It was never any secret that David Rehr came to the NAB with a Republican resume, and with Republicans very much in the minority just three years after Rehr took the gig, Capitol Hill dailies see that as a major factor in his imminent exit.
It wasn’t even so much that Rehr is a Republican, according to Roll Call, it was that he was associated with former iron-fisted House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), who made no secret for his disdain for any individual on Capitol Hill with a (D) following their name, and who actively attempted to hunt them down to extinction. Roll Call said the grumbling from some Democrats began immediately, and the speculation is that Rehr was endangered ever since Democrats moved from minority to majority in the last two election cycles.
However, Roll Call and The Hill both agree that he was probably more of a victim of circumstances within the NAB, rather than any attempt to find an NAB chieftan who might me more palatable to Democrats.
Even among the political papers, his exit is thought more likely caused by losses on policy struggles and lackluster fundraising for NABPAC.
The Hill noted that NAB’s political contributing pattern has tended to favor Republicans throughout the Bush years, but that changed in 2008 when 57% went to Democrats.
RBR/TVBR observation: We don’t think Rehr’s exit has much to do with Democrats and Republicans. For one thing, many of the broadcasting issues debated on the Hill do not break down easily along party lines – and that is certainly the case with the current struggle over performance royalties. Rehr was also careful to present a politically-balanced front to Congress. This is more about results than background.