The lure of working for the new GOP majority in Congress is creating some choice lobbyist openings. The Advanced Medical Technology Association lost its lobbyist Brett Loper, who is returning to Capitol Hill to become policy director for Speaker-designate John Boehner(R-Ohio). Time Warner lobbyist Tim Berry also is leaving to become chief of staff to Majority Whip-designate Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
Other groups have had vacancies on their Washington teams for months, including Toyota, whose top lobbyist, Josephine Cooper, left Oct. 1. The Generic Pharmaceutical Association has been without a permanent CEO since Kathleen Jaeger left this summer. The generic drug group has delayed filling the top job as it undergoes a reorganization and tries to patch up relations with the generic drug giant Teva that recently left the association.
While trade associations are under pressure to fill top spots before the new Congress convenes next month, some concede they may have to manage without new leadership for the time being.
Wade Newton, the spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, said the group is already preparing to focus on possible auto safety legislation and fuel efficiency measures in the new session. The association, which represents foreign and domestic automobile manufacturers, has not announced a timetable for picking a new chief. John Whatley, the vice president and general counsel, has been named as interim CEO.
“Whether you have a CEO or not, you have big issues you are still messaging,” Newton said.
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.