As the Student Association candidates begin to launch their campaigns, they can now turn to a consultant with some experience managing student government campaigns.
Senior Steve Miller is the founder of CollegiateConsulting.org, a political consulting group that aims to help students run campaigns for student government elections.
“Every year, thousands of college students run for positions in student government and other campus organizations,” Miller said. “The Collegiate Consulting team understands Facebook, beer pong, student orgs, frats and campus newspapers . More importantly, we know how to use this understanding of college life in 2007 and political campaigns to make a collegiate campaign successful.”
During the SA elections last year, Miller served as the senior adviser to SA President Nicole Capp’s campaign.
Capp, a junior, was the only candidate running for SA president without an executive vice presidential running mate.
“We ran a campaign against popular junior men challenged by (my candidate), a little-known sophomore woman,” Miller said. “It was an uphill battle from Day One.”
Without Miller’s help, Capp said she would not have won the election.
“(Steve Miller is) the kind of guy that cuts to the chase and he gave me the advice I needed at every turn of the campaign trail,” Capp said on the Collegiate Consulting Web site. “Looking back, if I said I could have won without Stephan, I would be lying. His advice is golden.”
Miller said that Nicole’s campaign was successful because they “crafted a winning platform and message and stuck to it.”
This year, Miller says he is not running any GW campaigns through CollegiateConsulting.org, but is assisting SA Sen. Kevin Kozlowski (U-At Large) in his campaign for SA president.
“I openly support my close friend Kevin Kozlowski for SA president and will help him with whatever he wants help with,” Miller said.
Dale Emmons, a political consultant and secretary treasurer of the American Association of Political American Association of Political Consultants, said Miller’s endeavor is one that may have a client base, adding that he was not sure if students would pay for such a service.
“It is an intriguing idea but one that may be a philanthropic endeavor rather than a profitable business enterprise,” Emmons said. “It has been my experience and understanding that most folks running (student government) races don’t spend much money . I am aware of several schools which actually limited the amounts of money which can be expended (on campaigning).”
Miller does he charge customers for his services. He said he is not paid for his work on Kozlowski’s campaign.
At GW, candidates have a budget limited to $1,000 and must report all expenses to the Joint Elections Committee, an oversight body. Any student at GW using Collegiate Consulting’s services would have to list it in their budget report to the JEC.
Miller has not only worked on campaigns at GW, but with other political consultants through a job with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and with the office of James Carville, a Democratic political strategist.
“Some people meet, and some people do,” Carville said in a phone interview. “(Steve) is a doer. He takes matters in his own hands, and I think he’ll do quite well.”