Republicans defect from QGA to start own lobbying firm

Republicans defect from QGA to start own lobbying firm

A Republican faction of QGA Public Affairs is splitting off into its own firm, called EFB Advocacy.

Led by John Easton, John Feehery and Adam Belmar, and featuring Chris Brown as vice president, the firm is set to launch on Monday. 

“We’re going to be doing traditional shoe-leather lobbying, in addition to digital and social media,” Feehery told The Hill. “Social media becomes really, really important to getting a message out there to members, congressional staff and the Trump White House.”

“Look at Twitter,” he said, referring to President Trump's use of the social media platform.

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“You really need to be able to win the battle of ideas on social media in order to have a change in Congress.”

Feehery has been at QGA for about six and a half years, and previously did public relations and lobbying work for the Motion Picture Association of America, an industry group. He is also a columnist for The Hill.

On Capitol Hill, Feehery worked for several members of House GOP leadership, including the late Rep. Bob Michel (Ill.) and former Reps. Tom DeLay (Texas) and Dennis Hastert (Ill.). 

Easton formerly served as chief of staff to former Sens. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteDems plan to make gun control an issue in Nevada Stale, misguided, divisive: minimum wage can't win elections Trump voter fraud commission sets first meeting outside DC MORE (R-N.H.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) and has also worked on political campaigns. In the private sector, he worked for lobbying firm Van Heuvelen Strategies, and for the American Medical Association, where he helped run its political action committee. 

Prior to joining QGA, Belmar served as the deputy assistant to the president and deputy director of communications for the George W. Bush White House. He also has experience in the journalism realm, serving as a senior producer for “Good Morning America” and "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos.

Brown is leaving QGA after about seven years at the firm and was previously managing editor for new media at Fox’s “America’s Most Wanted.”

Feehery says that although the firm will likely evolve into something bipartisan — and he’s talking to Democrats — it will be starting as all-Republican.

“We wanted to try something smaller and more nimble. Boutique firms are the way to go,” he said.

“It’s important to have different people you can learn from and who can do different things that you can’t do. That gives you a wider footprint,” he added.