Whole Lott of merging going on: Patton Boggs buys boutique firm


Former US Senators John Breaux (D-LA) and Trent Lott (R-MS) formed lobbying firm Breaux-Lott Leadership Group in 2008. The firm is now becoming part of lobby powerhouse Patton Boggs in a merger that may be of interest to communications companies.

During 2009, Patton Boggs pulled in over $40MK in earnings, and Breaux-Lott exhibited significant growth in banking some $11M.

Both Breaux and Lott were key members of the Senate Commerce Committee, and thus have been familiar with communications business before the Senate. Breaux in particular was one of the Senate experts on communications topics. He was also a centrist with a well-earned reputation for being a swing vote on many issues, and often provided a sympathetic Democrat ear for the business concerns of broadcast companies.

Lott was less of a specialist, and his broadcast record is most notable for his co-sponsoring Byron Dorgan’s (D-ND) Resolution of Disapproval repudiating the Michael Powell attempt to relax broadcast ownership rules in the summer of 2003.

The merger brings them together with former FCC Chairman Kevin Martin. Martin is currently representing clients trying to prevent or add conditions to the pending merger of Comcast and NBCU.

RBR-TVBR observation: The combination of Breaux and Martin, bringing behind-the-scenes expertise regarding both Capitol Hill and the FCC together, will be hard for other lobbying firms to match when it comes to trying to have an influence over communications legislation and regulation.