Magazine for Politicians Takes No Sides: Tactics, Gossip, Ads Pull Readers

By Murray, Frank J. | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), May 28, 1996 | Go to article overview

Magazine for Politicians Takes No Sides: Tactics, Gossip, Ads Pull Readers


Murray, Frank J., The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


Politics is a sport for all seasons at Campaigns & Elections, the unusual trade magazine.

"You can't govern if you don't win," says an ad for a consulting firm called Campaign Connections. The message crystallizes the credo of the 16-year-old niche magazine and of Ronald A. Faucheux, the feisty political junkie who bought it three years ago.

Aware that even losing campaigns provide jobs and sales, the magazine shuns ideology in favor of effective tactics and copious gossip about win-loss records and campaigns that are hiring.

"There's an election somewhere every week. Out in the real world there are no off-years," said Mr. Faucheux, a former Louisiana legislator and consultant who insists Washington's focus is blurry because 99.9 percent of elections are not federal.

"There are 513,000 elected officials, of whom 542 are federal. Too much of politics is looked at in terms of Capitol Hill and the White House," said Mr. Faucheux, whose study of campaign spending indicates about $8 billion is paid out in each four-year cycle, of which less than one-fourth is for president and Congress.

The magazine, known simply as C&E, rarely even mentions specific politicians, except as subjects of hot or horrible ads, and to rule them out of the biennial "rising stars" issue that pinpoints promising unknowns.

"Elected officials and active candidates are excluded," C&E declared in April when it added 65 candidates for stardom to a glittering alumni that includes James Carville, Mary Matalin, George Stephanopoulos and Ralph Reed.

"A few married each other. One of them may have even authored `Primary Colors,' " boasts the magazine that scars such stars as Democratic consultant Mandy Grunwald and Republican pollster Frank I. Luntz who shared its "biggest disappointments" ranking.

"I don't read it because they're always beating up on me, but it's a quite good magazine and probably very helpful to those getting started in the business," Mr. Luntz said, speculating he was targeted because he doesn't advertise.

Praise also flows for such big-league non-advertisers as Faucheux favorites Greg Stevens and Don Sipple, GOP operatives, and sometime-Democrat Dick Morris. …

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