POLITICS

Trent Lott fired by top lobbying firm

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Asked whether or not it could be correct to explain his departure as a firing, a Squire Patton Boggs spokesman reiterated that the “firm’s leadership decided to part ways with Senator Lott.”

But Lott mentioned in an interview that he and his longtime enterprise associate, former Sen. John Breaux (D-La.), have been in talks with one other lobbying firm — he declined to say which one— when Squire Patton Boggs discovered and took “what I might think about the low highway.”

“We have been negotiating with one other firm, they discovered about it, and so they tried to take preventative motion” to maintain the 2 males from taking lobbying purchasers with them to a different firm, Lott mentioned.

The determination might have backfired: Lott mentioned he had gotten inquiries from three different lobbying corporations involved in hiring the duo since Squire Patton Boggs introduced his ouster. He expects Breaux to resign from the firm right this moment.

“He’s within the course of as we communicate,” he mentioned.

Breaux did not reply to a request for remark.

Lott represented Mississippi in Congress for greater than three a long time, first within the House after which within the Senate. He rose to grow to be Senate majority chief however stepped down as chief in 2003 after he drew widespread criticism and a rebuke from President George W. Bush for praising former Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.).

”I need to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him,” Lott said at a 100th birthday party for Thurmond, who ran for president in 1948 on a segregationist platform. “We’re pleased with it. And if the remainder of the nation had adopted our lead, we would not have had all these issues over all these years, both.”

Lott apologized days later for what he described on the time as “a poor choice of words” that “conveyed to some that I embraced the discarded insurance policies of the previous.” He resigned from the Senate in 2007 and began a lobbying firm with Breaux, which Squire Patton Boggs purchased a decade in the past.

It’s not clear why the firm fired Lott however not Breaux. No one within the firm’s management referred to as Lott to tell him why he had been sacked, Lott mentioned. But he mentioned he suspected it had one thing to do together with his remarks about Thurmond. “That’s the impression that I bought,” he mentioned.

Squire Patton Boggs wouldn’t say whether or not Lott’s feedback about Thurmond contributed to his firing.

Lott and Breaux had been trying to go away Squire Patton Boggs for a lot of causes, Lott mentioned, together with the hassles of navigating conflicts of curiosity between lobbying purchasers and authorized ones in addition to the across-the-board pay cuts the firm introduced final month as authorized work dried up in the course of the pandemic.

Squire Patton Boggs has been modified dramatically since Breaux and Lott arrived a decade in the past, when the firm was nonetheless often called Patton Boggs and run by Thomas Hale Boggs Jr., the legendary lobbyist who constructed it into the top lobbying store in Washington. Many of the firm’s top lobbyists left for different corporations after it merged with the bigger regulation firm Squire Sanders in 2014. Boggs died the identical 12 months.

Lott lobbied for 20 of the firm’s purchasers within the first quarter of this 12 months, together with Nissan, SpaceX, UnitedHealth, Airlines for America, United Technologies and the National Association of Broadcasters, in accordance with disclosure filings. While the firm mentioned in its assertion that it needed to vary up its management, it was nonetheless selling Lott as a frontrunner of its lobbying workforce as not too long ago as final 12 months.

After Squire Patton Boggs employed former Reps. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) and Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) final 12 months, the firm tweeted a photo of the pair with Lott, Breaux and former House Speaker John Boehner. “The new-look #TeamSPB public policy practice,” the firm wrote.

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