K Street, though, is certainly not unanimous in its support for Lugar. Indeed, the banking industry is not so quietly cheering his loss and backed Richard Mourdock, Lugar’s primary opponent. That’s because Lugar took the side of retailers against banks in the fight over debit card transaction fee legislation last year.
“Why not support Lugar? Debit cards, plain and simple,” one banking lobbyist explained. “It wasn’t just his votes but his active role on the issue.”
But Lugar’s K Street supporters said that one issue doesn’t define him or tarnish his reputation as a foreign policy expert and elder statesman.
Conner added that Lugar, who has brought numerous staffers to Washington, has not only shaped careers but also helped spark romances. Conner, for one, met his wife when the two worked for the Senator. “He brought people together,” he said.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.