Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 14, 2016

Posts by Bridget Bowman

7 Posts

September 15, 2014

Lobbyist Thomas H. Boggs Jr. Dies at Age 73

Boggs died of an apparent heart attack (CQ Roll Call File Photo).

Boggs died of an apparent heart attack (CQ Roll Call File Photo).

Thomas Boggs Jr., partner at Patton Boggs, a major lobbying firm in Washington, died Monday at the age of 73.

The Washington Post first reported the news that Boggs died at his home in Chevy Chase, Md. Boggs’ sister, journalist Cokie Roberts, told the Post that her brother died of an apparent heart attack.

Boggs joined Patton Boggs as a partner in 1966 and became one of the must influential lawyers and lobbyists in Washington. His firm merged earlier this year with Squire Sanders to become Squire Patton Boggs.

Journalist Carl Bernstein wrote in 1998 that Boggs was “Washington’s premier agent of influence.”

Boggs’ family has been influential in Washington since the mid-20th Century. His father, Thomas Hale Boggs Sr., served in Congress for nearly 60 years and was the House majority leader until his disappearance while on a flight to Alaska in 1972. Following her husband’s death, Corinne Claiborne “Lindy” Boggs joined the House, where she served for more than 15 years. She died last year.

Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, whose father, Rep. Nick Begich, D-Alaska, was on the same fateful Alaska plane as the senior Boggs, released the following statement about the junior Boggs’ death: “I was saddened to learn of the passing of respected lawyer and advocate Tommy Boggs. Our two families have known each other for a long time and have been through much together.  Tommy was a larger than life personality in the nation’s Capitol, yet was gracious and generous and visited Alaska at my invitation. My family will always have a special connection to the Hale Boggs family, including the late Congresswoman Lindy Boggs. Deborah and I will be keeping them in our thoughts.”

Boggs made an unsuccessful run for Congress in 1970. But since then he has wielded considerable power in Washington. Patton Boggs now employs nearly 350 lawyers around the world. Boggs himself represented dozens of corporations, state and foreign governments and trade associations.

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September 8, 2014

Niger Innis Hopes to Expand Tea Party Base and Influence | Downtown Moves

With an eye on looming legislative battles over immigration, the Export-Import Bank and foreign policy, Niger Innis is on a mission to prove that the tea party is still a force to be reckoned with on Capitol Hill.

“Liberals and GOP political elites alike have simultaneously assailed the tea party movement as racist, radical, and now irrelevant,” Innis said in a July statement announcing that he is the new executive director of, one of the country’s largest tea party organizations.

An African-American man raised in Harlem, Innis plans to prove those commentators wrong by promoting an inclusive message. Full story

August 11, 2014

Antonia Ferrier Settles Into New Role at Forbes-Tate | Downtown Moves

Ferrier, at her new Forbes-Tate digs downtown. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Ferrier, at her new Forbes-Tate digs downtown. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Veteran Capitol Hill staffer Antonia Ferrier is still adjusting to her new role as a lobbyist.

The energetic former staffer is now a senior vice president at Forbes-Tate, a public policy consulting firm in D.C. Although Ferrier is excited about her new job, she said, “the Senate and the Hill will always feel a little bit like home.”

Ferrier is not able to use her Hill contacts for business yet, because staffers-turned-lobbyists are banned from contacting colleagues for one year. But she can use her experience in both chambers to advise clients about the right time to lobby lawmakers. “As a consultant you just help provide the right context, the right background, the right knowledge to help them determine whether to engage or not,” Ferrier said. Full story

July 15, 2014

Former Hill Staffer Tom Downs Heads to Venable | Downtown Moves

Venable law firm has added yet another former Capitol Hill staffer to its practice. The firm announced Tuesday that Tom Downs, a former chief of staff and legislative aide, will be joining the firm from Patton Boggs (now Squire Patton Boggs).

Before joining Patton Boggs, Downs served as chief of staff for former Rep. George Hochbrueckner, D-N.Y. He also worked as a legislative aide for former Rep. Martin Olav Sabo, D-Minn., who chaired the House Budget Committee.

In a statement announcing the hire, Venable touted Downs as an addition to their “deep bench of Capitol Hill veterans,” which includes former Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., and Andrew Olmem, who was chief counsel and deputy staff director at the Senate Banking Committee during the 2008 financial crisis.

“The firm has an all-star roster of former government officials — the very advisers who understand and can guide clients through the most challenging and sensitive legislative and executive branch issues,” Downs said in a statement.

Downs also brings that insider knowledge to the table in his new position as a partner in legislative and government affairs in D.C.

According to Venable’s statement, he will be working with “government entities, corporations, nonprofits and educational institutions” on issues pertaining to congressional funding and public-private partnerships.

June 2, 2014

Wyden-World Comes to GPhA Government Affairs | Downtown Moves

Green, left, and Dorst are new to the GPha. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Green, left, and Dorst are new to the GPhA. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Generic Pharmaceutical Association has added two senior-level staff members to its government affairs division.

Jonathan Dorst, a former legislative assistant for Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., joined GPhA as senior manager of federal government affairs. GPhA also added Hannah Green to focus on measures at the state level as senior manager of state government affairs.

The fact that both positions were open at the same time was unusual, according to Melissa Schulman, senior vice president of GPhA government affairs.  However, when it came to Dorst and Green, “both had more experience than we thought we were initially going to be able to find,” Schulman said in a recent phone interview. Full story

May 16, 2014

Lisa Tan Joins GPhA | Downtown Moves

Lisa Tan has started at the GhPA. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Tan is new to GhPA. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A former Food and Drug Administration official has joined the Generic Pharmaceutical Association to strengthen the partnership between the FDA and the pharmaceutical industry.

Felecia (Lisa) Tan will now serve as associate vice president for science and regulatory affairs at GPhA.  Tan said in a recent phone interview that she will work  “to enhance the existing bridging and collaborative efforts between the industry and the agency.”

“We are delighted that Lisa Tan has joined the GPhA staff,” GPhA CEO Ralph G. Neas said in a statement. “Her hiring demonstrates our continued commitment to making collaboration with FDA a key priority.” Full story

April 3, 2014

Mark Baker Joins Mercury to Expand Rocky Mountain Presence | Downtown Moves

In a series of new hires to broaden its influence, Mercury Public Affairs announced Thursday that attorney and Republican political adviser Mark Baker is joining its team.

Baker will serve in an “of counsel” role with Mercury, working with some of the firm’s clients in an effort to expand its presence in the Northwest.

“My understanding of the culture of the Rocky Mountain West is important,” Baker told CQ Roll Call.

Currently, Baker is managing partner of his Montana law firm and serves on the National Finance Committee for the National Republican Congressional Committee.  He said he will remain on the committee and “raise critical resources for the 2014 cycle.”

The “of counsel” role is not new for Baker.  He worked in the same capacity for Denny Miller Associates for 15 years.  Mercury approached Baker around the time that Miller closed his office last year so, Baker said, “The transition worked out well from a timing perspective.”

Baker joins fellow Montanan and former Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg at the public affairs firm. Rehberg served in Congress for more than a decade and is now co-chairman of Mercury’s D.C. office.

Baker will remain in Montana, although he plans to spend one week per month in Washington, D.C.

“Mark is a critical addition to the firm,” said Mercury Partner Vin Weber in a statement, “with impressive experience in both national and Montana politics.”



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