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Boehner May Do More Than Golf After Congress

A man walks by Boehner's new Longworth office Monday. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)
A man walks by Boehner's new Longworth office Monday. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 10:51 a.m. | Former Speaker John A. Boehner may have more than golf on his post-congressional to-do list.  

The Ohio Republican has hired Robert Barnett, a high-powered attorney with Williams & Connolly, who is best known for helping former government officials ink lucrative book deals and private-sector gigs. He helped Hillary Rodham Clinton negotiate publishing agreements such as the $8 million deal for her “Living History” memoir. Dave Schnittger, a former Boehner Hill aide now with the lobbying firm Squire Patton Boggs, confirmed Barnett’s role. Schnittger also noted that former Boehner aide John Criscuolo will head up the ex-speaker’s political affairs.  

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Boehner, a prolific fundraiser while in office, may donate money from his joint leadership committee and his campaign committee to other political committees, candidates for office and charity. Boehner, who has long been cozy with K Street, collected more than $53 million for his leadership PAC and his campaign committee during his tenure as speaker.  

He may also donate funds from his leadership PAC, the Freedom Project PAC, which raised $1.3 million this year, or he could transfer that money for his personal use. Schnittger, who serves as Boehner’s post-congressional spokesman, did not respond to questions about Boehner’s decisions regarding his existing political money.  

As CQ Roll Call reported this week, Boehner will set up an office in the Longworth House Office Building, staffed at taxpayers’ expense   a little-known perk reserved for speakers who retire from Congress.  

Schnittger noted that because Boehner is using an unoccupied outpost in Longworth, it will save taxpayers money on rent. That office can’t engage in political activity and must be used solely for the purpose of winding down his congressional service.  

Boehner has not divulged his plans for life after Congress — other than to say he expects to hit the links. House Republicans gave him a new golf cart as his going-away gift.  

But lobbyists and K Street headhunters say the ex-speaker would field mega offers worth more than $1 million annually should he decide to head downtown.  

Two examples for perspective: Former Sen. Christopher S. Dodd, D-Conn., who runs the Motion Picture Association of America, gets a paycheck worth more than $3 million at the industry trade group, tax disclosures show. And Thomas Donohue, who heads the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, earned $5.5 million in 2013, the group’s tax form 990 revealed.  

Eliza Newlin Carney contributed to this report. Related:

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