A little over a month ago, I wrote about how Robert Gibbs and Ben LaBolt, Obama's former Press Secretary and Campaign Spokesman, had taken on a new project at their PR agency: helping former CNN anchor Campbell Brown in her war against teacher tenure.
Well, that new client didn't sit well with New Partners, the Democratic PR firm where their agency (The Incite Agency) is housed. And when Gibbs and LaBolt had to decide whether it was New Partners or the "war" against teachers, they chose war:
Through their firm, The Incite Agency, Labolt and Gibbs are supporting former CNN anchor Campbell Brown's fight against teacher tenure. Brown is wading into education politics through a group she calls the Partnership for Education Justice, which aims to tackle teachers' work protections by taking the fight to court. A week ago, her group filed a lawsuit in New York state that organized local families as plaintiffs in an effort to have tenure deemed unconstitutional.Change you can believe in....
"We are in a war, not a fight," Brown said in July at a charter schools convention in Las Vegas. "This is not partisan, we don't care what side of the aisle they're on. ... This is simply right versus wrong."
Gibbs' former co-workers saw it the same way. When he signed on with Brown, he was working with the Democratic firm New Partners. His liberal colleagues reacted angrily when news of the marriage surfaced, and the American Federation of Teachers made its displeasure known.
Gibbs and LaBolt had launched The Incite Agency in June 2013. It was housed within New Partners, but had its own employees and clients, Gibbs said, describing what is a fairly common business relationship in Washington.
Gibbs said the teachers union put pressure on New Partners as a result of his new client. "On Friday, June 27th, the principals at New Partners had a conference call to discuss the situation," Gibbs said in an email. "Only a couple of minutes into the call, I said I believed that there were only two paths forward -- either Incite dropped the client or Incite left New Partners. I announced I had no intention of dropping the client and that I had decided to leave New Partners, effective at the end of the day on June 30th."