GOP Congressional VP Candidates Have Extensive Ties to K Street

As speculation about Mitt Romney’s potential running mate continues to swirl, First Street Research Group examined the K Street ties of some of the leading candidates who have served in Congress. To build the list of candidates we selected from all of the candidates who have served in Congress and have been frequently mentioned as VP candidates by leading media organizations such as: CNN, ABC News, Fox News, and The New York Times. The potential VP candidates profiled are:

Highlights

  • A total of 22 current and former staffers of the potential congressional VP candidates have worked as lobbyists.
  • The two potential VP candidates with the most staffers that have swung through the revolving door, Senator’s Portman and Thune, are also the two who have received the least number of contributions from lobbyists.
  • Of the current lobbyists who worked for a potential congressional VP candidate, only one, Robert Taylor (former Thune staffer), gave to a non-Romney presidential candidate.  He donated $2,500 to Rick Perry’s campaign.
  • Sen. Rubio and Rep. Ryan both received the most support from K Street with each of them receiving donations from almost 100 lobbyists.  The two VP candidates pulled from different K Street crowds as only 21 lobbyists contributed to both Rubio and Ryan.

Congressional VP Candidate Staffers with Lobbying Ties

Candidate Current Lobbyist & Former Staffer Former Lobbyist & Former Staffer Current  Staffer & Former Lobbyist Total
Sen. John Thune (R SD) 5 1 1 7
Sen. Rob Portman (R OH) 4 1 1 6
Rep. Bobby P. Jindal (R LA-1) 1 2 0 3
Rep. Paul Ryan (R WI-1) 2 0 0 2
Sen. Marco Rubio (R FL) 0 0 2 2
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R NH) 0 0 2 2

2011 Lobbyist Donations to Congressional VP Candidates

Candidate

Number of Lobbyists Donating in 2011

Sen. Marco Rubio (R FL) 108
Rep. Paul Ryan (R WI-1) 97
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R NH) 63
Sen. John Thune (R SD) 45
Sen. Rob Portman (R OH) 47

Rob Portman’s Lobbying Ties

Former Portman Staffers who are Current Lobbyists

Seth Webb

  • Current Position: In-House Lobbyist – Google (2009–Present)
  • Former Position: Legislative Assistant – Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) (1995–1999)

Michelle Spence

  • Current Position: In-House Lobbyist – American Medical Group Association (2012–Present)
  • Former Position: Legislative Assistant – Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) (2011–2012)

Robert Schellhas

  • Current Position: Lobbyist – Washington Council Ernst & Young (2011–Present)
  • Former Position: Chief of Staff – Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) (2000–2002)
  • Political Contributions: Totaled $45,250 in 2011, including $500 to Romney for President
  • Current Lobbying Clients: Represents 12 Clients paying his firm a total of $750,000 in 2012 Q1
    • General Electric Company (Including Subsidiaries)
    • Citigroup Management Corp.
    • National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT)
    • Air Transport Association of America, Inc. (d/b/a Airlines For America)
    • AK Steel Holding Corporation
    • Amgen Inc.
    • Cisco Systems, Inc
    • Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association
    • Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.
    • The Dow Chemical Company
    • National Business Aviation Association, Inc.
    • Nomura Holding America Inc.

Barbara A Pate

  • Current Position: Lobbyist – Davis & Harman LLP (2004–Present)
  • Former Position: Legislative Director & Tax Counsel – Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) (1995–2004)
  • Political Contributions: Totaled $1,000 in 2011
  • Current Lobbying Clients: Represents 27 Clients paying her firm a total of $690,000 in 2012 Q1
    • American Benefits Council
    • National Association of Professional Employer Organizations
    • American Seniors Housing Association
    • Florida Power & Light Company
    • Boston Capital – Housing Advisory Group
    • Business Roundtable
    • College Savings Foundation
    • Committee of Annuity Insurers
    • Human Rights Campaign
    • Lincoln Financial Group
    • National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA)
    • Sunrun
    • Aegon USA, LLC
    • American Horse Council
    • Edward D. Jones, LP, LLP
    • General Motors Company
    • Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company
    • Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.
    • Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company
    • TIAA-CREF
    • Insperity
    • Mutual of Omaha
    • National Thoroughbred Racing Association
    • Sammons Enterprises, Inc. and Subsidiaries
    • Vanguard
    • Optinuity Alliance Resources Corporation (Formerly Mbia, Inc)
    • Towers Watson (Formerly Watson Wyatt & Co)

