One Spouse Legislates; The Other Lobbies

The revolving door can get crowded when a member of Congress is married to a lobbyist.

In 2007, Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) proposed legislation to bill to prohibit spouses of senators from lobbying. The measure, which applied only to those who had not lobbied before the spouse’s election, went nowhere.

Among currently registered lobbyists, we count three whose spouse is a sitting member of Congress; two who are married to former members; two couples who are both ex-members of Congress and at least one is a registered lobbyist.

Spouses of current members

Abigail Blunt, wife of Roy Blunt (R-MO), is a lobbyist for Kraft Foods Global. She previously lobbied for Altria Client Services.

Lucy J. Calautti, wife of Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND), is a lobbyist with Baker Hostetler. She represents Major League Baseball and the Coalition of Free-Standing Children’s Hospitals.

Jennifer LaTourette, who is married to Rep. Steven C. LaTourette (R-OH), is a vice president of Van Scoyoc Associates. Her clients include:

  • Methodist Hospital System
  • Airports Council International
  • Center For Responsible Lending
  • City of Glendale, Arizona
  • Spokane Transit Authority

Although not a registered lobbyist in Washington, Loretta Durbin, wife of Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), is registered in Illinois. Her firm, Government Affairs Consulting, lobbies state agencies on behalf of the Chicago-based Metropolitan Planning Council.

Spouses of former members

Linda H. Daschle – The wife of former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) is president of LHD Associates. She formerly worked as a lobbyist with Baker Donelson and as deputy administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration. Her firm reported the following clients in the first quarter of 2012:

  • American Airlines
  • United States Telecom Assn
  • GE Company
  • Lockheed Martin Corporation
  • Norfolk Southern Corporation
  • City of Cleveland
  • L-3 Communications
  • American Association of Airport Executives

Kimberly Dorgan, wife of former Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND), lobbies for the American Council of Life Insurers.

Dual combinations

Bob and Liddy Dole, one of the capital’s most prominent couples over the decades, present a more complicated version of the member-lobbyist relationship.

Both are former senators and former presidential candidates. Libby Dole (R-NC) was labor secretary during the George H.W. Bush administration and transportation secretary during the Reagan administration.

Bob Dole (R-KS) was a member of the House before his election to the Senate, where he was majority leader. He’s currently a registered lobbyist with Alston & Bird, where his clients include:

  • Spectrum Five LLC
  • Celgene Corporation
  • Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
  • National Association For Home Care & Hospice
  • Environmental Pasteurization, LLC
  • Peninsula Gaming, LLC
  • The Lansdale Company
  • Fidelity National Information Services
  • Natural Solutions Group Corp.

In rare instances, both spouses lobby after stints in Congress. Such is the case with Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD), and Max Sandlin (D-TX). The two met in 2002, during Herseth Sandlin’s unsuccessful bid for Congress.

She was elected the following year and served four terms in the House. Max Sandlin also served four terms, from 1997 to 2005.

Herseth Sandlin is a principal with Olsson Frank Weeda, where she represents the following clients:

  • Alten Operating Company, LLC
  • Beef Products Inc.
  • Council For Biotechnology Information (CBI)
  • Fagen, Inc.
  • Fulcrum Bioenergy, Inc.
  • Nutriset
  • Raven Industries
  • Ross Products Division/Abbott Laboratories
  • South Dakota State University

Max Sandlin lobbies at Mercury + Clark & Weinstock, with a client list encompassing:

  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
  • Cemex Inc.
  • Capella Education Company
  • Educational Credit Management Corporation
  • Hewlett-Packard Company
  • Marklogic Corporation
  • Air Canada
  • Alcoa, Inc
  • Chromalloy Gas Turbines, LLC
  • Cree, Inc.
  • East View Information Services
  • National Association of Broadcasters
  • Sallie Mae, Inc.
  • Council on Pakistan Relations
  • Ebay, Inc
  • Mentor
  • National Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc
  • Peabody Energy
  • Martin County Board of County Commissioners
  • Unico Incorporated


  1. Mrs. Dole’s name is Liddy, not Libby.

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