When Hutton Talks, People Listen

Posted April 1, 2003 at 6:25pm

Michael Hutton, longtime chief of staff for Rep. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), has jumped to Bergner Bockorny Castagnetti Hawkins and Brain as a vice president after 16 years on Capitol Hill.

No decision has been made on a replacement for the 39-year-old Hutton in the House Democratic Caucus chairman’s personal office.

Hutton first broke into politics as a legislative assistant to then-Rep. Frank Guarini (D-N.J.) after graduating from Bucknell College with a degree in political science and economics.

After six years with Guarini, Hutton moved to Menendez’s staff as his top aide in January 1993.

“Michael brings to us a person who knows how to get things done in the legislative process with a keen understanding of the workings of the Democratic Caucus,” said David Castagnetti, a former Hill staffer who is a partner at the firm. “He will be a vital player on our team.”

Bergner, Bockorny represents the American Hospital Association, The Boeing Co. and Prudential Insurance

Co. of America, among other clients.

Hutton, who has maintained good relations with Republicans throughout his time on the Hill, is married with two children.

He’s also known as an avid golfer, which should help him fit in perfectly on K Street.

Double Duty. A few months after Meredith McGehee left Common Cause, she has settled into a new career — in fact, two new careers.

McGehee will split her time between working for her own consulting group, McGehee Strategies, and serving as the interim director of the Alliance for Better Campaigns.

McGehee replaces Paul Taylor at the alliance, where she will work “promoting a more constructive role for the broadcasting industry in political campaigns.”

In her other job, McGehee represents a few clients, including Democracy 21, which she recently signed up.

She also performs lobbying and strategic planning for Friends of Niger, an advocacy group founded by a set of former Peace Corps volunteers.

Oracle’s Man on the Hill. J.T. Taylor, the executive director of Empower America, recently signed up to lobby for Oracle Corp. on Capitol Hill.

Taylor will not be leaving Empower America, a conservative think tank that’s the home of prominent Republicans like Jack Kemp and Bill Bennett. He will represent Oracle part-time.

Taylor is a former chief of staff for Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.) and the onetime vice president of corporate communications for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.