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Thursday, March 05, 2009

david swann names neil mackie as official opposition communications director.

After recently naming Rick Miller as the new Official Opposition Chief of Staff, David Swann today named Neil Mackie as the Communications Director, replacing former Director Larry Johnsrude.

Mackie comes from Calgary with some interesting (and perhaps mixed) partisan roots.

Having served as President of the Calgary-Southwest Federal Liberal Association, Mackie ran unsuccessfully against former Calgary-West PC MLA Karen Kryczka in the 2007 Board of Education election, and is listed as having supported Michael Ignatieff during the 2006 Federal Liberal leadership race.

Mackie will be leaving his position as President of the Calgary-based Vincero Communications, a subsidiary of Ivrnet Inc. In the recent past, Ivrnet/Vincero have done political polling for Calgary-Currie MLA Dave Taylor during his unsuccessful Liberal leadership bid, and former Edmonton-Riverview PC candidate Wendy Andrews during her run against former Liberal leader Kevin Taft in March 2008. I'm told that while working with the company, Mackie also handled polling in up to 53 PC held ridings during the 2008 election, and in Calgary-Buffalo for the campaign of Liberal Kent Hehr.

Well-known politicos with Ivrnet/Vincero connections include its current Vice-President, former Calgary-Centre Reform Party MP Eric Lowther, and former Calgary Herald reporter David Heyman. Heyman was employed as Director of Communications for Ivrnet/Vincero before becoming Calgary Communications Manager for Premier Ed Stelmach.


Corey Hogan said...

Actually, Calgary-Buffalo was the one riding where Ivrnet worked with the Liberal candidate. As a sidenote, Ivrnet offered their services to the ALP before the PCs, but the ALP was uninterested.

C'est la vie.

daveberta said...

Thanks for the clarification, Corey. I wasn't sure if I made that clear enough when I first posted it.

Chandler Kent said...

Guess that makes the PCs a little more cognizant of the benefits of technology, huh? Good story. One quibble - Heyman joined the Calgary Premier's Office in 2007, not 2006.

daveberta said...

Thanks, CK!

Michael in Calgary said...

Chandler, how does that make the PCs a little more cognizant of the benefits of technology? Probably had more to do with the Liberals not having much money in the election.

Anonymous said...

So what you're saying is that if Neil Mackie isn't for sale, he's certainly for rent.

Ain't politics grand.

Snelgrove's boy toy said...

He's off to a good start.

Snelgrove's boy toy said...

This is the link I meant to post.

Anonymous said...

SBT, to be fair, Mackie may not have started yet or may have been overruled by the leader or caucus. But based on the recent past, you're right to be skeptical.
I can't figure out why he'd take the post. Was the company successful? Will he remain involved in the company?