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Published January 08 2011

Pomeroy received money from employer’s clients

The lobbying and legal firm that hired former North Dakota Rep. Earl Pomeroy has a history of clientele that strongly supported the veteran Democrat during his years in the U.S. House.

An investigation by The Forum of federal campaign and lobbying records revealed ties between campaign contributions Pom­eroy received and nearly three-dozen companies and organizations that have retained the services of Alston & Bird LLC since 1998.

Those clients of the firm donated roughly $584,600 to Pomeroy’s campaign committee in the last 12 years, the records showed.

The money those clients donated amounts to nearly 7 percent of all donations Pomeroy received from political action committees during that time.

Pomeroy served as North Dakota’s lone representative between 1992 and 2010. He lost the seat in November to Republican Rep. Rick Berg.

Alston & Bird announced earlier this week that it hired Pomeroy to work on health policy issues.

“Not only is it not a problem, it’s natural” for former members of Congress to work for clients that once supported their bids for public office, Pomeroy told The Forum this week.

“If they thought I was doing a pretty good job in the public sector, they might think that my advocacy would be worth hiring now that I’m in the private sector,” he said. “I would hope they would, actually.”

Pomeroy said he doesn’t intend to work on policy issues he doesn’t believe in, so it makes sense he’d work for a firm whose clients had ideologies similar to his.

Following the money

Former Rep. Earl Pomeroy’s new employer, Alston & Bird LLC, was previously hired by nearly three-dozen companies or organizations that also supported his many bids for re-election.

Between 1998 and 2010, the Pomeroy supporters – who were also at times Alston & Bird clients – that donated the most to Pomeroy’s campaign committee were:

Source: Federal Election Commission records of Pomeroy’s campaign contributions, and FEC lobbying reports compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kristen Daum at (701) 241-5541