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December 26, 2014

Radel Press Crew Jumps Into Kurt Bardella’s Waiting Arms

As Mark Leibovich wrote on Twitter in response to the news, “#ThisTown writes itself.”

Indeed.

Radel Press Crew Jumps Into Kurt Bardellas Waiting Arms

Bardella, right, has some company in his communications startup. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As if the cocaine-busted Rep. Trey Radel needed another problem, he now has an empty press shop to deal with.

His communications director, Amanda Nunez, and a press aide, Caitlin Rush, announced Monday that they were leaving the Florida Republican’s office to join Endeavor Strategic Communications, the public relations shop headed by Kurt Bardella, former press aide, most famously, for Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. #ThisTown

Bardella started Endeavor in September as a PR firm that “specializes” in a number of image management fields, including “crisis communications.”

All three players have some experience in that one field.

Nunez and Rush have, ahem, contemporary experience in crisis communications, what with Radel buying coke from a federal agent. And it was Bardella who played a key role in Leibovich’s landmark book — “This Town,” if you needed it spelled out for you — about the incestuous, schmoozing atmosphere of Washington, D.C.
Bardella was fired as Issa’s communications director after it was revealed he was leaking reporter emails to Leibovich. #ThisTown

The only employees listed on Endeavor’s website are Bardella, Nunez and Rush, with the latter two starting on Dec. 1. Among the Endeavor clients listed on the website are Issa’s campaign fund, Reps. Lee Terry, R-Neb., and David Schweikert, R-Ariz., the Black American Leadership Alliance, and Breitbart News Network — quite a client list for a heretofore one-man PR shop.

Bardella’s involvement with Issa for Congress might also raise some eyebrows, because, as we said before, Bardella was fired by Issa, then hired again, then left again, and now bills Issa’s campaign. #ThisTown

Judging by Endeavor’s Twitter handle, @EndeavorCom, which had 110 followers as of Tuesday, the shop has mostly been lending a writing hand to conservative lawmakers. The communications shop’s website has a tab titled “In the News,” which links to a number of op-eds, purportedly written by Terry and Schweikert (we see what’s going on here, Kurt), and a few press appearances by Bardella.

Bardella told CQ Roll Call that the hires were “in the works before the issues popped up with Radel…” (ellipsis included by Bardella).

In a release, Bardella lauded his hires, calling Nunez “one of the most talented communicators on Capitol Hill” and saying he “couldn’t be more excited” to have Rush spearheading the company’s social and digital media.

Bardella offers a brief biography of Nunez and Rush in the release, saying that Nunez has “spent the past few years serving as the Communications Director and Press Secretary in the U.S. House of Representatives,” and that Rush has “served as a Digital Director for a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.”

Bardella, conspicuously, doesn’t mention which member Nunez and Rush worked for. #ThisTown

The bios share a number of similarities with Endeavor’s “Who We Are” page, where Bardella also offers a version of his own resume that leaves out his “This Town” celebrity bona fides.

A more complete version of Nunez’s resume might also mention that she was a press secretary for Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, before becoming Radel’s communications director. HOH still remembers the days when Nunez was working for Farenthold and helping organize Annapolis parties with staffer pals in the office of Rep. Steven M. Palazzo.

Congratulations to Kurt, Amanda, Caitlin, and, especially, Mark Leibovich. #ThisTown

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