolf.

Visit the MexicanWolves.Org website or check out the Wolf’s FacebookYouTube, and MySpace pages to learn more about how you can join us in working to bring the Mexican Gray Wolf back from the brink of extinction.

'08 Was Great!

MKSP congratulates President-Elect Obama and are delighted to have worked on races this season that included Presidential contenders as well as local state representation and numerous other issues on the ballot this November.

MKSP offers sincere congratulations to Representatives Brian Baird (WA-3) and Ron Kind (WI-3) who won their reelection bids in 2008.  It has been our pleasure to have worked with Reps. Baird and Kind for many years, and we look forward to seeing them continue to further the work of Congress and push for progressive change in Washington DC. 

Though we have a perfect record in reelecting incumbents, we also filled our time this election season crafting integrated and effective media for a variety of races of all shapes and sizes.

In 2008, we worked with longtime client Campaign Money Watch on a host of different races:

·       MKSP worked with Campaign Money Watch to expose Presidential Candidate John McCain’s record on gambling and his close ties to lobbyists throughout his long career.  Our spots garnered national attention, including coverage in the New York Times.

·       The MKSP-CMW team was also a part of a successful campaign to display Alaska Senator Ted Stevens’ corrupt and inappropriate actions, his dealings with lobbyists, and his close ties to the pharmaceutical and insurance companies.  Stevens would go on to be convicted of seven felonies and lose his senate seat. See the spot that aired in Alaska here.

·       In Colorado, the spots we produced for Campaign Money Watch helped to defeat Senator Bob Schaffer and clean up politics.  Schaffer’s ties to the oil industry and shady dealings with lobbyists hurt both Washington and Denver. MKSP’s ads were part of a multifaceted effort by many different progressive groups to drastically move poll numbers and successfully elect Senator Udall.

·       Kentucky was home to an exciting Senate race in 2008, as Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) faced a tough challenge from Democrat Bruce Lunsford.  MKSP and Campaign Money Watch producing a spot that called to question who McConnell was using his political clout for – personal gain, or to help his constituents?  The spot also garnered national attention and helped to make this a close race.

MKSP is proud to have worked to educate voters on numerous important (and successful!) ballot initiatives. 

  • In Minnesota, a spot we produced helped to publicize and tell voters about the Clean Water Amendment.  Even in a tough economic climate, voters passed the largest bond ever for the environment — an amendment that raised the sales tax 3/8 of one percent in order to fund the cleanup of Minnesota’s lakes, parks, and to allot money for the arts.  Minneapolis’s “Strong Cities, Strong Schools” referendum successfully passed with the help of MKSP’s sound political advice and quality media.  The referendum will fund reading, science, and math programs, as well as textbooks, technology, and help to limit class size. 
  • In Nebraska, MKSP’s radio and TV ads were successful in educating the residents of Lincoln about a Constitutional Amendment they eventually passed.  Amendment 1 has allowed the city government to make safe, secure investments to fund improvements in libraries, parks, and other community services.

We are proud to of all the candidates we worked for this season, and though we didn’t win every campaign, we look forward to working hard for progressive candidates and issues, wise leadership, and important causes in 2009 and beyond!

7 Words You Can't Say in Minneapolis

McCain. Reduce. The. Threat.  Of. Nuclear. Weapons.

And, it turns out, Clear Channel Outdoor Advertising won’t allow those words in Denver either when directed to Senator Obama.

They say that the surest way to get the public’s attention is to have your work banned.  And that’s what happened when MKSP worked with the Union of Concerned Scientists on an ad campaign aimed at delegates, media, and campaign staff attending the Democratic and GOP conventions.  The goal: get them to think about, and maybe start doing something about, the threat posed by huge U.S. and Russian nuclear stockpiles.

UCS put up giant ads in the Minnesota and Denver airports to greet convention visitors — as well as others traveling through two of the nation’s busiest airports.  Ads were also placed in bars and restaurants around the convention sites and on political blogs in both states.

In Denver, the ad met with no controversy.  In Minneapolis, however, it was another story altogether.  Northwest Airlines — the official airline of the Republican Convention — asked Clear Channel, owner of the ad space, to remove the ad on the grounds that it was “anti-McCain” and could be “offensive/scary to some.”

It’s worth noting that Senator McCain’s presidential campaign website explicitly states “The time has come to take further measures to reduce the number of nuclear weapons, and the U.S. must be a leader.”  In that light, it’s pretty tough to claim the UCS ad is anti-McCain.  And there’s no doubt that nuclear weapons are scary; that’s why both McCain and Obama agree that nuclear stockpiles should be reduced — and why it’s important to talk about this issue.

