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Maffei Joins Manatt; Might Run Again in 2012

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Former Rep. Dan Maffei, who lost his seat in the November midterms, is setting up shop at the law and lobbying firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. But the New York Democrat is still considering a Congressional run in 2012.

“I expect to make a decision this summer,” he said in an interview Wednesday about his political future. “I’ve already been taking steps to make sure it remains possible.” Those steps, he added, include keeping in touch with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and with party officials in upstate New York. He also will continue to live in Syracuse.

He lost his seat to Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R), but because of the state’s redistricting process, he said, it is not completely certain if it would be a rematch next year.

Maffei, who is also a distinguished fellow at the moderate Democratic policy think tank Third Way, will be a senior adviser in Manatt’s government and regulatory division and will work out of the firm’s D.C., New York City and Albany, N.Y., offices.

The former Congressman is subject to a one-year lobbying ban, but he said he does not plan to lobby even when that expires early next year. Instead, he will advise clients on how to approach Congress, the federal government, the media and state officials and business leaders.

“I’m not going to lobby in any standard shoe-leather way,” he said. “The expertise I bring is really being a jack of all trades. ... They’re putting together a different approach to government relations.”

The Manatt job is part-time, and the former lawmaker will also teach a course at the State University of New York’s school of environmental science and forestry this fall.

In Congress, Maffei served on the House Financial Services and Judiciary committees. Before that, he was a Hill staffer for then-Sens. Bill Bradley (D-N.J.) and Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.).

“Dan is a tremendous addition — he has seen every aspect of government as a senior aide and later as a member of Congress, but also as a journalist looking critically at the whole enterprise,” George David Kieffer, chairman of Manatt’s government and regulatory division, said in a statement. “He understands the details and procedures like a senior staffer but, as a former congressman, he also understands through his experience the political forces that impact our clients on a daily basis. That type of strategic counsel is invaluable to our clients.”

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