CGCN Group

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CGCN Group
Limited liability company
Industry Government relations
  • Clark Geduldig Cranford & Nielsen (2013-2015)
  • Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford (2011-2013);
  • Clark Lytle & Geduldig (2008-2011);
  • Clark & Associates (1999-2008)
Founded 2000
Founder Steve Clark
Headquarters Washington, D.C., United States
Key people
  • Steve Clark, partner
  • Jay Cranford, partner
  • Mike Freeman, partner
  • Sam Geduldig, partner
  • Mike Nielsen, Partner
  • Patrick O'Connor, partner
  • Doug Schwartz, partner
  • Ken Spain, partner
  • John Stipicevic, partner
  • Juliane Sullivan, partner
  • Mike Catanzaro, former partner

CGCN Group is an issue advocacy and lobbying firm in Washington, D.C.[1] The all-Republican firm has ties to GOP leadership and the party's conservative wing.[2][3] Its clients include banks, finance, and oil companies, in addition to companies such as 21st Century Fox, Microsoft, MasterCard, and Boeing.[4][5] The firm was formerly known as Clark Geduldig Cranford & Nielsen.


CGCN Group originated from the lobbying firm created by Steve Clark in 2000.[6] Sam Geduldig and Gary Lytle joined Clark in 2007, and the firm became known as Clark Lytle & Geduldig.[7]

The firm worked with financial services companies during the financial reform debate from 2009 to 2010, involving laws like the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. At the time, CGCN had more financial services clients in Washington, D.C., than other firms during the Troubled Asset Relief Program.[8] In the wake of Republicans taking control of Congress in 2010, CGCN saw strong growth in its business[5] and the firm doubled in size from 2015 to 2017.[9] While closely tied to GOP leadership—its partners have worked with former House Speaker John Boehner and others—CGCN was among the first lobbying firms to court the conservative Freedom Caucus.[10][11]

The firm was known as Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford and Clark Geduldig Cranford & Nielsen between 2011 and 2015,[12][13] when the firm renamed itself CGCN Group.[14] In 2015, CGCN's clients included oil companies, such as Hess, for whom they lobbied to end the ban of crude oil exports.[15] CGCN was named a top lobbying firm by Bloomberg Government in 2015.[16] A report by Bloomberg Government gave CGCN the highest mark for firms retaining clients over the long term.[14] According to Bloomberg, CGCN retains 83 percent of its clients for at least three years, a higher percentage than other firms.[14]

CGCN began working with foreign clients in 2016 when Saudi Arabia hired the firm to build relationships with U.S. congressional Republicans.[17] The next year, CGCN signed Japan as its second foreign client.[18] In 2017, CGCN lobbied for: SAP America on data security, privacy, cybersecurity, health IT, cloud computing and privacy shield implementation;[19] Puerto Rico Department of Treasury;[20] American Investment Council, a private equity trade group;[21] power company NextEra Energy on energy policy and tax credits;[21] and TransCanada Corp. on the Keystone XL pipeline.[22] The firm's other clients include 21st Century Fox, Microsoft, MasterCard and Boeing.[4] Also in 2017, CGCN announced a partnership with four Democratic firms with close ties to the Congressional Black and Congressional Hispanic caucuses to seek bipartisan victories, potentially in the areas of "jobs, transportation infrastructure, outside investment, energy, and economic development", according to a memo on the partnership.[2][23]


CGCN Group has 10 partners as of July 2017: Steve Clark, Jay Cranford, Mike Freeman, Sam Geduldig, Mike Nielsen, Patrick O'Connor, Doug Schwartz, John Stipicevic, Ken Spain and Juliane Sullivan.[24]

Initial partners[edit]

Partner Steve Clark began the firm in 2000 in Ohio.[25] Sam Geduldig joined in 2007, after previously working as senior advisor to U.S. Representative Roy Blunt and John Boehner's political director from 1997 to 2000.[26][27] In 2011, Geduldig was named one of Washingtonian 40 Under 40, and he ranked No. 3 on K Street's top 10 lobbyists giving to the GOP in 2016.[10][28] Clark and Geduldig are consistently named to The Hill's top lobbyists list. Geduldig first appeared on the list in 2008.[29] Jay Cranford joined Clark Lytle & Geduldig in 2011.[30] Cranford previously was a policy aide to Boehner and worked for the U.S. House's Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.[30] Cranford joined CGCN to build its energy and tech business.[30] Mike Nielsen joined CGCN in 2013.[13] He previously worked an aide to GOP members of the Senate Banking Committee and with U.S. Senator Bob Bennett.[31] Nielsen worked on the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul.[25]

Partners since 2014[edit]

Doug Schwartz became partner at CGCN in 2014. He was formerly chief of staff for the Senate Republican Conference and aide to U.S. Senator John Thune.[32] John Stipicevic was a member of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's office, where he liaisoned between GOP leadership and conservative members of Congress, before joining CGCN in 2015.[33] Juliane Sullivan, a former staff director of the House Education and the Workforce Committee under John Kline and policy director for former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, became partner in 2017.[9] Patrick O'Connor, a former Washington reporter with Politico, Bloomberg News, and The Wall Street Journal who joined CGCN in 2016, launched the firm's strategic communications division.[5] Ken Spain, who worked with Koch Industries and Private Equity Growth Capital Council, joined CGCN in 2016 to help bolster the strategic communications unit.[34][35] Mike Freeman, former counsel on the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee and advisor to U.S. Senator Mike Lee, joined in 2017.[36]

