Designated Market Media

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Designated Market Media (DM Media) is the Republican "media consulting firm" which Sara Taylor, George W. Bush's former White House political director, joined in October 2007 as a partner.[1]

However, no information about DM Media can be located in a Google search. Also, lobbyists and lobbying firm data bases show no listings for Designated Market Media.

There is a Designated Market Media LLC that has been registered in the state of Delaware since April 2001,[2] but its possible relationship to this DM Media is unknown.


The principals in the firm were identifed as former National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) political director Michael McElwain,[3] who succeeded Terry Nelson in 2001, and Dawson McCarthy Nelson Media (DMN Media)'s Sam Dawson, "as well as former National Republican Senatorial Committee senior aide" Patrick J. McCarthy, Jr..[1]

It should be noted that there is also no listing for Sara Taylor as a lobbyist, although she was registered August 27, 2007, with the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives by Renewable Energy Group of Ames, Iowa, which produces biodiesel fuel,[4] as a lobbyist for them.[5]

Given that DMN Media has been known to share its address and office space with other entities, it is possible that DM Media is another affiliated firm.[6]

Mission: political microtargeting

Other than being identified as a "media consulting firm"[1], no further information is available about the firm's mission. However, several inferences can be drawn from the past history of DM Media's principals.

  • Sam Dawson, a DMN Media partner, served as "a top political aide" to former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, "including devising strategy for the Republican takeover of the House in 1994." He was also a "senior staffer" in President George H.W. Bush's 1992 presidential campaign and has experience with "numerous issue campaigns".[7]
  • Patrick J. McCarthy, Jr. joined DMN Media as a partner "after several cycles" with National Media, Inc. "In 1998 his issue advocacy spots in the Michigan Governor's race were called 'brutally effective' by the Detroit News."[8][9]
  • Mike McElwain was identified in May 2007 as a partner in Dawson McCarthy McElwain Media (DMM Media), which would appear to be a variation of DMN Media.[10]
  • Not mentioned in the DM Media partnership is Terry Nelson, the N in DMN Media. Nelson was involved in the 2002 election NH "Phone Jamming" case and was an unindicted co-conspirator in the Tom DeLay money laundering case.[11] Nelson joined DMN Media in 2001 after his stint as NRCC political director and having "devised the strategy to maintain Republican control of the House in the face of unprecedented spending by the DCCC and its allies" and "over[seeing] the committee's $45 million issue advocacy campaign, the largest non-presidential issue advertising campaign ever conducted."[12]

Taylor "says she'll be concentrating on the firm's new issue advocacy group rather than on politics ...[which she says] plays to her strengths in advertising and message development."[13] However, she brings to her new partnership the additional expertise of political microtargeting, a technique she helped to "refine" while working with Alex Gage of TargetPoint Consulting for George W. Bush's 2004 re-election campaign.[14]

It is possible if not likely that Designated Market Media indicates that microtargeting is the plan. As the 2008 presidential and congressional elections are on the horizon, DM Media will be prepared.


Related SourceWatch articles


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Chris Cillizza and Shailagh Murray, "First Came the '02 Race. Then They Squared Off in '04 and '06. Now It's . . .," Washington Post, October 14, 2007. Scroll down to "Players".
  2. Registered Organization Search: Dawson, District of Columbia, October 15, 2007; Thanks to Daily Kos poster citizen92 for the research on both the DC and the DE corporate records.
  3. McElwain cannot be identified as a registered lobbyist.
  5. Lobbying Registration for Sara Taylor by Renewable Energy Group, with the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, August 27, 2007.
  6. Note: A Google search for "Sam Dawson", "Mike McElwain" did not find any new information regarding this alleged firm.
  7. 2001 archived DMN Media bio for Sam Dawson, DMN Media.
  8. 2001 archived DMNM bio for Patrick J. McCarthy, Jr., DMN Media.
  9. National Media Inc. is co-owned by Alex RATS Castellanos.
  10. Maury Thompson, "Treadwell hires McElwain as consultant; Gillibrand votes to reauthorize Head Start funding; Conservatives endorse for fall races, Moreau GOP endorses," The Post-Star (, May 4, 2007.
  11. Josh Marshall, Talking Points Memo, September 10, 2006.
  12. 2001 archived DMN Media bio for Terry Nelson, DMN Media.
  13. "White House Officials New Gigs," The Legal Times Blog, October 15, 2007.
  14. Michael A. Fletcher, "Another Top Bush Aide Makes an Exit," Washington Post, May 28, 2007.

External articles