Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fallin's Top Gun, Nate Webb, To Become Lobbyist

Nate Webb has been Congresswoman Mary Fallin's top gun as her chief of staff for four years in the House and three years in the lieutenant governor's office.

And now, as Fallin moves into the state's top office, Webb is  becoming a Capitol lobbyist.

His departure from Fallin's side at this time of her ultimate success likely will be the topic of many conversations.

Speculation about Webb's future began when Fallin announced that her longtime Oklahoma City congressional office major domo and veteran campaign manager, Denise Northrup, would be her chief of staff. There was no mention of Webb or his future in the announcement.

Asked then for a heads up on his future by The McCarville Report Online, Webb did not reply.

Today, The Oklahoman's Michael McNutt reports that Webb is joining the lobbying firm headed by Bobby Stem, Capitol Gains: Mary Fallin's chief of staff during her four years in Washington won't be following her to the governor's office.

Instead, Nate Webb is joining an Oklahoma City lobbying firm.

“It's just kind of an interesting opportunity that presented itself after all those years in public service,” Webb said.

Webb has been chief of staff for Fallin for nearly eight years — more than three years when Fallin was Oklahoma's lieutenant governor and the four years after Fallin was elected in 2006 to represent the 5th Congressional District.

“Having done both state and federal work, I may have a unique perspective on the process,” he said.

Webb, 54, will become a partner of Capitol Gains after Fallin's term expires Jan. 3. She will be sworn in a week later as Oklahoma's first female governor.

Webb said Bobby Stem, founder and senior partner of Capitol Gains, asked him after the Nov. 2 election about joining his firm. “The more I thought about it and talked it over with my family it seemed like the right thing for me and also probably the right thing for the firm,” he said.

Stem said Webb's exact duties haven't been set. His clients include the Association of General Contractors, the Choctaw Nation, J.C. Penney, Oklahoma Credit Union League, Oklahoma District Attorneys Council, Oklahoma Fraternal Order of Police and Sprint Nextel Corp.

With state lawmakers looking at another significant revenue shortfall for the upcoming 2012 fiscal year budget, the competition for available state funds will be fierce, Webb said.

“People are going to need to get out there and make their case and present good ideas and good policy,” he said.

Fallin has named longtime aide Denise Northrup to be her chief of staff in the governor's office. Webb said Fallin being a member of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee allowed him to make some contacts which will be helpful in his new position.

Webb left as a news reporter for KTOK-AM 1000 to work on the right-to-work campaign in 2001. He also worked on the 2002 gubernatorial campaign of Republican Steve Largent. In between those jobs, he worked in the lieutenant governor's office as communications director for Fallin.

He also worked in communications at Devon Energy before becoming Fallin's chief of staff.

Webb said he didn't plan on leaving Fallin's staff. “It's one of those things that during the campaign you never really talk too much about it just because that's kind of something you really don't do,” he said.

[Note: Former State Rep. Bill Case, the 2006 Republican nominee for insurance commissioner, also is a member of Stem's firm. The firm's client list includes ■Advanced Academics ■Association of General Contractors ■Business Information Systems ■Choctaw Nation ■COSMO (Coalition of Oklahoma Surface and Mineral Owners) ■JCPenney's ■Liberty Bankers Life Insurance ■Oklahoma Credit Union League ■Oklahoma District Attorneys Council ■Oklahoma Fraternal Order of Police ■Oklahoma Hospice Association ■Oklahoma Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association ■Oklahoma Wrecker Owners Association ■Seaboard Farms ■SPRINT ■Xcaliber International]

Share |