Michael Catanzaro, a top energy advisor to President Donald Trump, is a former partner at CGCN. Catanzaro became partner in 2015.[37] He worked on Trump's transition team, following the 2016 election[38] Trump selected Catanzaro as a top energy advisor for the president's National Economic Council in 2017.[39]


  1. ^ "Home page". CGCN Group. Washington, D.C.: CGCN Group LLC. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Grim, Ryan (14 June 2017). "GOP lobby shop courts black and Hispanic Democrats in vacuum left by liberal establishment". The Intercept. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  3. ^ Arnsdorf, Isaac (9 November 2016). "K Street poised for big business in GOP-run Washington". Politico. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  4. ^ a b "CGCN Group". Bloomberg LP. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c Sherman, Jake (6 September 2016). "WSJ reporter Patrick O'Connor joining CGCN Group". Politico. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  6. ^ "Top Lobbyists 2013". The Hill. 30 October 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  7. ^ McCarthy, Aoife (17 September 2007). "Suite Talk: Health care boost". Politico. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  8. ^ "A rundown of the big financial service lobbyists". The New York Times. 8 June 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  9. ^ a b Arnsdorf, Isaac (24 January 2017). "Akin Gump, BHFS, Podesta Group top LDA ranking". Politico. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  10. ^ a b Kashino, Marisa M. (23 May 2011). "Sam Geduldig: 40 Under 40". Washingtonian. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  11. ^ Arnsdorf, Isaac (20 December 2016). "One firm's take on doing business in Trump's Washington". Politico. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  12. ^ "Top Lobbyists: Hired Guns". The Hill. 5 October 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2017. 
  13. ^ a b Ackley, Kate (11 December 2013). "Gary Lytle begins long goodbye". Roll Call. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  14. ^ a b c Wilson, Megan R. (27 May 2015). "K Street's gains felt at boutique firms". The Hill. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  15. ^ Ho, Catherine (17 December 2015). "Inside the lobbying campaign to end the ban on crude oil exports". The Washington Post. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  16. ^ "2015 Top Lobbying Firms" (PDF). Bloomberg Government. 2015. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  17. ^ Arnsdorf, Isaac (5 December 2016). "Saudis tap CGCN". Politico. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  18. ^ Meyer, Theodoric (13 April 2017). "Ballard Partners snags Robert Wexler". Politico. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  19. ^ Arnsdorf, Isaac (18 January 2017). "Sphere signs Sberbank". Politico. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  20. ^ Meyer, Theodoric (10 April 2017). "Urologists fight over control of PAC". Politico. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  21. ^ a b Arnsdorf, Isaac (6 January 2017). "Jim Murphy to BakerHostetler". Politico. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  22. ^ Cama, Timothy (15 February 2017). "Keystone pipeline builder signs lobbyist". The Hill. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  23. ^ Jonathan Swan (26 March 2017). "Trump sees Black Caucus as potential policy ally". Axios. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  24. ^ "Our partners". Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  25. ^ a b Ackley, Kate (2 January 2013). "K Street Files: Clark Lytle, Thorn Run Add New Partners". Roll Call. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  26. ^ "Sam Geduldig". Salina Journal. 15 October 2016. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  27. ^ Levinson, Alexis (22 November 2010). "Lobbying firms to watch in the next Congress". Daily Caller. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  28. ^ Ackley, Kate (7 March 2017). "Top K Street campaign donors already writing checks for 2018". Roll Call. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  29. ^ "Best in the business: Hired guns". The Hill. 24 April 2008. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  30. ^ a b c Ackley, Kate (18 April 2011). "Boehner aide exiting for K Street". Roll Call. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  31. ^ Burr, Thomas; Canham, Matt (17 November 2010). "Bennett may head lobbying group". Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  32. ^ Wilson, Megan R. (11 December 2014). "Thune aide heads to GOP lobby shop". The Hill. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  33. ^ Sherman, Jake; Palmer, Anna (10 December 2015). "Top McCarthy aide heading to K Street". Politico. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  34. ^ Arnsdorf, Isaac (9 November 2016). "K Street poised for big business in GOP-run Washington". Politico. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  35. ^ Arnsdorf, Isaac (8 November 2016). "Koch's Spain to CGCN". Politico. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  36. ^ Meyer, Theodoric (15 May 2017). "CGCN hires three". Politico. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  37. ^ "Michael Catanzaro". Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  38. ^ Lipton, Eric (11 November 2016). "Trump campaigned against lobbyists, but now they're on his transition team". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 
  39. ^ Cook, Nancy; Restuccia, Andrew (5 July 2017). "Inside the White HOuse's policymaking juggernaut". Politico. Retrieved 5 August 2017. 

External links[edit]