Watts opens PA group upon House exit

WASHINGTON: The day after leaving Congress, former US Rep. J.C. Watts (R-OK) announced the formation of a group of public affairs and consulting companies.

WASHINGTON: The day after leaving Congress, former US Rep. J.C. Watts (R-OK) announced the formation of a group of public affairs and consulting companies.

J.C. Watts Companies will eventually include four subsidiaries, including the flagship Watts-Luntz Communications, explained spokesman Chris Perrin.

That subsidiary was formed through a merger with Frank Luntz, a Republican pollster known for running focus groups for MSNBC and other networks.

Services provided by Watts-Luntz include market research, message development and delivery, and strategic communications.

The former lawmaker intends to launch an international division as well as Watts Consulting, which will provide crisis management and communication, diversity consulting, and coalition-building services, Perrin said. Perrin is VP of Watts Enterprises, which manages Watts' speaking engagements and promotes his recently released autobiography What Color is a Conservative?

"My company will focus on solving problems and creating opportunities, particularly for people and entrepreneurs in underserved communities," Watts said in a recent press release. His firm will maintain offices in Arlington, VA and Norman, OK.

High-ranking members of Watts' congressional staff moved with him into the private sector. His deputy chief of staff Elroy Sailer will be president of J.C. Watts Companies, and CEO John Vandenheuvel was executive director of the House Republican Conference, which Watts chaired. Watts himself takes the title of chairman of the new venture.

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