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About SCN Strategies

SCN Strategies is a full-service firm specializing in complex communications challenges for political campaigns, companies, and organizations facing fast-moving high-stakes issues of critical importance to their reputation and success.

In recent years, SCN has run winning campaigns and produced advertising for California Senator Kamala Harris, Governor Jerry Brown, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, Congressman Jim Costa, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, among many others.

SCN has earned a reputation for running and winning California's toughest initiative campaigns. Recent statewide successes include Propositions 1 (water bond), 2 (rainy day fund), 30 (school funding), 36, 47, and 57 (criminal justice reform), and 63 (gun safety). Victorious local initiatives include increasing soda taxes and the minimum wage, and various measures funding transportation, infrastructure, children's services, and affordable housing.

SCN also advises Fortune 500 companies, major developers, and sports franchises regarding crisis, PR, and public affairs. The San Francisco Chronicle named SCN the winner of its "Hot Political Shop Award" in 2010, the "Political Winner" in 2012, and the "Biggest Winners" of 2014. In 2016, the Sacramento Bee stated that "No firm had a better run on election night than SCN Strategies." Rush Limbaugh disagrees.

No firm had a better run on election night than SCN Strategies. Their client, Kamala Harris, won a U.S. Senate seat with nearly 63 percent of the vote. They represented Lt. Gavin Newsom's Proposition 63, which regulates the sale of ammunition; it also received 63 percent of the vote.

They ran the campaign for Jerry Brown's Proposition 57, which won with 64 percent of the vote, and will result in the release of prisoners who take the time to better themselves while behind bars, and Brown's campaign to defeat Proposition 53, which was aimed at stopping the governor's high-speed rail and Delta tunnels project. Although votes remain to be counted, it likely has lost.

They ran the successful campaign funded by New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg to pass soda taxes in Oakland and San Francisco, against the soda industry's $50 million campaign, and they helped elect a woman to the BART board.

~ Sacramento Bee, Nov 11, 2016

SCN is "basically the go-to firm if you are running a national campaign here," said Sean J. Miller, editor of Campaigns and Elections magazine. "It seems they have become a kingmaker for California's Democratic politicians."

~ The Wall Street Journal, 2/5/15

Political Winner of 2012: It was a banner year for California's top spin doctors… Leading the charge was San Francisco's SCN Strategies, home of veterans Ace Smith, Sean Clegg and Dan Newman, a team that managed two successful tax measures - the 'Yes on Prop. 30' campaign and Mayor Ed Lee's top priority, the 'Yes On E' business tax.

~ San Francisco Chronicle, December 27, 2012

The New Machine: The biggest winners in Tuesday's election were a little-known threesome of consultants who managed the campaigns of Oakland Mayor-elect Libby Schaaf, state Propositions 1, 2 and 47, and the re-election efforts of Gov. Jerry Brown, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Kamala Harris. Every one of them a winner.

Over the years the consultants at SCN — that would be Ace Smith, Sean Clegg and Dan Newman — have quietly become a statewide political machine unto themselves.

~ San Francisco Chronicle, November 10, 2014

The Hot Political Shop Award: SCN Strategies had a hand in several major winning campaigns -- Gavin Newsom, Barbara Boxer, No on 23, an anti-Whitman independent expenditure, plus they did ads for Harry Reid and prepped star liberal Democrat Nick Clegg for his star debate performance in the UK elections. When you get a call from these guys in the middle of the night, answer it.

~ San Francisco Chronicle, November 5, 2010

Political Group
Democrats’ ‘Dr. Death’ team can’t lose — for now

The Wall Street Journal, February 5, 2015

Selected Clients

  • Jerry Brown for CA Governor
  • Kamala D. Harris for US Senate
  • Ed Lee for San Francisco Mayor
  • Gavin Newsom for CA Lt. Governor
  • Libby Schaaf for Oakland Mayor
  • Soda Taxes
  • Barbara Boxer for U.S. Senate
  • Richard Roth for State Senate
  • No on 53
  • Yes on 63
  • Yes on 1 & 2
  • Yes on 30
  • Criminal Justice Reform