Tribal Lobbying Is Booming After Abramoff Scandal

Abramoff waits to leave Prettyman Federal Courthouse in Washington, D.C., after entering a plea agreement on three felony charges in 2006. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Gila River Indian Community, an Arizona tribe that operates casinos near Phoenix wants to stop another tribe from opening a rival enterprise. So Gila River mobilized its lobbyists at Washington’s biggest firm.  

The community paid Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld $2.3 million for federal lobbying so far this year. As a Gila-backed bill moved through the committee process in the House, the Tohono O’odham Nation bolstered its own K Street presence, nearly doubling the amount spent on federal lobbying, which is about $2 million so far this year. The pricey skirmish between the two Arizona tribes offers proof that a decade-old scandal that rocked K Street, Capitol Hill and Indian country did not ruin the lucrative business of representing Native American tribes.

K Street Files: McBee Shop Rebuilding Under Wiley Rein

Rob Chamberlin never took his ex-boss, Steve McBee, for the type who would sell his K Street outfit to a big, multinational advertising conglomerate.  

Turns out, he was right — sort of.  

K Street Files: Some Ex-Members Lining Up Gigs

Former Senator Saxby Chambliss has already found a job on K Street. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It took hardly any time at all for just-retired Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.  

Ditto for ex-Reps. Lee Terry, R-Neb., and Bill Owens, D-N.Y.  

K Street Files: Steve McBee on Leaving His Shop (Updated)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated Dec. 26, 11:40 a.m. | Steve McBee never was your typical K Street character .  

So perhaps it should not have come as a shock when the 46-year-old founder of McBee Strategic took a most unconventional career path, ditching his business to become CEO of NRG Home, a $6 billion energy concern with 5,000 employees. The move threw his 55 McBee employees into chaos and uncertainty. McBee is selling the shop that bears his name to the law firm Wiley Rein in a deal expected to close before Christmas. He says all of his ex-colleagues have been offered the opportunity to stay, remaining in their downtown D.C. suite. The owners to be Wiley Rein plan to keep the McBee brand, for now.  

K Street Files: Democratic Lobbyists Still Have Value

Pryor failed in his re-election bid, but as a moderate Democrat could land a top job on K Street, Ackley writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democrats may have taken a pummeling in this month's elections, but K Street still sees value in hiring them.  

A disproportionate number of Democrats from Capitol Hill, soon-to-be ex-lawmakers and aides alike, are looking for jobs. With the Senate flipping to GOP control and House Republicans getting an even bigger margin, Democrats lose committee slots and clout. As a result, the K Street job market may not be as robust for the party’s denizens, as Republicans have seen a rise in their value downtown .  

K Street Files: Is That a Lobbyist Knocking on Your Door?

Lobbyists are hitting the campaign trail this fall, including for Senator Thad Cochran, R-Miss. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the midterm elections one week away, K Street lobbyists are taking their powers of persuasion to the campaign trail. Their target audience: voters.  

Though they may be more accustomed to trolling the halls of the Capitol or getting stuck on client conference calls discussing legislative strategy, over the next few days, lobbyists plan to employ a different set of skills that include walking door-to-door, holding campaign signs or driving voters to the pools in major contests around the country.  

Will All the GOP Lobbyists Please Stand Up?
Who Has Time for Legislating Anyway? | K Street Files

Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the House Financial Services panel, was in a rush to recess a lengthy markup so he and the other lawmakers could make it across the street to the Capitol for evening floor votes.  

But Rep. David Scott, D-Ga., pleaded for a few seconds to squeeze in his comments before the gavel.