Political Notebook


Neal's new employer quiet

News that Heather Willis Neal was leaving Gov. Mike Pence's administration to join Limestone Strategies was met Tuesday with a resounding, "Who?"

Several lawmakers had never heard of the political and communications consulting company. And its profile on the Internet is near nil.

No website. No phone number. No Facebook page.

There is only a reference to Cam Savage and Kevin Ober being principals in the company on their LinkedIn pages.

Savage previously was communications director for former Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett, and helped run campaigns for Mitch Daniels, Dan Coats and Todd Rokita.

Ober is the former executive director of the Indiana Republican Party, who left in December 2010.

Neal's name recently surfaced in the A-F accountability scandal with her former boss Bennett, who resigned his Florida post. She was serving as Pence's legislative director at the time emails involving her became public about changing a charter's school's grades.

Limestone announced Monday she will head its lobbying efforts instead.

The Secretary of State's Office shows Limestone was created as a company in January 2011.

The group has given one political donation -- $1,000 to Mike Pence's campaign committee in June 2012.

But it received $61,000 from Tony Bennett's re-election campaign in 2011 and 2012 for "campaign consultant" work.

It also provided Rep. Todd Huston campaign management services worth more than $18,000 for his statehouse run in 2012.

Huston is another former employee of Bennett's, where he served as chief of staff.

Savage said Limestone's biggest successes were general consulting for Congresswoman Susan Brooks' winning primary and general election bids in 2012, and a Republican mayoral victory for Lloyd Winnecke inEvansvillein 2011.

To contact Niki Kelly email her at nkelly@jg.net or follow her on Twitter @nkellyatJG.