Steve Elmendorf

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Steve Elmendorf is a Washington-D.C.-based lobbyist. In January 2007 he founded the lobbying firm Elmendorf Strategies.[1]

He previously worked with the firm Bryan Cave Strategies. According to the National Journal, he represents the National Association of Broadcast Communicators, a lobby group comprised of 15 PR firms that produce video news releases.[2]

Political Experience

Elmendorf served as "chief of staff to Rep. Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.) when he was minority leader"[4] and worked for him for over 12 years when he was in Congress and in his 2004 bid to be the Democratic nominee for President.

After Gephardt withdrew from the race after running fourth in the Iowa caucuses. Days later, Elmendorf went to work as deputy campaign manager for the John Kerry. Kerry's campaign manager, Mary Beth Cahill, had been a long time friend of Elmendorf.[5] A biographical note states that on the Kerry campaign he "served as the primary campaign liaison to U.S. Senators, members of Congress, governors, and mayors. He also supervised the field operations in 21 battleground states and was a senior member of the strategic team involved in overall campaign campaign planning. Elmendorf was a key player in the campaign’s outreach to constituency groups and organized labor."[6]

Elmendorf had worked for Gephardt since 1992 and as chief of staff since 1997. According to a profile in the New York Times, Elmendorf has strong ties to organized labor and the gay and lesbian community.[5] A biographical boasts that "Elmendorf managed the floor for House Democrats and designed the Democratic Caucus’ strategic response to crises including the impeachment of a sitting president and terrorist attacks on the United States. Elmendorf was also deeply involved in every major legislative initiative considered during his tenure including the Clinton 1993 economic program, the Clinton effort to reform health care in 1994, NAFTA, the 1997 Balanced Budget Act, McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform and the Iraq war resolution."[6]

He first started working as a Democratic politics as an organizer for Walter F. Mondale's 1984 presidential campaign when he left college.[5] "Prior to his service in the House leadership, Elmendorf was chief of staff to Rep. Dennis Eckart, a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He also served in the U.S. Senate as executive assistant to Sen. Brock Adams. Elmendorf began his career as a field organizer on the Mondale for President campaign after graduating from Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. Elmendorf has been a frequent guest on television talk shows including Hardball, CNBC’s Capitol Report, Fox News and CNN’s Crossfire. He has lectured at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and at Trinity College," Elmendorf's biographical note states.[6]

A former Kerry campaign staffer, Jim Jordan, described Elmendorf as "one of the best operatives and political thinkers in the party. Steve understands where all the levers are. He understands what it takes to win, and he's really good at political hand-to-hand combat."[5]

Working for Ameren

In 2008 Elmendorf Strategies LLC received $90,000 from the major U.S. power utility, Ameren, and a further $30,000 in early 2009.[7] Elmendorf was one oif the registered lobbyists working on the account. The other registered lobbyists on the account were Robert Cogorno, James Houton, Kristina Kennedy, and Shanti Stanton in 2008 with Barry LaSala joining the team in 2009.

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. "Steve Elmendorf starts Elmendorf Strategies", Campaigns & Elections, January 1, 2007.
  2. Lisa Caruso, "Whose Tape Is It Anyway?" National Journal (not online), January 13, 2007.
  3. Board of Governors, Bryce Harlow Foundation, accessed February 16, 2010.
  4. Geoff Earle, "Kerry taps Hill talent for WH bid", The Hill, April 21, 2004.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 David E. Rosenbaum, "A Gephardt Staff Member Finds a New Home", New York Times, January 25, 2004.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "Steve Elmendorf", Elmendorf Strategies website, accessed July 2009.
  7. “Elmendorf Strategies LLC” Center for Public Integrity, accessed July 2009.

External resources

External articles