Governor Blagojevich Names New Deputy Governor
Governor calls Scofield “My Karen Hughes – He may be leaving the Administration, but he will remain a key and trusted aide and friend.”
CHICAGO -- Doug Scofield today announced that he would be leaving the Blagojevich Administration this month to spend more time with his family, which includes two small children.
“The Governor and I have discussed this decision at length. With major staffing decisions nearly completed, plans for the state of the state address in place and budget strategy progressing, Governor Blagojevich felt this was a good time to honor my request to make the change and allow me to spend more time with my family,” Scofield said.
“After a lengthy campaign and some time in this important role in the administration, I believe the best opportunity for me is to be able to continue to serve the Governor in the private sector and devote more time and attention to my family,” Scofield said. “Being part of Rod’s kitchen cabinet and working to build my own government and public relations business will help me to reach that goal,” Scofield added.
“Doug is a trusted aide, a gifted strategist and invaluable policy advisor. He has been essential to my efforts both as a candidate and as Governor. I appreciate his seriousness of purpose, his commitment to the public good and his steady, sure leadership,” Blagojevich said. “I am sorry to see him go, but I will continue to work very closely with him and I respect his decision to put his family first.”
“As someone with a young daughter and another child on the way, I know how hard it is to balance the demands of public service with the demands of a young family,” Blagojevich continued. “It was important to Doug to be able to spend more time with his children, and, as his friend, it was important to me to honor that request. Today’s announcement gives Doug the freedom to focus on his family, start his own business, and yet still be actively involved in my administration as a key adviser.”
Blagojevich drew comparisons between Scofield and former White House aide Karen Hughes, who was a key advisor to President Bush when he was governor of Texas, during his 2000 campaign and during the beginning of his administration. Like Scofield, she left government in order to fulfill her family obligations, yet remains a close and constant advisor to her former boss. Scofield is expected to follow suit.
“He may be leaving the administration, but he will remain a key and trusted aide and friend,” Blagojevich said.
Scofield, a resident of Oak Park, served as Blagojevich’s deputy campaign manager in charge of communications and policy. He joined the campaign at a crucial point, when Blagojevich was working to secure the nomination during a competitive three-candidate primary. His role in shaping the media strategy for the Blagojevich campaign was enhanced further during the general election, where Scofield was a top advisor in terms of coordinating the various elements of the candidate’s message and developing a substantive issues-based agenda. He often served as a surrogate for the candidate in televised interviews.
Prior to joining Blagojevich’s campaign in February of 2002, Scofield served as chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, where he focused on immigration policy and implementing innovative constituent service and outreach initiatives. Scofield is a graduate of Northwestern University and worked in several capacities in Chicago government and politics before joining Congressman Gutierrez. He also has extensive experience as a national political consultant.
Scofield and his wife Melanie, have two children, Logan, 4, and Carter, 2. Melanie launched Scofield Communications, a successful public relations and communications firm, in Washington, D.C. in 1999.
“My transition has been helped by the successful effort to find a talented replacement who will not just fill my shoes as the new deputy governor, but make his own mark as well,” Scofield added.
The new deputy governor will be Bradley Tusk, currently special assistant to New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Tusk will join the Blagojevich Administration beginning March 10. As deputy governor, Tusk will manage the Governor’s policy and communications operations, and will be working closely with a wide number of state agencies.
As special assistant to Mayor Bloomberg, Tusk has worked to fulfill many of the Mayor’s major policy initiatives, ranging from making the city’s schools more parent-friendly to making city government more customer-service friendly. Tusk served as co-executive director of the 2002 Charter Revision Commission, guiding a mayoral succession reform to victory with over 61 percent of the vote. Tusk has launched a number of policy initiatives for Mayor Bloomberg, including creating one-stop Government Help Centers, and making interagency transactions more efficient. He also created and produced the Mayor’s “Thank You America” video to convey New York’s appreciation for the nation’s response to the events of September 11, developed the Mayor’s digital newsletter, and serves as a key adviser on policy and media issues. In addition, Tusk serves as the Mayor’s liaison to a number of political organizations and civic and religious institutions.
“Helping Mayor Bloomberg get New York City back on its feet in the aftermath of September 11th has been a tremendous honor,” Tusk said. “At the same time, Rod Blagojevich is at the forefront of a movement that will really help move Illinois forward. The chance to be part of that is the opportunity of a lifetime.”
“Bradley Tusk is a tireless and talented individual who leaves my administration with a strong record of accomplishment, from steering the successful charter reform effort to helping instill a new standard of openness and accountability in government. I am confident he will serve the people of Illinois just as capably and as thoughtfully as he did the people of New York City,” Mayor Bloomberg said.
“Bradley is someone who can both think creatively and make things happen. With his experience as the communications director for a leading United States senator, as well as extensive hands-on operational experience in local government, and his training as an attorney, Bradley is exceptionally qualified to serve as deputy governor. We’re extremely excited to have him on board and build on Doug’s accomplishments,” Blagojevich said.
Before joining the Bloomberg administration, Tusk served as communications director for United States Senator Charles E. Schumer, where he managed the Senator's media affairs, and served as the Senator’s senior advisor on political, public and legislative issues. Tusk also led the Senator’s public efforts to secure over $20 billion in federal funding to help rebuild New York City in the aftermath of September 11th.
Tusk has also served as senior adviser to New York City Parks Commissioner Henry Stern, where he developed and implemented the agency’s policy initiatives (from moving agency functions on-line to combating quality of life violations in city parks), oversaw divisions ranging from marketing to research & development to e-government, and produced concerts in Central Park, including Sting and Sheryl Crow & Friends. Tusk has also served as a spokesperson for Parks, a law clerk in the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations (which investigates and prosecutes Nazi war criminals hiding in the United States), and as a New York City Government Scholar.
Tusk is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago Law School. He has served as an adjunct professor at Fordham University, and is a member of the New York State Bar Association.