Tony Podesta

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Tony Podesta
Tony Podesta 2009.jpg
Podesta in 2009
Born (1943-10-24) October 24, 1943 (age 73)
Chicago, Illinois
Residence Washington, DC
Alma mater University of Illinois at Chicago (BA 1967) MIT (MA, political science)Georgetown University Law Center (JD)
Occupation Lobbyist
Known for Co-founded the Podesta Group
Website Tony Podesta bio at the Podesta Group website

Anthony T. Podesta (born October 24, 1943), commonly known as Tony Podesta, is an American lobbyist best known for founding the Podesta Group.[1] Podesta has lobbied for a variety of groups, including Bank of America, BP,[1] and Egypt[2] in addition to political campaigns such as Ted Kennedy, George McGovern, Michael Dukakis, and Bill Clinton. More recently, he has worked for Pennsylvania Democratic representatives Joe Sestak, Chris Carney, and Patrick Murphy, and chaired former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell's reelection campaign.[3] He is closely connected with the Barack Obama White House[4] and has repeatedly been named one of Washington's most powerful lobbyists and fundraisers.[5][6][7]

Life and early career[edit]

Podesta grew up in Chicago with his Greek-American mother Mary, first-generation Italian immigrant father John Sr., and his brother John Podesta Jr. He studied political science both in college, at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and in graduate school at MIT. While studying at MIT in 1968, Podesta left to work on the presidential campaign of Senator Eugene McCarthy, for whom he did field work and ran the scheduling advance operation in California and other states.[8] After McCarthy lost the Democratic nomination to Hubert Humphrey, Podesta organized students on behalf of the Humphrey-Muskie campaign.[8]

McCarthy was the first of several losing Democratic politicians that Podesta campaigned for. Others included Joe Duffy for the Senate in Connecticut in 1970, Ed Muskie and then George McGovern for president in 1972, Ted Kennedy in 1980, Walter Mondale's presidential campaign in 1984, and Michael Dukakis in 1988, the same year that the Podesta brothers founded their lobbying firm.[9]

In 1981, Tony Podesta became a founding president of People for the American Way, a liberal group started by television producer Norman Lear. He led the group until 1987.

Podesta Group[edit]

In 1988 Tony and John Podesta founded Podesta Associates, which became PodestaMatoon when Republican Daniel Mattoon joined the team in 2001. The name was again changed to the Podesta Group when Mattoon left in 2006.[10]


  1. ^ a b "Lobbyist Says It’s Not About Influence". The New York Times. July 1, 2010. Retrieved October 9, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Who’s doing Mubarak’s bidding in Washington?". January 28, 2011. Retrieved October 9, 2011. 
  3. ^ Sara Miles (Dec 1999). "Do YOU Know Tony Podesta?". Wired. 
  4. ^ "Podestas Rule Washington and Obama Guest List". U.S. News and World Report. November 2, 2009. Retrieved October 9, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Hired Guns: The City's 50 Top Lobbyists". The Washingtonian. 1 June 2007. Archived from the original on 18 August 2007. 
  6. ^ "The Uber Lobbyists of Washington". Bloomberg Businessweek. 2009. 
  7. ^ "Top Lobbyists: Hired Guns". The Hill. 2011. 
  8. ^ a b Don Nicoll (Sep 2002). "Interview with Anthony "Tony" Podesta" (PDF). Bates College. 
  9. ^ Rachel Van Dongen (Nov 2009). "Profile – Tony Podesta". Washington Post. 
  10. ^ Sarasohn, Judy (2 November 2006). "PodestaMattoon By Any Other Name...". Washington Post. 

External lists[edit]