National Journal: The Insider’s Closest to Bill Shuster

by Fawn Johnson and Stephanie Stamm July 24, 2013 | 1:37 p.m Meet the 16 people inside the Beltway who are closest to Bill Shuster. Eric Burgeson Chief of Staff, Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa. A former chief of staff for Rep. Robert Dold, R-Ill., Burgeson now plays the same role for Bill Shuster. He was previously chief of staff at the Engery Department. Chris Bertram Majority Staff Director Bertram became the staff director of the Transportation Committee when Shuster took the helm, coming straight from the Transportation Department, where he drafted the administration’s infrastructure budget plans. Now he gets to react to those budgets. Stephen Martinko Majority Deputy Staff Director Martinko, the longest-serving aide on Shuster’s Washington team, has been chief of staff in Shuster’s personal office, deputy chief of staff, legislative director, and a legislative assistant on the Railroads Subcommittee that Shuster chaired. He has also worked for the House Republican Conference. Kelley Halliwell Deputy Chief of Staff, Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa. Halliwell has held senior positions in Shuster’s office for five years, including as director of public affairs and scheduling. She also worked for former Reps. Joel Hefley, R-Colo., and Cliff Stearns, R-Fla. Jeff Loveng Partner, SBL Strategies Loveng stepped down as Shuster’s personal office chief of staff in 2010 to start his own consulting firm, Vandor Strategies. As Shuster’s top aide during the last three election cycles, Loveng was the office’s pragmatist and patriarch. Alex Mistri Managing Director, Glover Park Group Mistri is another former chief of staff for Shuster who left that job to work at the White House under President Bush in 2005. Before moving to the Glover Park Group, he spent 15 months at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. […]

National Journal: When Lobbying for Infrastructure, Even Unity Is Not Enough

It’s not every day that you’ll find the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO agreeing completely on an issue. But in 2011, there they were, chamber President Tom Donohue and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, testifying before a Senate committee in favor of a new surface-transportation bill, and even suggesting a new gas tax may be in order. “The fact that Tom Donohue and I appear before you today does not mean that hell has frozen over or unicorns are now roaming the land,” Trumka said. “We both realize that our country needs to step up our investment in America for business as well as for working Americans to succeed.” Certainly, labor, business, and trade groups have significant differences on matters of transportation policy, regulation, and where to put resources. But in this field, it’s not uncommon to find opposite sides of K Street agreeing on the need to spend money on infrastructure. And yet, one thing has become clear in recent years: A united front is not always enough to get what you want. “We could be the greatest lobby in the world, but look at this Congress,” said Janet Kavinoky, the chamber’s transportation and infrastructure executive director. “We could be lock-step across the board on hundreds of issues outside of transportation and inside of transportation and infrastructure, but until Congress gets to a point where it’s a bit more functional, we’re going to keep trying.” She added: “Some forces are bigger than you are.” Getting a long-term bill to pay for infrastructure and put money into the Highway Trust Fund has been a tall order for K Street, at a time when broader debates over the role of the federal government and spending […]

  • New group to pitch Constitution’s support of transportation funding New group to pitch Constitution’s support of transportation funding

    New group to pitch Constitution’s support of transportation funding

New group to pitch Constitution’s support of transportation funding

By Kathryn A. Wolfe 3/18/13 5:19 PM EDT There’s a new umbrella group promoting the gospel of transportation spending, and its message seems tailor-made to appeal to conservatives. America’s Infrastructure Alliance, set to officially roll out its message Tuesday, plans to trumpet the notion that America needs federal transportation spending and that supporting a federal role is wholly grounded in the U.S. Constitution. Jeff Loveng, AIA president and chairman, told POLITICO that it’s not specifically meant to appeal to conservatives, but “anybody that believes in the foundation of the United States.” Loveng, former chief of staff for House Transportation Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), acknowledged, though, that “there are challenges among conservatives when it comes to federal investments.” “Although states and local governments play a crucial role in funding, building and maintaining important local and regional elements of our national transportation systems, only the federal government can direct and fund the construction and maintenance of transportation systems that are truly national in scope,” reads a document introducing the group and its philosophies. The document also contains references to Dwight Eisenhower and economist Adam Smith. Shuster himself has tapped into this line since taking the Transportation gavel earlier this year. His speeches and press releases often reference Adam Smith and the link between federal spending on infrastructure and the country’s foundational documents, including the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution. There are other umbrella groups promoting transportation, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce-led Americans for Transportation Mobility. But Loveng said he isn’t aware of another that represents every major mode of transportation. AIA’s members include Airlines for America, the American Trucking Associations, the Association of American Railroads, the Associated General Contractors of America and the Waterways […]

  • The Hill: New Firm Called SBL Strategies The Hill: New Firm Called SBL Strategies

    The Hill: New Firm Called SBL Strategies

The Hill: New Firm Called SBL Strategies

Chad Bradley and Associates, Vandor Strategies and ex-Rep. John Sullivan (R-Okla.) have joined forces to create a government affairs and consulting firm called SBL Strategies. Chad Bradley started his firm, Chad Bradley and Associates, in 2003. Before that, he worked as the deputy chief of staff to Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.). Vandor Strategies is a government affairs and political consulting firm run by Jeff Loveng. Loveng is a former chief of staff to Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.). Sullivan lost the 2012 Republican primary, after serving Oklahoma’s 1st congressional district since 2002.