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Mississippi senator to start lobbying with dem { December 11 2007 }

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Leading The News
By Bob Cusack
December 11, 2007

Sen. Trent Lott’s (R-Miss.) son registered the domain name this fall, signaling strongly that the retiring minority whip will join forces with former Sen. John Breaux (D-La.) on K Street in 2008.

Chet Lott, a registered lobbyist, secured the rights to the domain name on Oct. 16 — six weeks before his father announced his retirement from the upper chamber.

Two days after Sen. Lott’s stunning announcement, Breaux told his colleagues at Patton Boggs that he was leaving the firm to start a lobbying firm with his son, John Jr.

The Lott and Breaux developments triggered widespread speculation that Breaux, Lott and their sons would form what would likely become a lobbying force in the nation’s capital.
Breaux told the New Orleans Times-Picayune on Nov. 29 that he is very interested in working with Lott: “I would love to have him come on board. Hopefully, I will be one of the first he calls after he officially steps down.”

Sen. Lott recently indicated a partnership is likely: “John Breaux and I have been friends for 38 or 40 years. We were both staff members in the ’60s. In the ’70s and ’80s, we lived across the street from each other. Our children played together. They were at each other’s weddings.

“A bipartisan firm would be fun,” Lott said.

Chet Lott’s registration of the domain name could mean that the Breaux and Lott families have been discussing a lobbying firm for the last couple of months. If that were the case, according to Senate rules, Sen. Lott would need to inform the Senate Ethics Committee.

Lott’s office said the senator was unaware of the domain name registration. Nick Simpson, Lott’s spokesman, said, “Sen. Lott had no knowledge of this.”

In a phone interview Monday, Chet Lott said his father “didn’t know anything about it.” He laughed and said his father “doesn’t know anything about computers” and added he probably doesn’t know what a domain name is.

“The bottom line is that I’m a businessman and I talked to John [Breaux] Jr. about [registering the domain name] as a defense [mechanism].”

He pointed out that the website is not active.

It is common in politics and in other sectors to register domain names before cyber squatters claim them and ask exorbitant prices for the rights to the sites.

When he announced on Nov. 26 that he will leave the Senate by the end of this year, Lott shot down any suggestion that he had made any decisions on his future.

“I’m not really involved in negotiations,” he said. “I’ve tried to stay away from that. There are some opportunities out there that I want to be able to consider, but I have nothing that we have agreed to or lined up. And I want to look at all of it, you know. There’s things that I’ve wanted to do for years, hadn’t been able to do, and we’ll see what they are. I might even want to come back and affiliate with a law firm. But I don’t know. I haven’t — I don’t have any commitments lined up.”

In late November, Chet Lott told The New York Times, “John Breaux and my dad, they know each other a long time … we’re close to them, but that doesn’t mean we are going into business with them.”

Former Sen. Breaux and John Breaux Jr. did not comment for this article.

If the bipartisan firm is formed, it’s unlikely that it will be called Lott Breaux. has not been registered.

After Sen. Breaux announced he would not seek reelection in 2004, there was widespread speculation that he would start a lobbying shop with then-retiring Sen. Don Nickles (R-Okla.). But the partnership never materialized.

Chet Lott has represented AT&T and Bell South, among others, while Breaux’s clients include Sallie Mae and Shell Oil. Breaux Jr. has lobbied for SBC Communications and the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.

Chet Lott has also registered, which is a live site that details information about his musical career.

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