Magazine article ADWEEK

Political Opposites Attract at Vegas Shop: Two Agency Executives Support Bush While a Third Toils for Liberal Causes

Magazine article ADWEEK

Political Opposites Attract at Vegas Shop: Two Agency Executives Support Bush While a Third Toils for Liberal Causes

Article excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO R&R Partners is known for wooing people to Las Vegas by promising discretion in its "What happens here, stays here" ad campaign. Discretion will also be a priority this election as two agency executives work to re-elect Bush and a third tries to do exactly the opposite.

Greg Ferraro, president of the agency's government advocacy group, is communication chairman for Bush-Cheney in Nevada. Ferraro, a former lobbyist, served on the staff of the Republican National Committee earlier in his career. He reports to CEO Billy Vassiliadis and partner Bob Henrie.

Vassiliadis, an ardent Democrat and onetime consultant to President Clinton, hosted a Fundraiser for presidential hopeful John Edwards last summer at R&R's Las Vegas headquarters. Now supporting John Kerry, Vassiliadis is also an adviser to Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., the Senate's senior minority whip.

Henrie, on the other hand, has been a strategic consultant to Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, for 18 years. Both Henrie and Hatch are devout Mormons, and one of Hatch's "core issues," said Henrie, is Bush's proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, which Vassiliadis opposes. In November 2002, Vassiliadis was a spokesman for Nevada's ballot initiative to allow gay marriage, which failed. Last year he successfully lobbied the state legislature to pass a series of gay-rights laws.

"It can be awkward at times," said Vassiliadis about the divergent political agendas at the agency. …

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