GOP Tightens Grip on K Street Leaders Send Message to Associations

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Roll Call

March 12, 2001

By John Bresnahan

The latest stage of the K Street strategy is part of a broader campaign by Santorum and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), the GOP Conference vice chairwoman, to reach out to the business community.

Santorum has assembled a virtual Who’s Who of Republican lobbyists, including a number of prominent ex-lawmakers, to advise him on how to improve communications and coordination between K Street and Capitol Hill as the GOP leadership seeks to push Bush’s agenda.

Among those attending the first meeting of the group last Tuesday were former GOPReps. Bob Livingston (La.), Bob Walker (Pa.), Rod Chandler (Wash.) and Paxon, as well as former Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.).

“There are a number of really important jobs that are waiting to be filled right now,” noted Chandler, who serves as president of R. Duffy Wall and Associates. “We are talking about making sure our friends get into these positions.”

When asked whether corporate America should recruit qualified Democrats, Chandler snapped, “Why should they? They lost.”

Lobbyists who participated in the meeting include Jack Abramoff of Greenberg Traurig, David Carmen of the Carmen Group, Dan Meyer of the Duberstein Group, Dan Cohen of Arter & Hadden, Peter Terpeluk of American Continental Group, Dan Mattoon of Podesta-Mattoon, Don Fierce of Fierce and Isakowitz, Tom Korologos of Timmons and Co., Ed Gillespie of Quinn/Gillespie & Associates, and David Bockorny of Bergner Bockorny Inc.

Although much of the get-together was devoted to policy, Santorum eventually turned the discussion toward future job openings on K Street and what can be done to make sure Republican candidates are considered for high- profile openings.