PRESS RELEASES from Freedom First PAC  

October 1, 2009

Tim Pawlenty Announces “Freedom First” PAC
PAC’s Leadership Team Includes Experienced, Respected, Diverse Talent

ST. PAUL, Minnesota – Seeking to help elect conservatives in 2009 and 2010, Tim Pawlenty today filed forms with the Federal Election Commission to create the Freedom First political action committee. The new federal PAC will offer financial support to candidates committed to putting freedom before government, and provide organizational support for Pawlenty to promote his innovative, conservative message. The new PAC will have an unprecedented approach to citizen engagement, and features a website at, where supporters can add their voice to Pawlenty’s message.

“Right now, our freedoms are being challenged on many fronts,” Pawlenty said. “This organization is dedicated to putting freedom first again in America. By helping candidates and translating our ideas into policies that everyone can relate to and support, we can turn back the growth of Washington and renew the promise of freedom.”
Freedom First PAC will be co-chaired by William H. Strong, the Vice Chairman of Morgan Stanley, and the Honorable Vin Weber, former Minnesota congressman, and partner at Clark and Weinstock.

“Tim is an authentic leader with a record of results,” Strong said. “I’m excited to work with him to elect great candidates across the country. His record of fiscal conservatism in Minnesota makes him a credible voice on the issues facing our country.”

“There’s a big debate about the role of government and personal freedom raging at the moment, and I’m excited to help promote fresh new ideas, and new leaders.” Weber said. “Given Tim’s successful record in Minnesota, he’s in a unique position to harness that energy and help other candidates.”

The PAC’s first Minnesota fundraiser will be held on November 4 in Minneapolis and will be anchored by a diverse and distinguished group of Minnesotans who will serve as the Freedom First PAC Minnesota Co-Chairs.  They include:

Al & Cathy Annexstad, Shorewood, Minnesota
Bill Cooper, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, TCF Financial Corporation, and former Chairman of Republican Party of Minnesota.
Mark Davis, Chairman, Cambria  
Megan Doyle, Founder, Hope for the City
Jeff Larson, Former CEO, 2008 MSP Host Committee and Partner, FLS Connect.
Susan Marvin, President, Marvin Windows
Tim Owens, CEO, Voyager Bank
Tom Stauber, President & owner, Edwards Sales
Bob Ulrich, Former CEO, Target
Providing management, strategic and political planning will be a cadre of campaign veterans serving as senior advisors, including Phil Musser, President of New Frontier Strategy and former executive director of the Republican Governors Association; Terry Nelson, Partner, Mercury Public Affairs and former RNC and Bush-Cheney 2004 political director; and Sara Taylor, President of BlueFront Strategies and former White House political director. Former FEC Chairman Michael Toner of Bryan Cave, LLP will serve as the PAC’s counsel.

The PAC’s communication director will be Alex Conant. A Minnesota native, Conant most recently served as the Republican National Committee’s national press secretary and senior advisor. Online strategy and outreach will be led by Patrick Ruffini and Mindy Finn of Engage. Ruffini previously headed the RNC’s online department as well as working with the Giuliani Presidential campaign and Finn oversaw Mitt Romney’s online strategy during his 2008 presidential campaign. Liz Mair and Patrick Hynes of Hynes Communications will handle online communications outreach. Hynes served as blog outreach consultant for John McCain’s 2008 Presidential campaign, and Mair served as the RNC’s online communications director during 2008.

The Minnesota Finance Director will be Trisha Hamm, who was previously the political director for Pawlenty’s gubernatorial campaign. Annie Kelly, who formerly served as the deputy campaign manager for Pawlenty’s campaign in 2006, will be responsible for PAC operations, and Don Stiles will serve as Treasurer.

December 4, 2009

Freedom First PAC Announces New Finance Director

Brian Haley joins Tim Pawlenty’s team

ST. PAUL, Minnesota – Brian Haley will be the Finance Director for Governor Tim Pawlenty’s Freedom First PAC, adding to a growing team of senior advisors and staff. Haley is currently the National Finance Director for John McCain’s Country First PAC after serving as the Deputy Finance Director for McCain-Palin 2008.

“As we prepare for the critical 2010 elections, Brian's unique experience will help the Freedom First PAC elect conservative candidates,” Pawlenty said. “Brian did outstanding work on the McCain campaign last year; his energy and passion will be a good fit on the Freedom First team.”

As the Deputy National Finance Director for McCain-Palin 2008, Haley helped plan and execute the Republican candidate’s national strategy. In that capacity, he helped manage the day-to-day operations of the Finance Department, which included organizing a national giving and donor recognition program, recruiting and working with the campaign’s finance leadership, and managing a nationwide staff.

"Brian's work on the McCain campaign distinguished him as one of the bright young stars in conservative politics," Freedom First co-chair Bill Strong said. "His national experience and knowledge will help us tap into the great well of enthusiasm we're finding for Tim Pawlenty's message."

In addition to his professional and educational experience, Haley has spent time volunteering for political and charitable organizations in India, Zambia, Brazil, Israel and Russia. He is currently finishing his law degree and will receive his Juris Doctorate from the University of Texas School of Law later this month.

 "I'm humbled by the opportunity to join Governor Pawlenty's team and excited about his vision to support strong Republican candidates and advance conservatives values around the country," Haley said.

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