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Linda Daschle to Set Up Shop on Her Own

Lobbyist Linda Daschle, whose husband, Tom, is expected to be nominated as secretary of Health and Human Services, is leaving her longtime post at Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz and will open her own firm in January.

Although several sources speculated that the move is to avoid any conflict of interest between Baker’s health care clients and her husband’s HHS job, Daschle herself said opening her own shop is something she’s long wanted to do.

“This is something I’ve been dreaming of doing for a number of years, and I just felt like it’s the appropriate time to do it,” she said, adding that she has yet to come up with a name for her firm-to-be.

The former acting administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, Daschle said she plans to focus on transportation policy and communications.

“It’s possible that I will continue to do lobbying, but only in those areas,” she said.

Daschle has been chairman of Baker’s federal public policy group. A firm spokeswoman said that in the interim, D.C. managing partner Keith Kennedy will take over that role.

Said Baker Donelson’s senior policy adviser, John Tuck: “She’s done a great job and is well-known in the aviation community and others, and we’ll miss her. She was a great attribute to our firm.”

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