The Wall Street Journal and other national news outlets are reporting that Mike Dubke is about to be named as President Trump’s new communications director. The Washington-based political strategist has worked on several Alaska campaigns. He helped Sen. Lisa Murkowski win re-election last year, and in 2014 his firm was the lead strategist behind Dan Sullivan’s election to the U.S. Senate.
Sen. Sullivan said in a written statement he could think of no one better for the communications job than Dubke. He also said Dubke has a lot of experience advancing pro-growth issues and knows Alaska well.
Dubke founded Crossroads Media and also co-founded Black Rock Group, a political consulting firm. He is something of a pioneer in the use of so-called “dark money” tax-exempt groups in politics, and one example of that took place in Alaska.
Dubke worked with Alaska financier and lodge-owner Bob Gillam on an effort to stop the proposed Pebble mine in 2008. Dubke was accused of helping to route a $2 million donation from Gillam through an advocacy group to disguise the funding source for the anti-Pebble campaign. Alaska Public Offices Commission dismissed the case against Dubke as unfounded. The advocacy group paid a fine with no admission of guilt.
As of Friday evening, the White House had still not announced his hiring. A communications director typically works behind the scenes to hone a president’s message and craft ways to deliver it while the press secretary –Sean Spicer – faces reporters.