Mercury brings on former Sen. Vitter, two others

Mercury brings on former Sen. Vitter, two others

Former Sen. David VitterDavid VitterYou're fired! Why it's time to ditch the Fed's community banker seat Overnight Energy: Trump set to propose sharp cuts to EPA, energy spending Former La. official tapped as lead offshore drilling regulator MORE (La.) is among three Republicans to join Mercury Public Affairs this week, the firm announced on Thursday.

The lobbying and public relations firm nabbed Vitter, who retired from the Senate in 2015, in addition to Al Simpson — the top aide to Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), likely the incoming head of the White House’s budget office — and longtime lobbyist Brent Thompson.

“Simply put, Senator Vitter, Al and Brent offer an unmatched wealth of policy expertise that will no doubt be a massive advantage in navigating policy and public affairs with the new administration and Congress,” said Mercury co-founder and CEO Kieran Mahoney, in a statement. 

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Vitter spent nearly two decades on Capitol Hill, serving in both the House and the Senate, and once served as part of the Senate Majority Whip team. He left in 2015 as part of a failed Louisiana gubernatorial bid.

While in Congress, he served as ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, helping to form compromise legislation that reformed how toxic chemicals are regulated. He also chaired the Senate Small Business Committee and held a post on the Senate Banking Committee.

“Our government is at a truly unique moment, and I am excited to be working alongside some of the best in the business to help affect important change in the public affairs arena,” Vitter said.

He will serve as co-chairman of Mercury DC, and will also lead development of the firm’s operations in the south gulf region. 

The firm touted him in an announcement as a “strong conservative voice for reform, working to curb excessive power and overreach out of Washington.”

Mercury is also bringing along a key tie to the head of the White House’s budget office.

Simpson most recently served for six years as the chief of staff to Mulvaney, the South Carolina congressman on his way to becoming the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

He has been in Republican politics for about a decade, including at the state level in South Carolina, and has worked at a textile testing company called SDL Atlas for seven years.

Thompson comes from the Washington office of travel company Expedia, where he has been for the last 15 years. Most recently, he served as senior vice president and chief of global government and corporate affairs. He has experience directing advocacy efforts in sizes ranging from the local level to a global scale. 

He has also worked at the National Association of Manufacturers and on Capitol Hill Newspaper with former Republican Sens. Paul Coverdell (Ga.), Alfonse D’Amato (N.Y.) and Slade Gorton (Wash.).

Mercury earned about $5.35 million in lobbying revenue during 2016, with clients such as carmaker Hyundai, General Atomics, Airbnb, Lumber Liquidators, Navient Solutions and United Technologies. It also has a deck of foreign lobbying clients, including the governments of Turkey, Japan and Qatar.