Nov. 27, 2015 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Partisan K Streeters Scramble After Party Shift

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Heather Podesta, whose shop employs no Republicans, doesn’t plan to change her business model even though the GOP will control the House next year.

But recently the Podesta Group has also beefed up its Republican side, hiring a number of GOP staffers, including Michael Quaranta, the former chief of staff to Rep. Mike Castle (Del.), who is retiring after losing his primary bid for Senator. In a release that was embargoed until Election Day, the firm announced Quaranta’s hiring with the headline, “Podesta Group Adds Republican Muscle to Bipartisan Team.”

Tony Podesta, however, denied the timing of the announcement of the hiring was a deliberate attempt to curry favor with Republicans.

“I didn’t write the press release,” he said. Quaranta’s hire wasn’t about filling a Republican quota, he added.

Tony Podesta acknowledged the firm has a Democratic reputation because of his political activity; he gave the maximum contributions allowed in the 2010 election cycle to Democrats. He has also been a frequent White House visitor.

But he said the firm’s senior staff is equally divided between Democrats and Republicans.

He said a bipartisan team will be necessary even in the House, where he said the minority party cannot be ignored.

“Those who erase all the phone numbers of Democrats in the House are shortsighted,” he said. “On some issues they will be important.”

Alex Knott contributed to this report.

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