Michael Shellenberger, who after the Recall took to calling himself Gallegos' "lead campaign consultant", contracted with Venezuela's Hugo Chavez for $60,000 plus expenses for a public relations blitz. This establishes the value of Shellenberger's service.
Chavez was facing a Recall, and after his success with Gallegos, Shellenberger touted himself as an expert in saving people from Recall. Chavez apparently hired Shellenberger to get him some positive press in the US Media.
What's the point? The point is that Paul Gallegos was no David against the Goliath Palco. Shellenberger was a Goliath in his own right, and the forces allied against Palco were never revealed to you, the voting public. It's time you knew.
Exhibit B (in handwriting) - on Lumina Strategies letterhead.... spells out the kinds of services he provides...
Venezuela Communications Proposal
May 19, 2004
TO: Deborah James, Executive Director VIO
FR: Michael Shellenberger, Lumina Strategies
I am proposing to work intensively with the VIO on strategy and media relations for six months starting on June 1. In November we would review our work together and decide whether to proceed beyond that. I am proposing six months because I believe it is the minimum amount of time that will be needed to evaluate the effectiveness of our effort to referame the debate.
The services I am proposing can be divided into two categories: strategic and media relations.
1. On the strategic counsel side, I recommend you use me for regular strategy calls, coordination with lobbying, trips to Caracas, overseeing advertising, polling, specific exchanges, Internet activism and other projects.
2. On the media relation side. I recommend you use me to pitch stories proactively, gently correct wrong stories, work with Andres and the Ambassador on the U.S. tour and editorial board approach, and coordinate announcements coming out of Caracas. There is, inevitably, some ambiguity about my role that won't be clarified until we start working together and until you bring on new staff.
II ACTIVITIES and DELIVERABLES
1. Oversee media relations.
1. Respond to breaking news.
b. Develop and oversee media strategy relating to reparo and referendum process.
c. Travel to Venezuela for reparo.
d. Work with Caracas staff and others to get stories out.
2. Participate on regular strategy calls.
3. Travel to Venezuela up to once a month.
4. Write and work to place op-eds.
5. Work with Embassy and VIO to organize U.S. tour.
- Speeches. editorial board visits, and think-tank visits to New York, Chicago, Miami, Dallas, Houston, Ft. Worth, San Diego, L.A., and San Francisco in late May, before reparo
- Help arrange and attend meetings
Help prepare Ambassador
6. Internet Activism
The budget for this work would be $60,000, not including out of pocket expenses.
What is reparo?
Carl Meacham explained the basic process of the reparo (repair) process that occurred May 26-30. The process, aimed at acquiring enough signatures from registered voters to call a plebiscite on the Chavez government in the hopes of removing him from office, involved revalidating 1.2 million signatures collected by the opposition.