- Number of Clients: 18
- Total Amount Clients Paid Firm: $3,650,000
- Average Amount Each Client Paid Firm: $202,778
- Number of Fortune 100 Clients: 4
- Notable Clients: Visa; Anheuser-Busch; Waste Management
The former Missouri congressman and House Democratic leader has always been known for a conciliatory approach to issues; his top aide, James M. Jaffe, once said: “He wants to make a deal on whatever issues people are interested in.” That flexibility, along with a long list of connections, has helped him become one of the top-earning lobbyists among former members of Congress. Gephardt reported $3.6 million in billing in the first three quarters of 2011 for his firm. He launched his shop in 2007 with the help of several former staffers—including Michael Messmer, who once focused on such issues as defense and international affairs, and Tom O’Donnell, who had served as Rep. Gephardt’s chief of staff for nearly a decade. Several of his other former staffers—including David Plouffe and Bill Burton—later went to work for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign or in the Obama White House.
General Electric—ranked sixth among Fortune 100 companies and his top-paying client—hired Gephardt primarily to help the company fight for continued federal support for a joint-strike fighter alternate engine program that GE was building with Rolls Royce. Also among his top clients in 2011 were Peabody Energy, a global coal company based in St. Louis, Missouri, that seeks long-term venture opportunities in Mongolia, and Rational Entertainment Enterprises, which operates an online poker site called PokerStars.com. Gephardt has lobbied on issues related to the financial services reform law of 2010 and debit fees for Visa, and was hired by Lightsquared to help weather a high-profile political fight related to its new wireless network effort that is opposed by GPS makers. He represents several other Fortune 100 companies, including Boeing Co., The Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and Google Inc.