July 30, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

K Street Warms Up to Would-Be Speaker

And despite Boehner’s intensity, House Democrats are still outraising House Republicans when it comes to PAC contributions. House Democrats have raised about $106 million so far this cycle from PACs, according to a CQ MoneyLine analysis. House Republicans have raised about $58 million over the same time period.

That’s not deterring Boehner, however. who is also regularly headlining events outside of Washington, D.C., something that was less common in the previous cycle, according to Republican lobbyists.

Boehner spokesman Don Seymour said the Ohio Republican has appeared at 192 fundraising events this cycle and, through these events, has raised more than $9.8 million for GOP candidates and party committees.

“He’s headlined more than 80 events in 20 states all over the country, including Ohio, Louisiana, Florida, Wyoming, California and elsewhere,” Seymour said.

He added that Boehner is expected to headline more events as the midterm elections draw near.

Kitchen Cabinet

A regular on the cocktail and fundraising circuit, Boehner has long been friendly with a number of corporate and contract lobbyists — a network that he is increasingly relying on now as he eyes the Speakership. Altria’s Gates, along with his wife, Joyce Gates, who once served as Boehner’s chief of staff, and Quinn Gillespie’s Lampkin are considered key members of Boehner’s inner circle, as are Gary Andres of Dutko Worldwide, Terry Holt, a former Boehner aide who is now with the Republican lobbying firm HDMK, and John Fish, an in-house lobbyist with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.

Ohio native Steve Clark of Clark, Lytle & Geduldig, his partner Sam Geduldig, who was Boehner’s political director, and Glover Park Group’s Brian Gaston, another one-time Boehner staffer, are also tight with the top House Republican.

“I think that he has an excellent relationship with a lot of people on K Street,” Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.) said. “He raises a lot of money through the Freedom Project, and of course, he transfers a lot of money to the team, to the [National Republican Congressional Committee] and to Members.”

Member Relations

His K Street ties notwithstanding, Boehner has also worked hard to shore up his relationships under the Dome — a move that his allies say will solidify his support for Speaker.

“He is a popular leader of the Republican Conference, he is a good team builder and he’s holding the Conference together really well,” Kline said.

Rep. Patrick Tiberi (R-Ohio) said Boehner has taken to the national stage in the past year in part because President George W. Bush is no longer in the White House.

“I think that he feels much more comfortable in the role of Republican leader without having somebody that’s close to him in the White House,” Tiberi said. “He seems like he has a weight off his shoulders in a way. I certainly think he has found his legs this year. In five months, he has really done a much better job as leader.”

Oregon Rep. Greg Walden, whom Boehner tapped earlier this year to serve as the chairman of the GOP leadership, said that when he announced Boehner would hold a fundraiser for him in Portland, he noticed an increased interest among his donors about meeting the Republican leader.

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