WASHINGTON: Ketchum has ramped up the bipartisan credentials of its
lobbying shop, The Washington Group, with the addition of former
Republican congresswoman Susan Molinari as president and CEO.
Molinari's move follows several years as an independent lobbyist and
public affairs practitioner, working from the offices of fellow Omnicom
company Fleishman-Hillard, for whom she served as an occasional
A frequent television commentator and former anchor for CBS' Saturday
Morning, the liberal Republican served in the House from '91 to '97,
gaining notoriety for her work on women's issues and her '96 keynote
speech at the Republican National Convention.
The Washington Group, purchased by Ketchum less than a year ago, has
long held a reputation as a Democratic shop. Principals John Raffaelli,
John O'Hanlon, and Rita Lewis have all spent time on Capitol Hill as
aides to members of the Democratic leadership. Ketchum hopes that the
addition of Molinari will add balance to the agency's reputation, which
could have been a potential liability when neither party holds a
decisive majority in either house of Congress.
Molinari brings several clients with her, among them the American
Association of Railroads, Freddie Mac, and Exelon. One of her clients,
SBC/Verizon, presents a conflict, however, as Ketchum represents AT&T.
Molinari said a resolution is currently under consideration.