Ex-Kansas Rep. Yoder Lobbying on Tech, Travel and Investor Visa

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Former Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) is the latest ex-member to register as a lobbyist, disclosing new work for three clients, including a tech industry group for companies like Facebook Inc. and a coalition pushing for a controversial visa program.

He joins at least 10 others who’ve registered as lobbyists since leaving Congress after the 2018 election, including former Rep.Sean Duffy (R-Wis.), who joined powerhouse Republican lobbying firm BGR Group after he stepped down from his seat last September and now represents clients such as S&P Global Inc.

In addition to private sector clients, former House Foreign Affairs Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) is registered to represent the government of the United Arab Emirates at her new post at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.

Yoder, who joined firm Hobart Hallaway & Quayle Ventures last January, lost re-election in 2018 to Democrat Sharice Davids. The firm was co-founded by Ben Quayle, who served one term as a Republican congressman from Arizona and is the son of former Vice President Dan Quayle.

He’s now lobbying for the Consumer Technology Association and the U.S. Travel Association. He’s also working with the American Alliance for Economic Development, a group that lobbies for an expansion of the EB-5 investor visa program that allows foreign investors in high unemployment or rural areas in the U.S. to obtain permanent residence here. He started as a strategic adviser to the coalition last summer.

Alex Wong/Getty Images
Former Rep. Kevin Yoder

The firm, which is also known as HHQ Ventures, earned more than $5 million in lobbying revenue in 2019, according to a Bloomberg Government tally of government records. Its clients include CoreCivic Inc., Bayer Corp., Capital One Financial Co. and Charter Communications, Inc.

Former House members must wait one year after leaving Congress before they’re able to advocate before their former colleagues. They can, however, register as lobbyists to influence the administration before then.

Yoder served on the House Appropriations Committee, and was chairman of its Homeland Security subcommittee.

Former House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), who did not run for re-election in 2018, is the other most recent addition to the lobbyist ranks, registering for Project for Privacy & Surveillance Accountability.

Other lawmakers-turned-lobbyists who left Congress after the 2018 elections include:

  • Ex-Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) is at Akin Gump, registered as a lobbyist for the City of Laredo, Texas, and the Pebble Partnership, a company seeking to build and operate a gold and copper mine in Alaska that has faced opposition from Alaskans, environmentalists, fishermen and jewelry companies like Tiffany & Co.
  • Former Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) is at Watkins & Eager lobbying for AARP and the National Fragile X Foundation, an advocacy group for the condition.
  • Former Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), another former House Foreign Affairs chairman, now works at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, lobbying for the Credit Union National Association and helping the National Biodiesel Board with trade and “issues related to an antidumping case in Argentina,” according to Senate lobbying reports.
  • Former Rep. Luke Messer (R-Ind.) is working on multiple clients at Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting, including Spectrum Health.
  • Former Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), the former House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman now at Squire Patton Boggs, has been lobbying for five clients, including Raytheon Co. , United States Infrastructure Corp., and the Pebble Partnership. Former Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) is also at the firm but has not signed up any lobbying clients.
  • Former Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) lobbies for California-based agricultural staffing company Fresh Harvest and Cigar Rights of America at K&L Gates.
  • Former Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas) is lobbying for clients at Clark Hill, including Blue Origin LLC, a spaceflight company owned by Amazon.com Inc. chief executive Jeff Bezos.
  • Former Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) founded her own firm, LJ Strategies, following her retirement from Congress and only has one lobbying client so far, the National Council for Behavioral Health, which she signed in January.

To contact the reporter on this story: Megan R. Wilson in Washington at mwilson@bgov.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bennett Roth at broth@bgov.com

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