With Republican election gains, 4 lobbyists to watch
These Republican lobbyists may be relative newcomers to the private sector, but many around town say they bear watching because of their close ties to the Republican power structure. These former legislative and executive branch senior advisers and lawmakers have had the time to find their sea legs. Now that their party is back in control of the House and gaining influence in the Senate, they're ready to go.
Fierce Isakowitz & Blalock
Fierce Isakowitz & Blalock was cited by those on both sides of the aisle as one of the best-positioned shops going into the 112th Congress, and one of its secret weapons is executive branch veteran Kirsten Chadwick, a quietly effective force in Washington.
Chadwick worked in the White House during both Bush presidencies, making her the only player on this list who hasn't called a congressional office home. But that doesn't mean Chadwick hasn't spent her share of time on the Hill. She worked with key members of the House and Senate on the No Child Left Behind Act under George W. Bush. Now, she applies that coalition-building experience to clients' interests on the Hill.
"When you're in the White House, you have to bring everybody together to pass something; learning it from the outside in does give you a bit of a different perspective," Chadwick said.
Chadwick concentrates on tax and trade issues for a roster of clients that includes Delta Air Lines, Ford Motor, the Business Roundtable and the country of South Korea, which is watching for what might happen to a pending free trade agreement.
The Glover Park Group
Gaston is the newest of the newcomers, having left his role as chief of staff for Missouri Republican Rep. Roy Blunt in March. But now that his former boss is joining the Senate -- and given his prior role as policy director for Ohio Rep. John A. Boehner when he chaired the Republican Conference -- Gaston is well-positioned to deliver for clients at the Glover Park Group, where he is one of a handful of senior-level Republicans.
"He was the blue-chip talent coming out of the House this year," said Managing Director Joel Johnson.
Barred from lobbying his former colleagues for one year, he pitched in on work for some of the firm's existing clients, including the American Bankers Association, Verizon Services, News Corp., the National Football League and Walt Disney Co. When his cooling-off period expires in March, he'll be tuned in to the needs of House and Senate Republicans in some of the most prominent positions of power.