New GOP House leader has many old ties to K Street

Rep. John Boehner's task of reducing lobbyists' influence on Congress is made more difficult with 14 former staffers now working for lobbies

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Now, Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) has a difficult campaign on his hands: taking concrete steps in reducing the influence of lobbyists on Congress.

For starters, Boehner, who is currently the chairman of the House Committee on Education and Workforce, once handed out tobacco industry PAC re-election campaign contributions on the floor of the House. More recently, the Center for Public Integrity could identify 14 former staff members of Boehner's, who currently work for major K Street operations.

The other two candidates were Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.). Blunt had at least three former staff members working in lobbying firms and Shadegg had two.

The former Boehner staff members working as lobbyists are:

  • George H. Conant, a lobbyist for California State University since 2003, worked as a staff member on the Committee on Education and Workforce under Boehner.
     
  • David A. Connolly Jr. was a professional staff member on the House Committee on Education and Workforce under Boehner before registering to lobby with Capitol Associates, Inc. in 2004.
     
  • Allison L. Dembeck, a lobbyist for the human resources outsourcing company Ceridian Inc. beginning in 2004, previously was an executive assistant on the Committee on Education and Workforce under Boehner.
     
  • Christy Carson Evans was a special assistant to Boehner before registering to lobby with the firm Cassidy and Associates (owned by the Interpublic Group of Companies) in 1998.
     
  • Terry Holt, a former press secretary for the House Republican Conference under Boehner, opened up his own consulting firm Holt Strategies last week, which Holt said currently has no lobbying clients. He previously lobbied for the firms Quinn Gillespie & Associates and Dutko Worldwide (formerly the Dutko Group).
     
  • Kristin Wolgemuth Fitzgerald was a professional staff member on the House and Education Workforce Committee under Boehner before opening up her own firm Fitzgerald Consulting in 2004.
     
  • Marc Lampkin served as general counsel to the House Republican Conference under Boehner before registering to lobby with Quinn Gillespie & Associates in 2001.
     
  • Patrick Lyden was a staff member on the Committee on Education and Workforce under Boehner, before registering to lobby with the National Federation of Independent Business in 2003.
     
  • Josh Mathis, a former political aide to Boehner, lobbies for Washington Advocates. He registered to lobby in 2003 with the Petrizzo Group before the firm merged with Bockorny, Castagnetti, Hawkins & Brain in 2004 to form Bockorny Petrizzo.
     
  • Alanna Miller was an aide on the House and Education Workforce Committee under Boehner before registering to lobby for Venn Strategies in 2005.
     
  • Tyson R. Redpath, a former legislative assistant to Boehner, registered to lobby for the firm Lesher & Russell, Inc. in 2005. Redpath has previously lobbied for the firm Olsson, Frank and Weeda and the industry organization National Grain Trade Council.
     
  • Brenda B. Reese, who worked as the conference coordinator for Boehner when he chaired the House Republican Conference lobbies for Bockorny Petrizzo. She first registered to lobby in 1999 with Bergner, Bockorny, Castagnetti, Hawkins & Brain.
     
  • Benjamin T. Peltier, who first registered to lobby for the firm Arent Fox PLLC in 2003, was part of the professional staff to Boehner on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
     

Heather Valentine, vice president for policy for the Council for Opportunity in Education, was a press secretary for the Committee on Education and Workforce under Boehner. Valentine previously lobbied for the MWW Group until 2005.

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