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Beltway Bundlers Have Mitt Romney Sitting Pretty

Whitney Curtis/Getty Images

Romney’s K Street backers represent dozens of major companies in the banking, energy, health care, insurance and real estate industries. His top bundlers include lobbyists representing Altria, Goldman Sachs, Kraft Foods Global and Microsoft, among others.

Also bundling for Romney are top lobbyists at such firms as Ogilvy Government Relations, Dutko Grayling and DLA Piper, whose clients include big companies such as Chevron Corp., Google Inc., Pfizer Inc. and U.S. Airways.

Romney’s Washington fundraising events have given special entry to “Industry Finance Chairs,” who on some occasions have enjoyed a special reception with Romney, plus a stop-by from the candidate at policy roundtables on issues such as energy, education, health care and foreign policy.

Romney’s top lobbyist bundler, for example — Patrick Durkin, managing director at Barclay’s Capital in New York, who has collected almost $1 million for the candidate — was “Financial Institutions & Markets” finance chairman at a Romney fundraiser at the JW Mariott in February.

Other influential Beltway lobbyists playing a lead role in Romney’s Washington operation include Drew Maloney, CEO of Ogilvy Government Relations, Wayne Berman, Ogilvy’s chairman, and Goldman Sachs lobbyist Joseph Wall, who has led efforts to raise money from Washington-area young professionals, including at a rooftop Homer Building reception scheduled for June 25.

Other top Washington advisers don’t show up in public disclosures. Candidates are required by law to publicly disclose their lobbyist bundlers.

But Romney has failed to release the names of his non-lobbyist bundlers, as has Obama, and as did McCain in 2008, prompting criticism from watchdog groups. Some members of Romney’s Washington team are neither lobbyists nor bundlers, allowing them to fly below the radar.

One of Romney’s top lobbyist advisers doesn’t show up in public records at all: Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, who is said to weigh in with the candidate on energy issues.

Gerard is among Romney’s most trusted advisers and is “a very serious player across all dimensions,” including finance, policy and strategy, one Romney bundler said.

“If there’s a single ‘go-to’ person in Washington for the Romney campaign, it is Jack Gerard,” the lobbyist said. “He’s Hertz, and there’s no Avis.”

Also close to Romney are Bill Kilberg, a partner with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, who co-chairs Romney’s national finance committee and who gives him policy advice on labor issues; and his wife, Bobbie Kilberg, president and CEO of the Northern Virginia Technology Council, who is one of Romney’s lead fundraisers in the area. Neither is a lobbyist, so they don’t turn up on public disclosures.

Romney “is very popular in Washington,” Bill Kilberg said. “It’s not been difficult to raise money for him in Washington.”

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