But not only did Clear Channel readily agree to take down the ad in Minneapolis, but they went even further by preemptively taking down the ad in Denver — even though no one had complained (not that complaints should be the standard for deciding whether an ad can be seen by the public.)

The decisions by Northwest Airlines and Clear Channel to remove the ad garnered articles in dozens of newspapers across the country, including the New York Times, which, of course, gave a big boost to UCS’s efforts to educate people about the need to reduce nuclear stockpiles.

Tracey Brooks Launches Second TV Ad

MKSP produced the latest ad for Tracey Brooks’ campaign to represent the 21st Congressional District of New York.

“I Need,” shown below, focuses on the real problems families are facing everyday and highlights Brooks’ message of standing up to the Republicans in Congress and making government accountable to the people again. The ad is airing on broadcast and cable television across the seven counties of the 21st Congressional District.

“The launch of our second TV ad, along with our radio and mail campaigns, continued grassroots and netroots efforts, and growing volunteer-based movement are all a demonstration that our campaign as the momentum and our message is resonating with the voters,” said Brooks. “I have focused my campaign on making government accountable again and on the issues important to working families such as ending the war in Iraq and investing that money here at home, guaranteeing affordable health care for all, standing up for a woman’s right to choose, and putting an end to skyrocking gas prices.”

In the Democratic primary to replace retiring Congressman Michael McNulty, Tracey has been endorsed by Rep. McNulty’s sister, Green Island Mayor Ellen McNulty Ryan, and his father Jack McNulty, former Albany County Sheriff and former Green Island Mayor. Tracey has also received endorsements from over 60 locally elected and Democratic Party officials, EMILY’s List, women’s political action committees, and labor unions.

Feder and Wulsin Pick Up Key Support

MKSP is proud to be working with candidates Judy Feder (VA-10) and Vic Wulsin (OH-2), both of whom were just named to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s (DCCC) “Red to Blue” program and endorsed by EMILY’s List. The support of the DCCC and EMILY’s List shows the building momentum Judy Feder and Vic Wulsin have as they take on incumbents Frank Wolf and Jean Schmidt. Their grassroots organizing and fundraising efforts have paid off and their messages are resonating with voters.

We’re counting down the days to victory with Judy and Vic as they continue their campaigns to bring change to Congress.

Off the Straight Talk Express

We have been working with Campaign Money Watch on exposing John McCain’s ties to lobbyists. MKSP recently produced a web video, “Busfull” and a television spot, “Paperclip,” calling on McCain to fire the lobbyists on his campaign staff. The television spot aired in early June throughout the Washington, DC cable market and was timed with the filing of Campaign Money Watch’s complaint to the FEC calling for an investigation into two top McCain aides. You can watch both ads below:

Congratulations, Judy!

MKSP was proud to extend our congratulations to Judy Feder on her primary victory in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District on June 10th. We have been delighted to work with Judy and her team on this primary race and look forward to helping her defeat Frank Wolf in November. Feder, who won with 62 percent of the vote in the primary, has the momentum to ride the tide for change to victory!

Helping Nebraska Communities

We worked with Lincoln, Nebraska’s Community Health Endowment to help pass a Constitutional Amendment allowing public endowments in the state to make safer, more secure investments. The proceeds of these investments can be used to fund things like community parks, libraries, and senior centers. MacWilliams Kirchner Sanders & Partners produced this ad featuring U.S. Senator Ben Nelson and Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning talking about the Amendment. A similar proposal was defeated in 2006, but Nebraska voters approved Amendment 1 yesterday by a resounding 58% - 42% margin.

MKSP Congratulates Vic Wulsin in OH-2

We’ve officially opened the 2008 campaign season with a bang! MacWilliams Kirchner Sanders & Partners congratulates Dr. Victoria Wulsin on her primary victory in Ohio’s 2nd Congressional District. We were proud to work with Vic and her team during this heated primary race and look forward to helping her defeat Jean Schmidt in November.Wulsin won with 58 percent of the vote over her opponent, Attorney Steve Black, a former Republican who ran a “Rove-like” attack campaign.

Vic’s campaign communicated early with voters with highly targeted cable television and direct mail. Her positive message, focusing on quality health care, good jobs, and ending the war in Iraq, resonated with voters and propelled her to victory.

Democratic turnout in the district was huge with 95,000 Democrats voting in this primary. By comparison, only 71,000 people voted in the Republican primary. Most importantly, Wulsin received 14,000 more votes than incumbent Republican Congresswoman Jean Schmidt.

MacConnell & Friends

What do lobbyists with connections, media giants, and big money donors all have in common? Apparently, it’s Senator Mitch McConnell.

