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Trial lawyers hire Dem guru Schale as political director

Steve Schale, the Democratic campaign guru and former Obama campaign Florida director, is taking the helm for the political operations at the Florida Justice Association, the advocacy arm of the trial lawyers lobby.

As the association's new political director, Schale replaces Albert Balido who was demoted after the infamous race-baiting flier the trial lawyers used in the state Senate campaign against John Thrasher. "It's a different challenge for me," Schale said. "The association is trying to make some changes."

Schale cut a deal with the trial lawyers to retain his campaign consulting clients, including state Sen. Dan Gelber, D-Miami, who is running for Attorney General. Schale said it won't conflict with the association's work because the group is not taking a position in the race, where Gelber faces state Sen. Dave Aronberg.

He said he won't lobby for the group but will advise on the campaign world. He said he plans to implement some institutional controls to prohibit the embarrassment of the Thrasher ad. And for loyal followers, his contract allows him to keep his blog.