Florida politico Brian Burgess is launching a new center-right political news aggregation platform called The Capitolist.
Burgess, a media consultant and former spokesman for Gov. Rick Scott, is touting the new venture as the app for people “whose business is politics.” It will aggregate traditional and new media news stories and feature original content, usually with a conservative bent.
Burgess will serve as the publisher and editor-in-chief, while Texas-based political consultant and conservative journalist Sarah Rumpf will be editor-at-large.
“The idea is a one-stop shop for people who need local political information in the news,” Burgess told FloridaPolitics.com. He aims to bring readers “everything that’s out there in the cleanest, simplest way possible.”
He said sites like FloridaPolitics.com and POLITICO Florida have massively expanded the pool of what’s available for readers hungry for campaign and public policy stories in recent years, but felt there is a lack of an “authoritative conservative voice” to curate it.
Burgess is especially keen to bring local news to institutional players like lobbyists and campaign operatives about developments like candidates entering races, polling, and fundraising activity.
“That’s especially important for people who do this for a living,” said Burgess, “for folks to be able to make informed decisions about where they make political contributions, which matters a great deal to a lot of people in Tallahassee and around the state.”
Burgess is also hopeful he will be able to leverage his relationships with the Scott administration — where he maintains deep ties from his time in the governor’s office — as well as a substantial network of clients of his Right Hook Consulting firm to generate original news stories and perspective.
Burgess has a history of innovating in political media. While serving as a spokesman for Johnson County, Kansas District Attorney Phil Kline, Burgess brought in nascent techniques like mass emails and public town hall meetings to take his office’s message directly to the public.
Florida State University student Dennis Ragosta will also contribute writing and technical support to the platform.