Job Security for Lobbyists

By Judy Sarasohn
Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Republicans may have lost big time last week, with the Democrats taking the House and the Senate, but GOP staffers on the Hill and in the administration don't have to worry too much about their next moves -- there are apparently a lot of good jobs to be had in the influence biz.

Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, a North Carolina law firm that's home to former Democratic governor James Hunt, is bringing on John Mashburn, most recently general counsel to Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) and to then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.).

Mashburn is a Senate rules specialist, which will be helpful to clients who need help slowing legislative action in the upper chamber.

"The Democrats were very good at using the rules . . . to at least having their side of an issued aired," Mashburn said, who added that the decision to join the firm was made before the elections. He also worked for then-Sen. John D. Ashcroft (R-Mo.) and then-Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex.).

Mark Poovey, a partner at the firm, said that, Republican or Democrat, Mashburn "has such a fantastic résumé and he's from North Carolina."

Mashburn will start on Nov. 27. Also at the firm: Jimmy Broughton, who was chief of staff for then-Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.); Jeff Lane, chief of staff for then-Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.); and Kevin Jones, who was an aide to then-Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Tex.).

Also finding jobs on the outside:

Brenda Becker, assistant to Vice President Cheney for legislative affairs, is joining Boston Scientific Corp. early next year as senior vice president for global government affairs. She also worked at the Commerce Department and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Scott Milburn, press secretary for the Office of Management and Budget, is leaving for Apco Worldwide after Thanksgiving. He won't be lobbying but will be doing "strategic communications."

Going Out on Top

On the Democratic side, Kevin Kayes, chief counsel to Sen. Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), will be joining Quinn Gillespie & Associates shortly. Even though his boss is going to be Senate majority leader, Kayes, who earlier served a stint as assistant Senate parliamentarian, said 23 years on the Hill is enough. He said he likes the bipartisan nature of Quinn Gillespie and that there are folks at the lobby shop who had done similar Hill work.

The vice chairman of the firm is David Hoppe, who used to be chief of staff to Lott, when he was majority leader. "We were friends up here" on Capitol Hill, Kayes said, "and we'll become better friends downtown."

Plain Talk From Code Wizards

Three of the last living Navajo code talkers went to the Hill this week to lobby for legislation that would keep Native American languages from dying out.

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