Top Lobbyists: Hired Guns

The last election gave Democrats the White House and firmer control of Congress. That power shift has been reflected on K Street, where Democratic lobbyists, not long ago relegated to almost an afterthought, are once again in vogue. What follows is The Hill’s annual effort  to name a few of the best lobbyists for hire in town.

Given the state of play, this year’s list is dominated by Democrats, although a number of Republicans continue to thrive.

Josh Ackil and Matt Tanielian, Franklin Square Group. The plugged-in Democrats give Silicon Valley a voice in Washington. Clients include tech brand names like Google and Apple.

Andy Barbour, Smith-Free Group. A former Democratic congressional aide and lobbyist at the Financial Services Roundtable, Barbour has clients across the financial industry, including Mastercard, Bank of America and Poker Players Alliance.

Jim Blanchard, DLA Piper. A former Democratic Michigan governor, Blanchard now helps run DLA’s broad lobbying practice.

Thomas Hale Boggs Jr., Nick Allard, Edward Newberry, Patton Boggs. These three make sure Patton Boggs maintains its lead in the race for revenues on K Street.

Chuck Brain, Capitol Hill Strategies. A veteran of the Ways and Means Committee and the Clinton White House legislative affairs office, Brain represents blue chip companies and trade associations.

John Breaux, Trent Lott, Breaux-Lott Leadership Group. The powerful duo have their hands full representing interests ranging from the airline industry to telecommunications and oil companies.

Gerald Cassidy, Gregg Hartley, Marty Russo, Cassidy & Associates. “Earmark” may be a dirty word, but the firm that invented the art of lobbying for targeted appropriations remains a power player thanks to the leadership of Cassidy, Hartley and Russo.

David Castagnetti, Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti. Castagnetti is a well-respected Democrat that solidified his ties to Capitol Hill as congressional liaison for the 2004 Kerry presidential campaign.

Al D’Amato, Park Strategies. D’Amato, an avid poker player himself, will be pushing hard to lift the ban on online gaming.

Linda Daschle, LHD & Associates. Daschle left a big firm but remains one of Washington’s most prominent lobbyists.

Julie Domenick, Multiple Strategies. Once a target of the K Street Project, Domenick and her clients now enjoy the fruits of her close ties to Democrats on the Hill.

Steve Elmendorf, Elmendorf Strategies. Elmendorf is a go-to lobbyist for businesses that want to make a few new (Democratic) friends in Congress. Elmendorf scored a K Street coup this week, convincing the highly regarded Jimmy Ryan to join the firm from Citigroup.

Mitchell Feuer, Rich Feuer Group. Former counsel to the Senate Banking Committee and lobbyist for Reuters, Feuer understands and represents pretty much every facet of the financial industry.

Mike Fulton, GolinHarris. A familiar face for West Virginia’s representatives in Congress, Fulton works the angles for his clients in the race for earmarks.

Sam Geduldig, Clark Lytle & Geduldig. A former aide to Rep. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntGOP hopes spending traps derail Biden agenda A tale of two chambers: Trump's power holds in House, wanes in Senate The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by AT&T - Senate passes infrastructure bill, budget resolution; Cuomo resigns MORE (R-Mo.), Geduldig is quick on his feet even with Democrats in power.

Nick Giordano, Washington Council Ernst & Young. Giordano is widely looked to for tax expertise.

Rich Gold, Gerry Sikorski, Holland & Knight. The two Democrats run a booming lobbying practice, which increasingly focuses on energy and environmental issues.

Fred Graefe, Law Offices of Frederick H. Graefe. This ex-Marine has been a mainstay of the Democratic healthcare lobbying corps for years and recently formed a strategic alliance with Republican Mike Bromberg’s boutique Capitol Health Group.

Lanny Griffith and Loren Monroe, BGR Holdings. BGR is growing more bipartisan, but Griffith and Monroe remain tight with Republicans on Capitol Hill.

Larry Harlow, Timmons & Co. A former member of the Reagan and Bush 41 administrations, Harlow is an experienced Washington hand.

