He once worked in the Bill Clinton White House and served as press secretary of former Vice President Al Gore. In 2003, he aroused the ire of prominent national left-leaning blogger Markos Moulitsas.
Lehane jumped into the fray on a pro bono basis in February 2012 when global warming researcher Peter Gleick admitted to having obtained documents from the Chicago-based Heartland Institute under false pretenses. Lehane stepped in to help Gleick with communications issues.
Electoral College initiative
Lehane was a leader in the charge against the Presidential Electoral Reform Act, or PERA, ballot initiative in California in 2008. According to one news report, Lehane said of his efforts to kill the GOP plan:
"We need to fight back and not be reluctant - that if they come after you with a knife, to pull out a gun."
Early on in the battle to keep PERA off the ballot, Lehane raised questions about whether contributions from Republicans to pay for PERA's petition drive might have been inappropriate:
"Chris Lehane, a Democratic political consultant who is leading the fight against the initiative - and who works for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton - said he wants to know whether Dunsmore discussed the electoral college initiative with Singer or others, prompting his donation."
The Sacramento Bee reported that Lehane helped file a complaint with the FEC asking it to investigate the allegations.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (also referred to as the AMPTP) announced on December 6, 2007 that they had hired Lehane and fellow Gore and Clinton operative Mark Fabiani to handle AMPTP publicity during their ongoing scuffle with the Writers Guild of America. Together, the two run a publicity firm and are recognized as "Masters of Disaster".
On December 10, 2007 dailykos.com announced that many of Lehane and Fabiani's WGA clients (including a group representing the Teamsters) fired the duo in response to their association with the AMPTP.
- Sacramento Bee, "Schmidt, Lehane join forces for ballot business", January 14, 2009
- San Diego Union Tribune, "Governor's star-turn masks work ahead", November 5, 2007
- DailyKos, "Chris Lehane is history", September 15, 2003
- California Majority Report, "Biography of Chris Lehane".
- Politico, "Climate researcher admits leaking Heartland Institute documents", February 21, 2012
- San Francisco Chronicle, "State Dem group played hardball to kill GOP election system plan", October 7, 2007
- Sacramento Bee, "Analysis: Electoral Plan's Backlash"