Democratic National Committee Press Release--Aug. 10, 2004

Democrats ready for GOP Convention

Begin 'America can do better' operation in New York

New York, NY - The Democratic National Committee announced today that key staff members have been hired in New York and plans are well underway for a Democratic rapid response effort during the Republican National Convention. Seasoned New York political professionals Melvin Norris, Kevin Wardally, and Jay Carson will organize the Democratic effort in New York and will be joined in the coming weeks by current DNC communications, research, and political staff, as well as volunteers from key New York political offices to round out the Democratic rapid response team.

"We are pleased to put together such a talented team," said DNC Communications Director Jano Cabrera. "George Bush and Dick Cheney have been crisscrossing the nation claiming that America has 'turned the corner' which blatantly ignores the reality of middle class America. Our New York staff will begin the important work of making sure New Yorkers and the rest of the nation hear the truth during the Republican Convention and see that America truly can do better with new leadership in the White House."

Long time New York political veteran, Kevin P. Wardally will serve as the New York Campaign Manager for the America Can Do Better Rapid Response Campaign, taking leave from his current position as Director of Operations for the Speaker of the City Council, Gifford Miller. Base Vote Director for Hillary Clinton's 2000 Senate Race, Wardally also served as Deputy Campaign Manager for Vallone for Mayor in 2001, GOTV Director for Ferrer 2001 Runoff, and GOTV Director for H. Carl McCall for Governor. A graduate of Syracuse University and a native of Harlem, Wardally has also worked for Congressman Charles Rangel.

Melvin Norris will serve as New York Chief of Staff for the America Can Do Better Campaign. Norris currently serves as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Congressman Charles B. Rangel. He is a native of Harlem and graduated from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. He has held various positions in local government and various campaigns before his current duties.

Jay Carson will serve as New York Communications Director for the America Can Do Better Campaign. Carson served as Press Secretary for Governor Howard Dean’s presidential campaign, Press Secretary for U.S. Senator Charles Schumer’s campaign, and as a spokesman for Democratic Senate leaders.

"This is our truth squad and a dream New York team," said New York State Chairman Denny Farrell. "We look forward to working closely with them to expose what is rotten about the Republican's Big Apple Convention and to show New York and America can do better with new leadership, vision and values in the White House."

The Democratic National Committee will also be providing Daily and Weekly American Can Better Updates as the date of the Republican Convention draws closer. The DNC will also announce additional staff and rapid response activities in the weeks ahead.