Maverick Media

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Maverick Media was the advertising team for the Bush-Cheney 2000 and Bush-Cheney 2004 campaigns.

According to the April 12, 2004, print edition of Advertising Age, "Maverick Media has come up in the world since it first worked for George W. Bush four years ago. Eight stories, in fact, to that lofty floor-with-view in a nondescript Arlington, Virginia office building containing the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign headquarters. It's far from the windowless Austin, Texas bomb shelter that housed the ad team during Mr. Bush's first run at the White House."

In March 2004 alone, the Bush-Cheney campaign "paid almost $41 million... to Maverick Media Inc, a consulting firm set up by Mark McKinnon, Mr. Bush's media adviser, to handle advertisements. Campaign officials said the money covered television time in March and beyond, as well as production costs."[1]

Of the top 50 recpients of the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign money, Maverick Media received half, totaling over $170 million.[2]

A former Maverick Media staff person, Juanita Yvette Lozano of Austin, Texas, pled guilty "to charges stemming from her release of the Bush Campaign's debate preparation materials to former Congressman Tom Downey, a close associate of former Vice President Al Gore... Lozano admitted that she gathered and copied more than 120 pages of debate preparation documents and a 60-minute video tape of a private debate preparation session involving Bush and his key advisors... Lozano sent the materials to Downey in an Express Mail package using the name 'Amy Smith' and a false return address. According to the indictment, the package included a cover note bearing the name 'Amy' which described the materials and stated, 'I will call you soon to find out what other materials can be useful to the VP.' After receiving the package on September 13, 2000, Downey reported the matter to the FBI and turned the materials over to them. Downey removed himself from any further role in Gore's debate preparation."[3]


According to Advertising Age, in 2004 Maverick Media's personnel included:

  • Mark McKinnon - a former country-and-western songwriter who "decorates his desk with a lava lamp and a sign reading 'stratergy,' gently poking fun at Mr. Bush's pronunciation
  • Stuart Stevens - a GOP consultant and Hollywood scriptwriter who wrote for NBC's political TV series Mr Sterling and co-produced HBO's K Street series about Washington DC lobbyists
  • Russ Schriefer - ad copy writer and coordinator of "messaging" during the August 2004 Republican Party convention in New York City
  • Harold Kaplan - senior VP-creative director of WPP Group's Y&R Advertising
  • Vada Hill - senior VP of marketing for Fannie Mae
  • Alex Castellanos - senior GOP strategist known for the 2000 Republican Party ad in which the word "RATS" briefly flashed over an image of Democratic Party candidate Al Gore
  • Chris Mattola - GOP strategist from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Frank Guerra - principal in the Hispanic political strategy firm Guerra DeBerry Coody, also in San Antonio, Texas
  • Fred Davis - chair of "strategic perception," in Los Angeles
  • Scott Howell - Dallas, Texas-area GOP strategist
  • Lionel and Kathy Sosa - Hispanic ad agency executives and founders of Sosa Consultation & Design in San Antonio, Texas
  • Sara Taylor - new to Maverick; a "former pollster turned campaign strategist"
  • Mike Shannon - new to Maverick; their media planner
  • Ashley O'Connor - new to Maverick; their producer

Matthew Dowd, Maverick Media's statistics and media staff person for the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign, became the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign's director of strategy -- the same position Karl Rove held in 2000.

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