J. Steven Hart, Williams & Jensen. Hart is chairman and CEO of one of Washington’s bigger law and lobbying shops and a major GOP fundraiser.

Mike House, Hogan & Hartson. The straight-shooting House heads his law firm’s broad government relations operation.

Mark Irion, Gary Andres, Dutko Worldwide.  Andres, who worked for Bush 41, now is helping the National Republican Congressional Committee craft its message for 2010, while Democrat Irion makes sure the firm stays atop the energy debate.

Mark Isakowitz, Fierce, Isakowitz and Blalock. The firm has remained true to its Republican roots and continues to thrive, thanks in large part to Isakowitz’s direction. The firm’s Aleix Jarvis is a rising star, according to one top Senate Democratic aide.

Joel Jankowsky, Victor Fazio, Bill  Paxon, Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld. Jankowsky built one of the most successful public affairs shops in town by hiring people like Fazio and Paxon.

Chris Jennings, Jennings Policy Strategies. Jennings might be the most influential Democrat on K Street when it comes to healthcare. As a veteran of the Clinton health reform effort, Jennings’s experience and savvy is considered invaluable to Democrats this year.

Broderick Johnson, Bryan Cave. Johnson, a senior aide in the Clinton White House, was an informal adviser to a certain Illinois senator during his presidential campaign. Waldo McMillen, a former aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDemocrats say Biden must get more involved in budget fight Biden looks to climate to sell economic agenda Justice Breyer issues warning on remaking Supreme Court: 'What goes around comes around' MORE (D-Nev.), is  highly regarded too.

Joel Johnson, Glover Park Group. Johnson, once an aide to ex-Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), is a star lobbyist at a firm known for its Democratic connections.

Thomas Jolly, Jolly/Rissler. Jolly, with partner Patricia Rissler, heads up this Democratic firm. He’s also the founder of the Washington Caucus, which stages big monthly meetings with lawmakers.

Mark Kadesh, Kadesh & Associates. A former chief of staff to Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinWarren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack Democrat rips Justice for not appearing at US gymnastics hearing Former California senator prods Feinstein to consider retirement MORE (D-Calif.) and Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), Kadesh has a reputation for effectively working both sides of the Capitol and one of the most powerful delegations.

Kenneth Kies, Federal Policy Group. As a key congressional staffer on tax issues and lawyer before federal courts around the country, Kies is a maestro of tax lobbying and litigation.

Lisa Kountoupes, Kountoupes Consulting. The former deputy assistant for legislative affairs to President Clinton and aide to Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) runs a small shop with plenty of pull on Capitol Hill.

Bob Livingston, The Livingston Group. The former House Appropriations chairman has maintained his hustle on K Street.

Steve McBee, McBee Strategic. A cutting-edge approach to lobbying and business is paying off for this former senior aide to Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.); business is booming.

Moses Mercado, Wayne Berman, Ogilvy Government Relations. Mercado, a former aide to House Democratic Leader Dick Gephardt (Mo.), has helped Ogilvy put its all-Republican past behind it, even as Berman maintains close ties to the GOP.

Larry O’Brien, OB-C Group. O’Brien is a big-time player in Democratic circles as a founder of this bipartisan firm and a fearsome fundraiser.

Tom O’Donnell, Gephardt Group. The former chief of staff to House Democratic Leader Dick Gephardt (Mo.), O’Donnell is a key cog in his burgeoning lobbying business.

Scott Parven, Parven Pomper Strategies. Parven has close ties to centrist Democrats in the House and Senate.

Jeff Peck, Peck, Madigan, Jones & Stewart. Peck is well-respected on the Hill and K Street.

Jim Pitts, DC Navigators. Pitts and co-founding partner Phil Anderson have made their shop indispensable for crisis communications.

Anthony Podesta, The Podesta Group. While most of Washington’s lobbyists have seen a downturn, revenues at Podesta’s firm have jumped 40 percent in 2008 from 2007. Jaime Harrison, former aide to House Majority Whip  James Clyburn (D-S.C.), is an up-and-comer.

Heather Podesta, Heather Podesta + Partners. Podesta is a big-time Democratic fundraiser and lobbyist.

