Blunt Names Top Coalition, Floor Aides

Posted April 23, 2007 at 6:26pm

Plugged-in K Streeters soon will have a new point of contact in the office of House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). The Whip team has tapped Ashley Hoy, who currently is the administrative assistant to Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.), to fill the slot of coalitions director.

Hoy is taking over the post — which keeps lobbyists and interest groups in the GOP loop on some of the biggest legislative fights — from Kyle Nevins, who has handled coalitions temporarily since January.

Nevins has been promoted to be the Whip operation’s floor director.

“My plan will be to get the coalitions up and running and stronger than ever,” said Hoy, who has worked for Myrick, in different roles, since 1998. She starts the new job on May 7.

“It will mainly be outreach with the downtown community and building coalitions,” Hoy added. “I’m sure, being in the minority, there will be some different challenges involved, but that’s something I’m ready to tackle.”

The coalitions job is one that can give a Capitol Hill staffer the opportunity to build an enviable Rolodex filled with lobbyists, and it can lead to lucrative K Street jobs. Before Nevins took the spot temporarily, Sam Geduldig, who is now a lobbyist with Clark & Associates, ran Blunt’s coalitions operation. Prior to Geduldig, Mildred Webber had the portfolio. She is now senior vice president of government relations for the National Association of Broadcasters.

Some of the lobbyists who regularly attend the coalitions meetings said they did not know Hoy, but others said they had worked with her through Myrick’s office.

“I thought it was an excellent hire by the Whip office,” said Gregg Hartley, chief operating officer of Cassidy & Associates and a one-time chief of staff to Blunt. “When you work with [Myrick], you’re working with someone who represents, in many ways, the heart and soul of the Republican Conference.”

Hartley added that Hoy has strong credentials among pro-business and conservative Members.

Over the years, Hoy said she has focused on energy issues as well as health care and financial services matters. She previously served as Myrick’s legislative director. “I’ve been fortunate that Sue has afforded me a lot of opportunities to build relationships with people downtown,” she said. “The office I’m coming from now is very pro-business, our district is very pro-business, so I’ve just always been involved in the financial services world, health care, energy, and I’ve gotten to know the people and the issues over the years.”

Nevins, who has worked in the floor office for the past four and a half years, said his new job as floor director is a natural transition. He is replacing Amy Steinmann, who left recently to be policy director for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s minority staff.

As for his work with coalitions, Nevins said, “I think we’ve upped it on the outreach to issue groups, but we still have the constant contact with the business community. We’ve been able to re-engage with issue groups more now that we’re in the minority.”

Nevins said that as floor director for the Minority Whip he will work “hand-in-hand with the White House” to help his boss limit GOP defectors on tough votes to make sure Democrats can’t override a presidential veto.

Nevins said he also will work closely with Hoy. “We work with the Members on the inside, and she’s working with the folks on the outside, so we’re covering all our bases,” he said.

Hoy said that she expects her first coalitions efforts to be focused on trade, which could include a push to renew the president’s fast-track trade negotiating authority or approval of trade deals with such countries as Peru and Colombia.