By Megan R. Wilson - 01/27/14 12:01 AM EST
Former Rep. Robert “Bud” Cramer (D-Ala.) has become FTI Consulting’s newest lobbyist, the firm plans to announce Monday.
Cramer comes from Capitol Hill Consulting Group, where he served as vice chairman.
Last March, FTI Consulting, an international management consulting firm, acquired the government affairs firm C2 Group to bring lobbying services under its roof.
In 2008, Cramer, who co-founded the centrist Blue Dog Coalition, announced he would not run for reelection.
“I didn't leave the Hill to retire. I wanted to be active,” Cramer told The Hill. “All along, I was looking for a team to hitch to.”
At FTI Government Affairs, formerly C2 Group, Cramer said he is joining old friends, Tom Crawford and Nelson Litterst, as well as his former chief of staff, Jeff Murray.
“Coming downtown and lobbying wasn't something I was sure I would be good at or wanted to do,” Cramer recalls. “But I found out I wanted to do this kind of work, and I did find out that I enjoyed it. It even allowed me to have part of my world I could still take advantage of my network of relationships and still work for the people and the companies of Alabama.”
He has about 10 clients from his old firm that he’s bringing with him to FTI, he said.
They will join the FTI Government Affairs’s existing client roster, which includes PepsiCo, Safeway, Porsche Cars of North America, Yum! Brands, Americas Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) and Comcast.
“In the face of heightened scrutiny from activists, lawmakers and regulators, corporate executives today recognize the value of engaging policymakers,” Cramer said in a statement released Monday.
In the years since his departure from Congress, he says, both the lobbying and legislative worlds have changed dramatically.
“I'll get to interact with companies around the world and give them some of the behind the scenes of what's going on in Washington,” he told The Hill.
“The lobby world is changing — just going to the Hill, as dysfunctional as it is. It's not a very good atmosphere for getting things done.”
But the firm is allowing Cramer to continue working to reform Washington, he says.
He chairs an organization called Center Forward, the K Street revamp of the Blue Dog Coalition that aims at urging Congress to balance budgets and encourages the election of centrist lawmakers.
“Our frustration and concern has been in making the House work different than it has been working,” he said, “and reinforce how important it is to have that group of center politicians.”
Prior to working at Capitol Hill Consulting Group, Cramer served as the chairman of Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates.
During his nearly two decades in Congress, Cramer worked on the Intelligence Committee, including a stint as the chairman of the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee, and the House Appropriations Committee.