Clark & Weinstock Shake-Up Continues

Posted January 12, 2010 at 4:10pm

The game of musical chairs at Clark & Weinstock continues after the firm’s merger with fellow Omnicom Group-owned lobby shop the Washington Group.

Several former Washington Group lobbyists, including co-founder John O’Hanlon and former Republican operative Missy Edwards, have exited a little more than year after the firm reorganized under the Clark & Weinstock brand.

O’Hanlon, a one-time Democratic strategist, served as chairman of the Washington Group prior to the firm’s merger with Clark & Weinstock in November 2008.

O’Hanlon also serves as president of Integrated Solutions Group, which was on contract with the Washington Group and later with Clark & Weinstock after the merger.

Clark & Weinstock did not renew the Democratic boutique firm’s contract at the end of the year.

Adam Olsen and Moses Boyd, who also worked on behalf of clients for Clark & Weinstock as ISG employees, are no longer affiliated with the firm.

ISG lobbied on behalf of several Clark & Weinstock clients, including Ambac Financial Group Inc., the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, AmerisourceBergen Corp. and Educational Credit Management Corp., according to Senate lobbying disclosure records.

O’Hanlon said the split was amicable.

“We’re putting our primary focus on servicing the clients we have, and we’re looking to add clients that work with our existing client base,— O’Hanlon said.

Former Rep. Vin Weber (R-Minn.), the managing partner for Clark & Weinstock, said he wishes the trio well.

“John, Adam and Moses are great guys whose interest in building ISG has taken them in a different direction than Clark & Weinstock,— Weber said.

Additionally, lobbyists Edwards, Kimberley Farmer and Tonya Speed are changing their relationship with the firm.

Edwards, a former National Republican Senatorial Committee aide and staffer to Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), is hanging her own shingle. Edwards, who was senior vice president at Clark & Weinstock, is opening Missy Edwards Strategies, which will specialize in financial services, health care and energy issues.

Farmer, a foreign policy expert, is also no longer with the firm after her main client, the government of Panama, canceled its contract because of the Obama administration’s limited appetite to pursue free-trade agreements.

Speed will be working as an independent consultant to the firm. She is also starting her own lobby shop, Washington Premiere Consulting.

The recent defections come after a series of departures from the Washington Group prior to the merger, including the dismissal of three senior vice presidents — Brett Shogren, Carlos Bonilla and Eugene Patrone, all Republicans.

Former Rep. Susan Molinari (R-N.Y.) also left for the law firm Bracewell & Giuliani in September 2008 after seven years with the firm.

Co-founder John Raffaelli departed in 2007 to found Capitol Counsel, and he was later joined by former Washington Group Democratic lobbyist Richard Sullivan in 2007 and defense lobbyist Anthony Marken in 2008.

Other lobbyists who have exited include Democrat Marissa Mitrovich, now at Verizon Wireless; Rita Lewis, a longtime member of the firm and its former vice chairwoman, now at the National Cable & Telecommunications Association; and health care specialists William Burke and Kathy Kulkarni, who formed Rubicon Advisors in 2007.

Despite the departures, Clark & Weinstock continues to employee a number of former senior Washington Group lobbyists, including Fowler West, Paul Lobo and Jim Noone.

Clark & Weinstock has 17 consultants, according to its Web site, down from about 20 at the time of its merger in November 2008.

Weber said the firm is looking to hire Democrats and is also looking to expand in the health care, energy and financial services sectors.