Cassidy & Associates

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Cassidy & Associates is a government-relations firm based in Washington, D.C.. In 2007, The Washington Post reported, “Cassidy helped invent the new Washington,” and was “creator and proprietor of the most lucrative lobbying firm in Washington.” Known for pioneering the use of congressional earmarks as a method of obtaining grants for university clients. It was founded in 1975 as Schlossberg-Cassidy Associates by Gerald Cassidy and Kenneth Schlossberg, both former aides to Sen. George McGovern. Schlossberg sold his interest in the firm in 1985 and Cassidy today remains CEO of the firm, both of which were profiled in a 2007 series in the Washington Post.[1] Other principal officers include Vice Chairman Gregg Hartley, former top Republican Congressional leadership aide, President Barry Rhoads, former Deputy General Counsel to the 1991 Department of Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC), and Chief Strategy Officer Kai Anderson, former Deputy Chief of Staff to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The European branch spun off to form EU lobbying law firm Alber & Geiger beginning in 2007, named for former head of Cassidy Europe Andreas Geiger and the former Advocate General of the European Court of Justice, Siegbert Alber. In 2010 Cassidy's Moscow CEO left the company as well.

In October 2013, The Hill newspaper published its annual exclusive list of Washington's top lobbyists which included Gerald Cassidy and Gregg Hartley, "Among the thousands of advocates in the nation’s capital, only a select few have risen to the top of their profession to earn a slot on The Hill’s Top Lobbyists list. Some of the Top Lobbyists are hired guns who have proven to clients that they can shape the agenda on Capitol Hill. Gerald Cassidy and Gregg Hartley, Cassidy & Associates: The firm has reinvented itself for a new era without sacrificing its prestige or its earnings power." In 2008, Cassidy & Associates reported $23.6 million in lobbying income, a decrease of 4% from 2007.[2]

Also, in October 2013, The Washington Post reported on the firm's successful communications strategies online, Cassidy lobby shop goes social - "The event drew several lawmakers, and the four-minute video was posted on YouTube, inviting viewers to visit Cassidy’s Web site, which firm leaders have spent the last year overhauling to attract more lawmakers and potential clients. They began closely tracking how many people visit their Web site. Between September 2012 and September 2013, the number of visits jumped 32 percent, and people were staying on the site an average of 12 percent longer — about two and a half minutes. And they launched an online video series, “The Insiders,” in which the firm’s advisers share their thoughts on politics and current events — most recently, sequestration and the government shutdown."

In April 2013 The New Republic reported on the firm's work for the government of Guinea Bissau, "For all its troubles, though, the country did have one thing going for it: Its government was represented by one of Washington’s most storied and influential lobbying firms, Cassidy & Associates, which, since its 1975 founding by a couple former George McGovern aides, has grown into a behemoth with hundreds of corporate, government and higher ed clients and a reputation as the granddaddy of the modern influence industry. Despite reports that the country’s upper ranks were involved in the drug trade, Cassidy agreed last September to take on as a client the government that came into power following a military coup last April, for a contract that was reported at the time to be worth $1.2 million-per-year, to help build up the new government's legitimacy and advise it on badly-needed economic development efforts."[3] Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, the president of Equatorial Guinea, hired Cassidy & Associates to improve his image in the United States. In 2010 the firm no longer represented this client[4] and later adapting to the new economic realities of the great recession in 2008, laid off 20% of its staff, including its CEO at the time Marty Russo [5]

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