The splashiest lobbying story this week was today’s Times profile of Tony Podesta, the power player (and Louise Bourgeois fan) whose clients include BP, Google, Harrah’s, Lockheed Martin, Wal-Mart, and the Fortress Investment Group. Reporter Eric Lichtblau was blessed with one of the best and most calmly deadpan headlines of the year: “Lobbyist Says It’s Not About Influence.”
But a few blocks away, an announcement went out that the Breaux-Lott Leadership Group—the lobbying firm that belongs to former senator John Breaux, the Louisiana Democrat, and former Senate majority leader Trent Lott, the Mississippi Republican—was being acquired by the enormous Patton Boggs. It’s a firm that likes to say it’s been a part of “every major piece of legislation and regulatory decision for nearly 50 years.” Chairman Thomas Hale Boggs, Jr. called the acquisition a strategic coup that “makes the firm a ‘mandatory first stop’ for discerning corporate CEOs and general counsel facing complex problems that can be solved in the halls of Congress, the executive branch or the courtroom.”
Charmingly, the senators will be bringing along their sons, John Breaux, Jr. and Chester Trent Lott, Jr.
Both firms have a wide variety of clients, but seem to have a nice touch with Wall Street types. Breaux-Lott’s recent clients have included Citigroup, the Financial Services Roundtable (whose senior vice president can be seen here), Edward Jones Investments, and Prudential Financial. Patton Boggs’ have included Legg Mason, the London Stock Exchange, New York Life, Assured Guaranty (who sued JPMorgan last month), Bloomberg LP, Vornado, the Wholesale Markets Brokers’ Association, the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys and the Organization for International Investment.