As Dave Catanese reported in the KY3 Notebook Nov 3, former Roy Blunt aide Gregg Hartley, now a lobbyist with the powerful K Street firm of Cassidy & Associates, announced his endorsement of Nodler's candidacy:
"I endorse Gary Nodler and will actively work with folks in SW Missouri to ensure his election; I urge others to join this important campaign," Hartley wrote on his Twitter page. "I believe the best candidate in primary has the experience as a former congressional aide, business advocate & current legislative leader," he wrote.
Hartley, it has been noted in various media sources, was the man responsible for bringing disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff into Cassidy & Associates. After Abramoff was forced to resign under fire from the Greenberg Taurig lobbying firm in 2004, RIch Lowry wrote in Roll Call:
A longtime confidant of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) and the GOPleadership, Abramoff was brought into Cassidy by Gregg Hartley, a former top aide to House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.).
Abramoff pleaded guilty to a number of felonies in January 2006. From the Center for Media and Democracy:
Abramoff's principal activity was the collection of tens of millions extorted from Indian tribal gambling operations. Much of the money was used to buy influence from Washington Republican figures, but a considerable amount was used for self-enrichment or personal pet projects.
While Hartley has not been touched in any of the scandals surrounding Abramoff, his connection to Washington lobbying and the fact that he is the first major figure to endorse Gary Nodler's candidacy does little to bolster confidence that the election of Gary Nodler would send an independent voice to Washington.