To the Point

Posted February 11, 2003 at 5:02pm

To the Point. Two former aides to California Rep. Duke Cunningham (R) have banded together with a well-known defense lobbyist to form a new lobbying firm, NorthPoint Strategies LLC.

Trey Hardin, who recently left Cunningham’s office after serving as chief of staff, has joined forces with ex-Cunningham aide Patrick McSwain and Frank Collins, previously of the Carlyle Management Group. The firm will focus on defense, high-tech, homeland security and education issues.

The 33-year-old Hardin spent two years working for Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) prior to joining Cunningham’s office. McSwain was part of Mock & McSwain Consulting

before coming over to NorthPoint, and Collins worked for United Defense International and U.S. Marine Repair, as well as Carlyle. Collins also was a longtime aide to now-House Armed Services Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.)

NorthPoint has already signed up several clients, including United Defense, and San Diego-based Titan Corp. and Qualcomm.

More White House Departures. Steve Ruhlen and R. Nelson Litterst are the latest White House staffers to jump to K Street, continuing a run of legislative affairs experts leaving the Bush administration.

The 41-year-old Ruhlen, who has been a deputy assistant for legislative affairs to Vice President Cheney, will join the Capitol Hill Consulting Group as a vice president. Ruhlen focused on House issues during his time on Cheney’s staff.

Ruhlen, who was born in Massachusetts, spent most of his 14 years on Capitol Hill working for Texans, ending up as chief of staff for Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-Texas) before joining Cheney’s staff. Ruhlen is married with one son.

Litterst, meanwhile, is going to work for the C2 Group LLC, which represents such clients as PepsiCo., Fannie Mae and Porsche Cars of North America, as well as Tyco Electronics, a subsidiary of troubled parent Tyco International. The 36-year-old Litterst worked for the National Federation of Independent Business before his stint at the White House.

Farewell to Fitz. Kelly Fitzgerald, former legislative director for just-retired Rep. Bob Borski (D-Pa.), has joined DeBrunner and Associates as a government relations consultant.

Fitzgerald spent five years on Borski’s staff in a variety of roles, including press secretary and legislative director, before Borski retired.

A Pennsylvania native, the 26-year-old Fitzgerald graduated from George Mason University with a degree in government and politics, and is currently attending Catholic University of America School of Law.

Dan the Man. Daniel Moll, longtime deputy staff deputy director for the Government Reform Committee under Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.), has jumped to Bergner, Bockorny, Castagnetti, Hawkins and Brain as vice president of the firm.

A Rochester, N.Y., native, Moll spent nearly two decades on Capitol Hill. He broke in as a staff assistant with Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.), and then spent a number of years with then-Rep. Frank Horton (R-N.Y.) before moving over to Burton’s staff.

“Dan brings us a vast knowledge of the legislative process with a consistent record of key human capital and government management issues, including oversight of the Postal Service. We are thrilled to have him,” said Jeff Bergner, a founding member of the firm.

Moll, who at one time considered running for the seat of former Rep. Bill Paxon (R-N.Y.), graduated from the State University of New York at Fredonia in 1983 with a degree in political science. He and his wife, Mary, spend most of their time hanging on tight to 10-month-old Luke Moll.

Miller Time. Greg Mastel, chief international trade counsel and chief economist for Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee, has jumped to Miller and Chevalier.

A native of Montana, Mastel spent the past couple of years on the Finance Committee working for Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.).

Mastel first came to Washington in 1986 as an aide to Baucus. In 1994, he left Capitol Hill for a series of high-ranking posts at the Economic Strategy Institute, the Center for National Policy and the New American Foundation.

In 2001, after Baucus took over the gavel at Finance, Mastel returned to the committee to toil for his old boss.