Politics' Hired Guns
Today, Florida's professional political consultants know more about voters than the voters might like. But for all the tools at their disposal, it's still tough -- and more expensive -- to get a message out.
Adam Goodman [Photo: Kelly LaDuke]
Education: Master’s degree in political science from the University of Florida; bachelor’s degree in political communications from the George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
The firm: Named after veteran Democratic pollster Bill Hamilton, who founded the firm in 1964. Beattie became president when Hamilton died in 2000 at age 61.
Political prodigy: Beattie was elected to the school board in Vestal in upstate New York while a high school junior. He says he considered himself a Republican back then.
Revenue: $2.5 million to $3 million in even-numbered years when campaigns are in high swing.
National scope: The research and strategy firm, which has done work in 36 states since 2000, conducts about one-third of its work in Florida.
2006 wins: U.S. Rep. Tim Mahoney; Florida CFO Alex Sink; U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson; state Sen. Jeremy Ring; state Sen. Ted Deutch; Delaware Sen. Tom Carper; Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter; Texas state Rep. Donna Howard; Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel.
Key to Florida: Whoever wins the Tampa Bay media market will win the presidency, predicts Beattie, who says the swing market is “very reflective” of the nation as a whole because of its diversity and political leanings. “With 25% of the electorate, it’s the biggest media market in the state — bigger than Miami. The state of Colorado is about the same size as the Tampa media market.”