Public Campaign Action Fund wanted to make sure Kentuckians knew the type of deals Senator McConnell makes for them in Washington. Working with PCAF, we spotlighted McConnell’s relationship with a former staffer turned lobbyist. The lobbyist raised $120,000 for McConnell’s campaigns. McConnell got the lobbyist’s client an $8.3 million dollar contract to buy ipod-like devices for Afghani tribesmen.

But that’s not all. Insight Media, the cable giant, decided after business hours yesterday to not air the ad during last night’s University of Louisville football game. Why? Censorship? Political favors? Not sure - they never even told us about their decision to not run the ad. What we do know is that executives at Insight donated $17,000 to McConnell’s reelection campaign back in March.

Check out the ad for yourself to see why McConnell and his friends are so worried.

Impeach Gonzales!

It’s pretty clear to us that the time has come for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to leave office. That’s why we are proud to be working withDemocracy for America (DFA) in their continuing effort to persuade Congress to impeach Gonzales.

But it seems that some members of the Judiciary Committee need reminding of Gonzales’ constant use of the Justice Department for political purposes.

DFA’s latest ad makes the connection between Gonzales’ faulty memory and another Republican who found it difficult to tell the truth.

We know that it’s time for Gonzales to go, but help make sure Congress knows too. Check out the ad and learn more about DFA’s campaign to Impeach Gonzales at www.DemocracyforAmerica.com.

Beutler Elected Mayor of Lincoln, Nebraska

Chris Beutler won a hard fought campaign and was elected mayor of Lincoln on May 1. It was a pleasure working with Chris and his campaign team on a strategy that successfully integrated cable advertising with field and other campaign communications.

In particular, the cable TV buy allowed Chris to get his message out early and effectively. As the Lincoln Journal Star reports, “Beutler’s message was louder: He was on TV early and often … vowing to fix City Hall with his trademark promise ‘the buck stops here.’”

Congratulations to Mayor Beutler!

Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz

“When jazz flourishes in New Orleans,
New Orleans will flourish again too.”
-Herbie Hancock

We recently returned from the Big Easy where we worked with theThelonious Monk Institute of Jazz on the announcement of their “Commitment to New Orleans.” After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the Monk Institute is moving to New Orleans and making a major commitment to keep jazz alive, vibrant, and growing in its birthplace.

Herbie Hancock

We were honored to be asked to help with media training, speech writing, and running the public relations around the event.

Working alongside jazz greats like Herbie HancockWayne ShorterThelonious Monk Jr., and Terence Blanchard, we helped refine their message to make local, national, and international news.

Here are some of the great clips to come out of the announcement:

New Orleans Times-Picayune: Jazz music program bopping to New Orleans

New Orleans Times-Picayune: EDITORIAL - A jazzy addition

National Public Radio’s Weekend Addition

NOLA.com - Multimedia Slideshow

Check out the students’ performance of “It Don’t Mean a Thing if You Ain’t Got That Swing” with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Thelonious Monk Jr., and Terence Blanchard.


The Worldfest-Houston International Film Festival, now in its 40th year, is one of the oldest and largest film and video competitions in the world, receiving entries from 37 countries in 2006. And with over 4,500 categories, it hands out a fair number of metallic-hued Remi awards come ceremony time with not one (like the Oscars), not three (like the Olympics) but a Texas-sized four levels of distinction, 1st through 4th place, platinum to bronze (though Worldfest is quick to point out that no awards are given in any category unless juries’ scores merit honor).

Having said all that, we here at MKSP are proud to announce that we won in every category entered, including top Platinum Remi awards for Use of Music and Use of Special Effects/ Computer Graphics. We were also honored with a Silver Remi for Use of Humor and a Bronze Remi (a wins a win!) in the Political/ Campaign/ Patriotic category.

Big Wins at the Pollie Awards

For almost 20 years, MacWilliams Robinson & Partners has put a premium on winning elections and ground breaking communications - but it’s still nice to be recognized by our peers for the quality of our work.

And though we’re now two firms, MacWilliams Kirchner Sanders & Partners and Robinson Hunt Communications, we are all very proud of the strong partnerships we have with our clients that earned 12 Pollie Awards for MR&P – including five gold awards for our work with the Coalition for Progress and Campaign Money Watch and awards for Ted Strickland for Governor, the Yes on 203 ballot initiative in Arizona, and for Public Campaign Action Fund.

