NYT: Paul Ryan's new Chief of Staff, foreign lobbyist and crony capitalist

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Dave Hoppe, a successful lobbyist with a long list of clients, will take the position, assuming Mr. Ryan is elected speaker as expected, as the chief gatekeeper and a central player in legislative negotiations

[Reposted from The New York Times  |  Eric Lipton  |  October 26, 2015]

Mr. Hoppe certainly has the kind of credentials expected for such a critical post — he would be the chief gatekeeper to Mr. Ryan and a crucial player in legislative negotiations — having previously worked as a chief of staff to Senator Trent Lott, Republican of Mississippi, as well as to Senator Jon Kyl, Republican of Arizona. Early in his Capitol Hill career, he served as chief of staff to Representative Jack Kemp, the former Republican from New York, during his presidential bid.

But Mr. Hoppe, 64, between his stints on Capitol Hill, has had a second career, as well: a successful lobbyist and most recently, as a so-called registered foreign agent, representing the governments of Kosovo and the Philippines.

So far this year, working both for his lobbying firm, called Hoppe Strategies, and as a lobbyist at Squire Patton Boggs, he and his colleagues have brought in $1.3 million in payments from their clients, including Amazon; Delta Air Lines; Ford Motor Company; the National Association of Broadcasters; Mars, the candy company; as well as industry groups representing for-profit colleges.

Another of his top clients is a group funded by Sheldon Adelson, chairman of Las Vegas Sands, known as Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, which is waging an intense battle to try to ban online betting.

The more than 100 companies and trade associations he has represented over the last decade have paid $95 million in lobbying fees, according to records filed with the United States Senate clerk, for work that Mr. Hobbes and his colleagues have provided, to his firm, to Squire Patton Boggs, or to Quinn Gillespie & Associates, where he once served as president.

Representative Paul D. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, is already moving to build his new team to help him take over as House speaker, naming over the weekend a Capitol Hill veteran, Dave Hoppe, as his planned chief of staff.

In short, it is safe to assume his new post — despite its increase in stature — would require him to take a pay cut. A spokesman for Mr. Ryan said Mr. Hoppe would be able to do his job without any special treatment for his former clients.

“Dave is a man of integrity with a sterling reputation and 30-year record of government service fighting for conservative policies,” said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for Mr. Ryan. “He will work to advance the priories of House Republicans and no one else.”


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