Global Strategy Group

Global Strategy Group

Global Strategy Group is an influential political consulting and polling company based in New York City. The company, which works with Democratic Party candidates and office holders, corporations and political candidates outside the United States. The firm previously did lobbying work, but shut down that operation in 2006.

Clients of the firm, which has been called "a ubiquitous presence in New York's circles of power" in a 2008 "New York Times" article, have included New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who used the firm in his successful 2006 campaign, New York state Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo and New York Governor David A. Paterson. The New York state Democratic Party also uses the firm, as do many New York state members of Congress. The firm is also one of the "top consultants to corporations and other special interests," according to an article in the "Times". Confessore, Nicholas, [ "In Consulting Group's Rise, Hints of How Albany Works"] , article, "The New York Times", September 29, 2008, retrieved same day]

The firm's annual revenues are about $20 million and has 50 employees [ [ Web page titled "Jefrey Pollock, 35, President, profiled in Crain's 40 under 40"] , quoting from a brief article in "Crain's New York, retrieved September 29, 2008] In addition to New York City, Global has offices in Washington, DC, Hartford, Connecticut and Little Rock, Arkansas. [ [ Website, Global Strategy Group] , retrieved September 29, 2008]

"They have carved out the niche of being the premier Democratic political polling firm," William T. Cunningham, a political consultant, said in 2008.


The firm was founded in 1995 as a boutique polling firm, and in 1998, Eliot Spitzer turned to Global for campaign advice.McCleod, Courtney, "Jefrey Pollock" brief, part of [ "Rising Stars: 35 under 40: The Next Generation of Political Leaders in New York"] , a feature published in "City Hall News", September 19, 2006, retrieved September 29, 2008]

In 2001, Global entered a parntership with Mirram Group, another consulting firm, forming "Mirram Global", a lobbying enterprise which was hired by a client to convince Cablevision, a cable television company, to carry a new sports channel created by the New York Yankees and called Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network. An investigation by the state lobbying commission found that the Yankees had illegally given free tickets to baseball games to dozens of elected officials but failed to disclose that information to the commission, and some lobbying connected with the campaign had not been registered with the state. The Yankees, YES Network and Global agreed in 2003 to pay fines amounting to $275,000, one of the largest fines in the history of the state commission. Global issued a statement calling the matter a "technical error". In 2006, at Spitzer's request, the firm shut down its lobbying operations and dissolved the partnership with Mirram, which is run by Roberto Ramirez, former Democratic Party chairman in the Bronx. Ramirez' firm still operates out of Global's headquarter on Broadway.

According to the firm, its revenues were growing at a faster pace before it became closely associated with Eliot Spitzer's successful 2006 run for governor and consulting work for Spitzer and his successor, Paterson. The firm has done consulting work for companies that have also lobbied the governor's office.

When Paterson was lieutenant governor, GSG executives advised him on how to make the job more prominent, and when Spitzer resigned, to be replaced by Paterson, the firm advised the new governor during the transition and afterward. Soon after becoming governor, Paterson hired former Global employee Risa B. Heller as his director of communications. As of 2008, Paterson and the state Democratic Party were each paying GSG a retainer of $15,000 a month in addition to costs associated with polling and political advertising.


Top executives of the firm include the following:

*Jon Silvan, a founding partner, is CEO of the firm. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a dual degree in political communications and economic development. As of 2008, he was serving on various governing boards, including that of the Tribeca Hebrew School. He lives in Manhattan with his family. [ [ Web page titled "Jonathan Silvan, CEO"] at Global Strategy Group website, retrieved September 29, 2008]

*Jefrey Pollock, president and founding partner, consults regularly with Paterson as of 2008. In the 2006 gubernatorial election, when Paterson was candidate for lieutenant governor, Pollock helped prepared him for a debate. Pollock directs online surveys, telephone surveys, focus groups and in-depth interviews as well as other research projects for the company. His clients have included West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin, Iowa Governor Chet Culver, various members of Congress, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Local 1199 of the SEIU, the NCTA and YMCA of the United States, corporate clients including Goldman Sachs and Anthem/Wellpoint. He has conducted voter focus groups for the ABC Sunday interview program This Week with George Stephanopoulos and "election tow-hall meetings" for ABC News. He has been interviewed for political commentary on CNN, MSNBC, and the Fox News channel. [ Web page titled "Jefrey Pollock, President"] at Global Security Group website, retrieved September 29, 2008] Pollock joined the firm in 1994, at the age of 23, after having worked with Republican pollster Frank Luntz for Luntz' non-Republican candidates and briefly running his own firm. As of 2006, Pollock was an adjunct professor at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.

*Ryan Toohey, principal with the firm, was hired by Eliot Spitzer as a "body man" and driver when Spitzer ran in his second election for state Attorney General. By 2006, when Spitzer successfully ran for governor, Toohey was his campaign manager. The son of a parliamentarian for the New York Assembly, and godson of former New York state Democratic Party Chairman Joe Crangle, Toohey graduated from Columbia Law School. ["Ryan Toohey" brief, part of [ "Rising Stars: 40 Under 40: The Next Generation of Political Leaders in New York"] , a feature article in "City Hall News", September 17th, 2007, retrieved September 29, 2008] As of 2008, he consults regularly with Paterson and prepared him for a debate in the 2006 gubernatorial election, when Paterson was running for lieutenant governor.

*Other top executives include Partners Harrison Hickman, Jeffrey Plaut, Britt Power, Scott Elder, and Roy Occhiogrosso, and Ruth Whitney, a principal.


Business clients have included General Electric, Microsoft, GlaxoSmithKline Goldman Sachs, [Web page titled [ "Case Studies" at Global Strategy Group website, accessed September 29, 2008] and Larry A. Silverstein, a New York developer, American Stevedoring, which runs a container port in Brooklyn, Ultimate Fighting Championship, which sponsors fighting tournaments. Other clients include the nonprofit Alliance for Quality Education, which lobbies for more school spending in New York state.

Political clients

* Presidential Candidate Bob Kerrey (1992) [ Web page titled "Political"] (a list of political clients), at Global Strategy Group website, accessed September 29, 2008]
* Presidential Candidate Al Gore (2000)
* Presidential Candidate John Edwards (2008)
* U.S. Senator Tom Carper (DE)
* U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (MD)
* U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd (CT)
* U.S. Senator Jim Exon (NE)
* U.S. Senator Wendell Ford (KY)
* U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey (NE)
* U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski (MD)
* U.S. Senator George Mitchell (ME)
* U.S. Senator Ben Nelson (NE)
* U.S. Senator Sam Nunn (GA)
* U.S. Senator Mark Pryor (AR)
* U.S. Senator Terry Sanford (NC)
* U.S. Senator Paul Sarbanes (MD)
* Governor Mike Beebe (AR)
* Governor John Carlin (KS)
* Governor Martha Layne Collins (KY)
* Governor Chet Culver (IA)
* Governor Jim Doyle (WI)
* Governor Jim Folsom, Jr. (AL)
* Governor Jim Hunt (NC)
* Governor [Ray Mabus (MS)
* Governor Joe Manchin (WV)
* Governor Ned McWherter (TN)
* Governor David Paterson (NY)
* Governor Ann Richards (TX)
* Governor Pedro Rossello (PR)
* Governor William Donald Schaefer (MD)
* Governor Don Siegelman (AL)


External links

* [ Global Strategy Group official websie]

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