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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Lobbyists Rush to Hire G.O.P. Staff Ahead of Midterm Elections

With Democrats in danger of losing control of Congress, some prominent lobbying shops, trade groups and contractors are already moving to bring more Republicans on board to bolster their political fortunes.

Lobbyists, political consultants and headhunters all say that the going rate for Republicans — particularly current and former House staff members — has risen significantly in just the last few weeks, with salaries beginning at $300,000 and rising to as high as $1 million for private-sector positions.

“We’re seeing a premium for Republicans,” said Ivan H. Adler, a lobbyist for the McCormick Group in Washington, which specializes in executive searches. “They’re the new ‘It’ girl.”
Raytheon, the military contractor, just hired as its top Washington lobbyist a former senior Republican aide in Congress, and Wal-Mart and Target are said to be looking for Republicans to beef up their Washington offices, according to consultants with knowledge of the talks.

In a town built on connections, the surge in interest is a turnaround for Republicans, who in the first year of the Obama administration had difficulty finding top-tier political jobs in the private sector and were considered something akin to political exiles.

With polls indicating a strong showing for Republicans in November, “it’s made Republicans more relevant,” said Drew Maloney, the chief executive of Ogilvy Government Relations, a top Washington lobbying shop.(Continues here at NYT)

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