Freshman Hires Former Senator Turned Lobbyist As Chief of Staff

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Newly minted Rep. Chip Cravaack has hired former Sen. Rod Grams as his chief of staff. Grams served the state of Minnesota as senator from 1995 to 2001. In an interview with The Daily Caller Grams discusses his post-Senate career as a businessman owning three radio stations, but omits a key period. From 2002 to 2006 Grams was a registered lobbyist at the Washington, DC-based lobbying firm of Hecht, Spencer & Associates.

After losing to Mark Dayton in the 2000 Senate race, Grams signed up as a senior advisor at the lobbying firm, although he was allowed wide latitude to spend time in Minnesota to pursue a future run for office. At the time Grams stated that the lobbying job “will let [him] work with clients and issues such as the economy, jobs, trade relations and taxation.” Grams’ clients included Financial Services Roundtable, 3M Co., and J.C. Penney.

Hecht, Spencer & Associates was also registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act as a foreign agent for the Government of Japan. Grams was registered as a foreign agent for the firm and made contacts with government officials, including the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a number of his former Senate colleagues, on behalf of the Japanese government.

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