Working with the Coalition for Progress in 2006, we helped reelect Governor Jennifer Granholm and give the Democrats control of the Michigan House of Representatives.
We did it using a highly-targeted communication strategy that we developed and field tested over the last few years that layers new media with field, television and radio to turn out key voting blocs, such as women drop-off voters. We also increased young voter turnout by combining a first-of-its-kind text messaging program with social network organizing and targeted cable advertising on programs like The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

  • Television Governor: Independent Expenditure Campaign – Gold Award
    “Second Verse”
    Client – Coalition for Progress
  • Internet/New Technology Campaign – Gold Award
    Client – Coalition for Progress
  • Television State Legislature: Independent Expenditure Campaign– Gold Award
    Client - Coalition for Progress
  • Persuasion Online Advertisement: Independent Expenditure Campaign – Silver Award
    Client - Coalition for Progress
  • Best Use of Social Networking – Bronze Award
    Client - Coalition for Progress
  • Radio State Legislature: Campaign/Issue Advocacy/527 – Bronze Award
    “Serious Muskegon”
    Client - Coalition for Progress
  • Best GOTV Program for an Independent Expenditure – Gold Award
    Client - Coalition for Progress
    *Shared with Grassroots Solutions and consultant team

Last June working with Campaign Money Watch, we helped defeat Ralph Reed who was running for Lt. Governor in Georgia. As part of a “converged campaign” we developed a strategic plan that included targeted cable and radio advertising, phone calls and emails. Working with Stones Phones, one of the phone calls won a top award.

  • Independent Expenditure Campaign Phone Calls – Gold Award
  • “Did You Know?”
  • Client – Campaign Money Watch
    *Shared with Stones Phones

Our other 2007 Pollie Awards include work on a statewide campaign for Governor, statewide ballot initiatives, and against former U.S. Rep. Bob Ney:

  • Overall Radio Campaign – Honorable Mention
    Client – Ted Strickland for Governor (Ohio)
  • Statewide Initiative/Referendum/Constitutional Amendment Radio Ad – Silver Award
    “Growing Up Too”
    Client – Yes on 203 (Arizona)
  • Bilingual/Multilingual/Foreign Language Radio Ad – Honorable Mention
    Client – Yes on 203 (Arizona)
  • Independent Expenditure Campaign U.S. House Radio Ad – Honorable Mention
    “Bad Swing”
    Client – Public Campaign Action Fund

Thanks to all of our clients and friends we’ve worked with over the years. We’ll have more news and updates coming soon.




Making History in 2006

Across the country Democrats and progressives made historic gains taking back both the U.S. House and Senate, the majority of Governorships and state legislatures.

MacWilliams, Robinson & Partners is proud to have been a part of it. Here’s a recap of some of the work we did for the 2006 election.

For the first time in 16 years Ohio went blue. We worked for Governor-elect Ted Strickland – who won 60 to 37 percent and led the entire Ohio Democratic ticket to win all but one of the statewide contests.

Working on independent expenditure campaigns with SEIU, Campaign Money Watch, AFSCME, the NEA and EMILY’s List we helped bring 11 new Democrats to Congress including Bruce Braley, Chris Carney, Joe Donnelly, Phil Hare, Paul Hodes, Steve Kagen, Jerry McNerney, Tim Walz, Ben Cardin, Jon Tester and Claire McCaskill.

All of our own congressional incumbents handily won reelection including incoming U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Congressman Brian Baird and Congressman Ron Kind.

We won all of our ballot initiatives in 2006. “Yes on 203” in Arizona will fund early childhood education through a new tax on tobacco. “Not In Montana” – an anti-TABOR campaign – was tossed off the ballot by the Montana Supreme Court just 10 days before the election, but not before our advertising and message helped an excellent campaign team swing public opinion by 69 points over a six week period. That dog was going down with or without the court’s ruling.

We also produced the media for Give Missourians a Raise - the minimum wage ballot initiative in Missouri that helped elect Claire McCaskill U.S. Senator. The Associated Press reported that “the greatest impact on the Senate race may have come from the minimum wage ballot measure, which passed easily in every Missouri county and garnered an astounding 76 percent support statewide.”


Working with the Michigan Coalition for Progress, we helped reelect Governor Jennifer Granholm and give the Democrats control of the Michigan House of Representatives. We did it using a sophisticated, highly-targeted, multi-platform communication strategy that MacWilliams, Robinson & Partners developed and field tested over the last several years in order to turn out key voting blocs, such as women drop-off voters. We also increased young voter turnout by combining a first-of-its-kind text messaging program with social network organizing and targeted cable advertising on programs like The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

With Rocky Mountain Horizons we helped elect Bill Ritter, the Governor of Colorado, and with SEIU and the NEA helped to reelect Governor John Baldacci of Maine.

Working for the State Capitol Media Project, we produced advertising that helped elect two new Secretaries of State: Mary Herrera in New Mexico and Marc Ritchie in Minnesota.

We helped reelect Governor Dave Freudenthal, whose historic 70% support outperformed even George W. Bush’s vote tally in 2004.