John manages the California office and oversees all of its business operations, client management and research efforts. John specializes in opposition research, issues analysis, and strategic research. Since 1992, he has provided research to more than two dozen current and former members of Congress and the U.S. Senate as well as officeholders and political organizations throughout the country at the national, state, regional and local level. John coordinated campaign research for California’s State Senate Democratic leadership for more than a decade and he has conducted research for dozens of California state legislative campaigns as well as numerous constitutional office and statewide ballot initiative campaigns. In addition to his political work, John has helped to craft public relations and lobbying campaigns for corporations, law firms, interest groups, non-profits and international clients.
John is a graduate of Boston University, where he studied journalism and international relations. After college, John served as a language and history instructor at an English teacher training college in southeastern Poland and worked with at-risk students in the U.S. John lives with his family in Nevada City, California.
Cara Brown McCormick
Cara manages our East Coast operations. For the last 11 election cycles, she has provided research to many of the toughest, closest, and hardest-fought elections in the country. In 1994, Cara was the lead researcher for Charles S. Robb in his campaign against Oliver North in Virginia. In 1996, she directed the research efforts for Senators John Kerry and Joe Biden, and in 2000 she helped Maria Cantwell in her first winning campaign for US Senate in Washington State. Cara directed comprehensive research efforts for the gubernatorial campaigns of Tim Kaine (VA) and Deval Patrick (MA). Cara has also served as a research consultant on four presidential races, including John Kerry’s 2004 primary and general election campaigns. She was part of the senior management team at Americans Elect from 2010-2012. In 2012, she served as a senior advisor to Angus King in his successful independent campaign for US Senate. Cara is currently working on several national projects to level the playing field for independent candidates. Cara has particular expertise in campaign planning and strategy, defensive research, crisis management, rapid response and debate preparation.
Cara lives on the coast of Maine with her husband and their two sons.
Lori McGrogan, Strategic Partner
Lori McGrogan is a senior strategist, crisis communicator and research consultant with a proven track record of providing outstanding results for her clients. She has worked with the principals of Smart Campaigns since 1998, and has over two decades of experience providing creative strategic counsel to elected officials, political candidates, non-profit organizations and corporations. Her company profile can be visited at http://www.lmstrategiesdc.com/ . Lori most recently served as Executive Vice President and Senior Adviser to the Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America where she managed all activities connected to the Office of the Chairman and advised the organization on critical issues including budgeting, operations, talent recruitment/retention and internal/external communications. Lori served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for U.S. Senator Chris Dodd during major landmark legislative overhauls in healthcare and financial reform in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. For more than a decade, Lori led a successful communications and research consulting firm, where she developed strategy and messaging for national and statewide political candidates, non-profit and issue advocacy organizations and Fortune 500 companies. She served as National Research Director for Bill Bradley for President, Joe Lieberman for President and Joe Lieberman’s historic Vice Presidential race in 2000. She began her career producing political advertisements with some of the nation’s most prominent political consulting firms. Lori holds a B.A. in International Affairs from George Washington University. She was lucky to be born and raised in New Jersey and currently lives in Washington DC with her husband, Vin Fusco, and their sweet cats.