Rehberg Lands Job with Public-Strategy Firm

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – Former Montana U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg has become the co-chairman of a Washington, D.C.-based public-strategy firm, a job that he says will keep him involved in issues that he cares about.

Mercury/Clark & Weinstock describes itself as a bipartisan government-relations firm that specializes in crisis communications, polling, issue ads and strategic communications. The firm also reported $7.65 million in lobbying income for 2012, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Its clients included railroads, airlines, investment groups, various businesses and state and local governments.

The 57-year-old Republican spent 12 years as Montana’s sole congressman. He left office in January after losing November’s U.S. Senate race to Democratic incumbent Jon Tester.

Rehberg told Lee Newspapers of Montana he joined the firm about a month ago. He said he expects to work in many areas, from grassroots organizing to helping clients navigate the federal bureaucracy.

“I cannot give up on the issues that I’m passionate about,” he said. “That’s why I ran for (the Senate). I haven’t got it out of my system, that I wanted to do more. This is one way of keeping my toe in the water, on the issues that I really do care about.”

Rehberg said he won’t be lobbying Congress, which ethics rules forbid for a year after leaving office.

Rehberg is co-chair of Mercury’s D.C. office along with Vin Weber, a Republican former congressman from Minnesota, and Max Sandlin, a former Democratic congressman from Texas.

Former Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Talent of Missouri, ex-Democratic California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez and former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer also are with the firm.

Rehberg said the job gives him the flexibility to live in Billings with his family, while working in Washington, D.C., when he needs to, he said.

“I can divide my time however I want,” he said. “I can live at the ranch in Billings and I won’t be traveling on weekends . I just get to spend time with my family.”

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