Site of deadly air-race crash in Nevada brings in lobbying help

The site of the Nevada air-race crash that killed nine people last month has hired Washington lobbyists to deal with the federal investigation of the accident. 

The Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority has hired Gephardt Government Affairs to lobby on the “government investigation of crash at Reno Air Races,” according to new lobbying forms released this week. Gephardt Group Government Affairs was contracted to work for the airport through the lobby firm O’Neill and Associates.

“Scott Brenner, our firm’s Republican who heads up our transportation clients, has teamed up with his former partner Peter Goelz at O’Neill and Associates to help guide the Reno airport through the NTSB crash investigation process,” Gephardt Group Vice President Catherine Goode told The Hill via e-mail.

{mosads}The accident occurred during an air show on Sept. 17 that featured World Wwar II-era planes. One of the planes in the show crashed into the audience, killing 11 people and injuring dozens more.

To this point, the crash has been attributed to a piece of the plane’s tail breaking during a steep incline.  

Brenner’s résumé includes stints as Federal Aviation Authority associate administrator of public affairs and as chief of external affairs for the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate.

Before that, he was communications director for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and deputy spokesman for the House Ways and Means Committee.

O’Neill and Associates, a government relations, public relations and communications firm, is not registered to lobby for the Reno-Tahoe authority client.

Fees to be paid to the government affairs firm were not disclosed on the registration. Fees are not normally disclosed on this form.

Josiah Ryan contributed to this report, which was updated with the correct death toll from the accident.


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