Jack Quinn, Manuel Ortiz, Quinn Gillespie & Associates. Quinn is one of the best known Democratic strategists in town, and Ortiz, a former fundraiser for Sen. John KerryJohn Kerry9/11 and US-China policy: The geopolitics of distraction Australia's duty to the world: Stop mining coal Overnight Energy & Environment — Effort to repeal Arctic refuge drilling advances MORE (D-Mass.), is friendly with a number of key members on the Hill.

Thomas Quinn, Venable. No top lobbyist list would be complete without Quinn. He’s also one of the best people in town to have lunch with, even if ethics rules prevent him from buying.

Robert Raben, The Raben Group. When his party was in the wilderness, Raben built one of the few all-Democratic shops in town. Now the once senior aide to Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) has clients in both the corporate and non-profit worlds.

John Raffaelli, Capitol Counsel. A one-time Democratic staffer in the House and Senate, Raffaelli has a quarter-century of Washington ties.

Emanuel Rouvelas, Slade Gorton, K&L Gates. Rouvelas, a Democrat, and Gorton, a former Republican senator from Washington, run one of the most successful lobbying operations in D.C.

Melissa Schulman, The Bockorny Group. The former aide to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) is close to business-friendly Democrats.

Scott Segal, Susan Molinari. Bracewell & Giuliani. Segal is an effective advocate for the utility industry and co-director of the firm’s government relations team. Molinari, a former Republican congresswoman from New York, is a prized new team member.

Rhod Shaw, The Alpine Group. Shaw is welcome in Democratic and Republican offices alike as a strategic thinker who knows the lay of the land in Congress as well as anyone. One of the most frequently nominated names on the list.

Tom Sheridan, The Sheridan Group. Sheridan is a powerbroker for those who often don’t have a voice in Congress. He helped U2’s Bono advocate for various charitable endeavors.

Tracy Spicer, Avenue Solutions. Spicer is a former political director and deputy chief of staff to Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), and represents a number of healthcare and insurance companies.

Charlie Stenholm, Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Bode Matz PC. Stenholm, once the Democrats’ top man on the House Agriculture Committee, will be a key K Street figure as farming organizations fight back against proposed budget cuts by the Obama administration.

Alexander Sternhell, Sternhell Group. Sternhell, formerly a top Democratic staffer on the Senate Banking Committee, recently started his own firm to work on financial issues.

Sandi Stuart, Vin Weber, Clark & Weinstock. A veteran of the Clinton administration, Stuart specializes in defense, healthcare and high-tech issues. Weber, a former Republican congressman from Minnesota, remains a popular GOP strategist and lobbyist.

Linda Tarplin, Tarplin, Downs & Young. A Republican healthcare specialist, Tarplin wields a sharp mind and a disarming charm and is proof that GOP lobbyists are still in the mix during a Democratic era.

Rich Tarplin, Tarplin Strategies. Tarplin’s been in the game for years, having earned his wings in the Clinton administration and with Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), and he relies on old-fashioned shoe-leather lobbying for his stable of healthcare clients.

Dan Tate Jr., Capitol Solutions. Some lobbyists know people, some know policy. Tate is the rare breed who knows both.

Marti Thomas, Ken Duberstein, The Duberstein Group. Thomas, once a top staffer for former House Democratic Leader Dick Gephardt (Mo.) and a veteran of the Clinton Treasury Department, has years’ worth of powerful connections. Duberstein is a former chief of staff to President Reagan.

Robert Van Heuvelen, Van Heuvelen Strategies. The former chief of staff to Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) has built a thriving practice on K Street.

Stu Van Scoyoc, Van Scoyoc Associates. This former chemical engineer and his strong staff maintain a laser beam-like focus on their clients.

Anne Wexler, Wexler and Walker. Former Carter aide Wexler still has strong connections to Democrats. Former Rep. Bob Walker (R-Pa.) helps reach out to the GOP.

Jonathan Yarowsky, Patton Boggs. The former general counsel to the House Judiciary Committee is a good person to know when you have business before that panel or its Senate counterpart.

To see The Hill's Top Lobbyists: Corporate click here .