Current Portman Staffers who are Former Lobbyists

Robert D. Lehman

  • Current Position: Chief of Staff – Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) (2011-Present)
  • Former Position: Lobbyist – Squire Sanders Public Advocacy (2007-Present)
  • Former Lobbying Clients:
    • Limited Brands
    • National Cotton Council
    • Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company
    • Pdx
    • Cincinnati State Technical and Community College
    • Shower Door Manufacturers Alliance (Informal Coalition)
    • Enterprise Information Managment
    • Calistoga Partners, L.P. dba Calistoga Cellars
    • Hicham S. Chahine
    • Secure Test
    • Advanced Cardiac Specialists
    • Owens Corning
    • National Parks Conservation Association
    • The AES Corporation
    • The Reading Hospital and Medical Center
    • Cavel International, Inc.

Former Portman Staffers who are also Former Lobbyists

Jim Morrell

  • Former Staffer Position: Communications Director – Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) (2002–2002)
  • Former Lobbyist Position: Registered Lobbyist -Quinn Gillespie & Associates (2004–2006)

Bobby Jindal’s Lobbying Ties

Former Jindal Staffers who are Current Lobbyists

Cara Moon

  • Current Position: In-House Lobbyist – Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (2011–Present)
  • Former Position: Legislative AssistantBobby P. Jindal (R) (2005–2006)

Former Jindal Staffers who are also Former Lobbyists

William E Cody

  • Former Lobbyist Position: Lobbyist – Jones, Walker, Waechter, Poitevent, Carrere & Denegre (2008–2009)
  • Former Staffer Position: Senior Legislative Assistant – Rep. Bobby P. Jindal (R LA-1) (2005–2006)

Lynnel Ruckert

  • Former Lobbyist Position: Lobbyist – Adams and Reese (2005–2006)
  • Former Staffer Position: Deputy Chief of Staff – Rep. Bobby P. Jindal (R LA-1) (2005–2006)

Marco Rubio’s Lobbying Ties

Current Rubio Staffers who are Former Lobbyists

Sally Canfield

  • Current Position: Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), (2011–Present)
  • Former Position: In-House Lobbyist- Sanofi-Aventis U.S. Inc. (2010–2010) & Mutual of Omaha (1997-1998)

Cesar V. Conda

  • Current Position: Chief of Staff – Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) (2011–Present)
  • Former Position: Lobbyist – Navigators Global (2004–2011)
  • Former Lobbying Clients: Represented 37 clients
    • Tracfone Wireless Inc.
    • AT&T Services, Inc. and Its Affiliates
    • Oracle Corporation
    • Agriculture Coalition For Immigration Reform (Acir)
    • Mr. James A. Kay, Jr.
    • New York Life Insurance Company
    • Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
    • Alabama Aircraft Industries Inc.
    • Pacific Gas and Electric Company
    • Tyco International (Formerly Tyco International (US))
    • Agustawestland North America Inc.
    • Emergent Biosolutions Inc.
    • Visa, Inc.
    • The Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers
    • American International Group, Inc.
    • Computer & Communications Industry Association
    • Shainis & Peltzman, Chartered
    • Qualcomm, Incorporated
    • Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company
    • Art Dealers Association of America
    • Glaxosmithkline, Inc
    • Clean Energy Fuels Corp
    • Bellsouth Corporation
    • Sutter Health
    • Bionicare
    • Mutual of Omaha
    • Sprenger and Lang PLLC
    • Dickstein Shapiro LLP
    • Assurant, Inc.
    • Aetna Inc.
    • Strategic Solutions Washington
    • Unumprovident Corporation
    • Jefferson Pilot Financial

Paul Ryan’s Lobbying Ties

Former Ryan Staffers who are Current Lobbyists

Paul Eiting

  • Current Position: In-House Lobbyist – America’s Health Insurance Plans, (2008–Present)
  • Former Position: Legislative Correspondent – Rep. Paul Ryan (R WI-1) (2005–2005)

Brendon Weiss

  • Current Position: In-House Lobbyist – NYSE Group (Formerly New York Stock Exchange) (2010–Present)
  • Former Position: Legislative Correspondent, Rep. Paul Ryan (R WI-1), (2001 – 2001)
  • Political Contributions: Totaled $7,250 for 2011.

