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The Strike’s New Political Muscle

Dave McNary reports that studios have hired well-known political advisers Mark Fabiani, Chris Lehane and Steve Schmidt to assist in strike P.R. as the AMPTP revamps its message-making machine.

Based on recent polling, writers no doubt have won the public’s sympathy in the strike — as well as from presidential candidates. So it’s no surprise that the studios are trying to boost their press operations. Its chief spokeswoman, Barbara Brogliatti, moved to a senior adviser role last week.

Fabiani and Lehane have a longtime history in politics — as advisers to President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore. Lehane ran Gore’s press operations in his 2000 presidential campaign. They also helped promote the politically charged pics “Fahrenheit 9/11” and “Sicko,” and have been working to defeat an California electoral reform initiative spearheaded by Republicans. Schmidt is a close adviser to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and served as his campaign manager in 2006.

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