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The Skinny: End of an era

It’s officially the end of an era in Sacramento. Navigators in Sacramento have shut its doors. Navigators was the DC-based lobbying and consulting firm led by Republican poltical consultant Mike Murphy. Six years ago, Murphy swarmed into Sacramento to help guide Arnold Schwarzenegger’s recall campaign. It was Murphy, brought in at the request of Maria Shriver, who helped Schwarzenegger the political novice get his footing, help recall Gray Davis and dispense with Cruz Bustamante and Tom McClintock (to say nothing of Gary Coleman, Mary Carey, et al). After Schwarzenegger’s triumphant victory,  Murphy and Todd Harris set up shop in Sacramento, filling the role of outside political counsel to the governor that Adam Mendelsohn now fills at Mercury Public Affairs. After the 2005 special election, Murphy and Schwarzenegger agreed to go their separate ways. Murphy felt the lure of Hollywood, while Harris went back to D.C. and eventually left the firm. For the last three years, the Navigators Sacramento outpost has been held down by Rob Stutzman, himself a former Schwarzenegger communications director. But as Navigators shifts focus in the Obama-era, hiring on more Democratic lobbyists, Stutzman and his D.C. partners agreed that the time had come for Navigators in California to close its doors. Stutzman remains active in PR and political consulting, working for Meg Whitman, Dan Lungren and a host of corporate clients including Turbo Tax software maker Intuit. But one can’t help but look, as Navigators shuts its doors here, that the Schwarzenegger era itself will soon be a thing of the past.

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