Kelly Ayotte’s Lobbying Ties

Current Ayotte Staffers who are former Lobbyists

John R. Easton
Current Position: Chief of Staff – Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) (2011–Present)
Former Position: Lobbyist – Van Heuvelen Strategies LLC (2009–2010)
Former Lobbying Clients: Represented 19 clients

  • First Solar, Inc.
  • American Health Care Association
  • Genworth Financial, Inc.
  • AeroVironment, Inc.
  • Davita Inc.
  • Bipartisan Policy Center Advocacy Network
  • The Washington Tax Group LLC
  • Healthcare Supply Chain Association (Formerly HIGPA)
  • Renewable Biofuels
  • Imperium Renewables (formerly known as Seattle Biodiesel)
  • Nanosolar
  • Terra-Gen Power
  • LS Power Development LLC
  • Bradwood Landing, LLC
  • Intuit, Inc.
  • James River Water Development District
  • Kai Bioenergy
  • Homes For America Alliance, Inc.
  • Webasto Product North America, Inc.

Rob Seidman

  • Current Position: Legislative Assistant – Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) (2011–Present)
  • Former Position: In-House Lobbyist – National Rifle Association of America (2000–2001)

John Thune’s Lobbying Ties

Current Lobbyists who are Former Thune Staffers

Jennifer W Bell

  • Current Position: Lobbyist – Jennifer Bell + Partners (2010-Present)
  • Former Position: Legislative Assistant – Sen. John Thune (R-SD) (2001–2001)
  • Political Contributions: Totaled $10,250 in 2011
  • Current Lobbying Clients: Represents 7 Clients paying her firm a total of $210,000 in 2012 Q1
    • Sanford Health
    • Independence Medical
    • Health and Hospitals, Inc.
    • Horty, Springer & Mattern, P.C.
    • Covenant Healthcare Hospital
    • Hinkley Allen & Tringale LP on behalf of Harrington Hospital
    • Wheat Government Relations on behalf of The Century Council

Matt Zabel

  • Current Position: In-House Lobbyist – Target Corporation (2011-Present)
  • Former Position: Chief of Staff – Sen. John Thune (R-SD), (2005–2010)

David Fisher

  • Current Position: In-House – National Electrical Manufacturers Association (2009–Present)
  • Former Position: Deputy Chief of Staff – Sen. John Thune (R-SD) (2002–2002)
  • Political Contributions: Totaled $2,500 in 2011, including $1,000 to Romney

Joshua Shields

  • Current Position: In-House Lobbyist – Black Hills Corporation (2012–Present)
  • Former Position: Legislative Assistant – Sen. John Thune (R-SD) (2005–2007)

Stephen Replogle

  • Current Position: In-House Lobbyist – Wal-Mart (2009–present)
  • Former Position: Senior Policy Adviser (for Sen. Thune) – Senate Republican Conference (2006-2009)

Current Thune Staffers who are former Lobbyists

Paul Poteet

  • Current Position: Sr. Policy Advisor; Tax and Trade Counsel – Sen. John Thune (R-SD) (2011-Present)
  • Former Position: In-House Lobbyist – Biotechnology Industry Organization (2004–2011)
  • Political Contributions: Totaled $75 in 2011

Robert Taylor

  • Current Position: Registered Lobbyist, Defense Consulting Group, LLC, (2011 – Present)
  • Former Position: Legislative Director, Sen. John Thune (R-SD), (2005 – 2006)
  • Political Contributions: Totaled $12,600 in 2011, including $2,500 to Rick Perry’s presidential campaign
    • Current Lobbying Clients: Represents 4 Clients paying his firm a total of $20,000 in 2012 Q1
      • South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority
      • Shockey Scofield Solutions, LLC (of Behalf of Boyle Transportation)
      • Shockey Scofield Solutions, LLC (on behalf of Baggett Transportation)
      • Shockey Scofield Solutions, LLC (on behalf of R&R Trucking)

David Schwietert

  • Current Position: Legislative Director – Sen. John Thune (R-SD) (2007-Present)
  • Former Position: In-House Lobbyist – Associated General Contractors of America (2004–2004)

Former Thune Staffers who are former Lobbyists

Larry Russell

  • Current Position: In-House Lobbyist – The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (2005–2011)
  • Former Position: Southeast Area Director – Sen. John Thune (R-SD) (1997–2001)

See Also: 

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