Even though ex-Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Bob Bennett (R-Utah) announced this week that they had joined the lobbying practice at Arent Fox, the duo didn’t go there as a package deal. They just happened to end up there together.
The two will be senior policy advisers in the shop’s government relations practice, and Dorgan will be co-chairman of the group, along with former Rep. Phil English (R-Pa.).
In a Tuesday conference call with reporters, Dorgan said he’s “very pleased to be able to do this. I think it’s going to be very exciting.”
Even so, Dorgan and Bennett said they have no plans to register as lobbyists, even after their two-year bans expire.
“I had been a lobbyist long before I came to Congress,” Bennett said. “It’s an honorable profession; it’s right there in the First Amendment, right next to freedom of the press. ... But I don’t really particularly have a desire to go back to that.”
The two former Senators are planning side gigs as well. Bennett formed the Bennett Consulting Group, with offices in Washington, D.C., Salt Lake City and Shanghai. Dorgan will chair a new program at the Aspen Institute and will serve as a visiting professor at Georgetown University.
When asked how much money the former Senators will make at the firm, Bennett said, “Enough.”
The National Retail Federation has a new top lobbyist: David French will sign on next month as senior vice president for government relations.
French previously worked at the International Franchise Association.
“The retail industry needs a trade association with an advocacy footprint that matches its broad economic footprint,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay, who was previously president of the International Franchise Association, said in a statement. “David is one of the most experienced and influential lobbyists in Washington today.”
The NRF’s board recently approved a restructuring plan for the group. In the coming months, the NRF plans to add to its government relations team, as well as create a new communications and public affairs department to support its lobbying activity.
Before his stint with the IFA, French led the lobbying efforts at the International Foodservice Distributors Association and Food Distributors International. French spent more than a decade on Capitol Hill with positions in the House and Senate, including as senior legislative assistant for then-Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.).
K Street Moves
Kevin Canan and Chris Massey have founded MainStreet Advocates, a Georgetown-based national state and local government consulting firm.
Canan previously headed state government affairs for Covidien. Massey comes from Federal Advocates, where he worked on state, local and federal matters.
• The lobbying shop Carmen Group has high expectations for growth this year. In anticipation of new business, the firm has added six staffers, including Louis Jenny, who comes from the National Association of Water Companies, and Mary Caswell Alsfeld, who most recently worked for then-Rep. Anh “Joseph” Cao (R-La.).
The firm’s other newbies are Dan Olson, a former intern for Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.); Edward O’Neil, a graduate of George Washington University; Erica Moseley, formerly with the Capital Financial Group; and Caroline McGuire, who holds a degree from the University of Richmond.
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., takes a selfie with his cut-out head during the Hoops for Youth 16th annual charity basketball game held at George Washington University's Smith Center, September 8, 2014. The members of Congress team beat the lobbyist team 46-40. Buy photo here.