The Man Has Style

When you hear “Washington, DC lobbyist,” this is, perhaps, not the face that comes to mind.

KR is an old friend of mine, a coworker who is indeed a true-blue DC lobbyist.  More specifically, he is a dyed-in-the-wool son of the South who, by the sheer misfortune of life landed in the Yankee infested bastion of Washington.  At least that’s how he likes to play it.

KR is just enough of an iconoclast to get away with the “man, I hate Washington, but it’s a living – you know…” bit.  He is also one of the most genuinely talented advocates I’ve ever come across.  He is smart and knows his industry back and forth, up and down.  He is, as are most good lobbyists, unapologetic about his profession. As KR often notes, what he does for a living is also one of the few rights specifically enshrined in our constitution’s first amendment, which prohibits Congress from abridging “the right of the people…to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Whether touting big oil or the Girl Scouts, that, my friends is lobbying.

Now, with all that said, I also want to point out that KR is not remotely close to being an Ivy League snob.  He does not have a law degree and frankly, most DC people annoy him.  He’s old school, in a Southern Rock kind of way.  He is also true to himself in a town that justly deserves a reputation of being populated by those who pat you on the back while simultaneously stabbing you in it.

These shots were taken in Nashville, at the tail end of a recent legislative conference.  KR was hanging out in a bar, minding his own business and having a beer.  Next thing he knows, some lady is taking his picture and chatting him up.

Turns out she is a pro and had just wrapped up covering the CMA awards, which had taken place the night before.  She liked his look – very Matt Damon.  Sure…I get that sort of comment all the time.

And by the way, is it just me or does that top shot also have a little Scott Schuman in it?

Anyway, this story is classic KR.  The people he has met and the the things he has done allow me to live an amazingly vicarious life through his exploits.  Still, he is a good guy trying to make his way through life and that alone is often a major accomplishment.  To me, that is true personal style.  I don’t care who you’re wearing – what kind of person are you?

I should also note that KR is a clothes horse who needs to embrace the joys and sartorial benefits of custom tailored clothing.  It would do him wonders; although he really just wants to live in jeans and Lucchese boots.  So wonderfully un-Washington.

 

    16 Comments

    1. SR

      He definitely is a southern boy, and true to his roots. Having known KR all of his life I can attest that he is not only a stylish lad, but a true southern gentleman who embodies the concept of chivalry and good graces. Whether it was his parents or the warm southern air he has set a standard for how to do your job and remain true to your spirit. While a handsome man, not nearly as good looking as his VA brother!!!! Live large Homeboy!

    2. Rico Boothman

      You’re right–this is certainly not the face that comes to mind when I hear the “Washington, DC lobbyist.” Rather, the phrase conjures up a well-fed visage, corrupted by countless lunches at the Palm, and glistening with sweat brought on by the prospects of fresh injections of ill-gotten cash. Your post is a sad attempt to polish the turd that is the DC lobbyist.

    3. Rico Boothman

      Correction: first sentence should read “when I hear the phrase Washington DC lobbyist”

    4. Mr. Boothman, it’s been a while since you have left a comment – very nice to hear from you again.

      Your dramatic imagery does indeed paint a picture of classic pork bellied avarice and the stalking of congressional corridors for Satan’s work. Therefore I can only infer that you do not actually work in DC or for an entity which seeks to influence local, state, regional or federal regulations or legislation.

      While KR would no doubt enjoy the perk of a tab at the Palm, it’s not really his kind of place. I will refrain from castigating your one-dimensional parody with similar blanket statements suitable for a person who would call another a “turd” without the most basic benefit of knowing anything about him.

      Likewise, I gather that you reserve equal contempt for those who seek to ensure additional educational funding for devastatingly poor rural communities. Or for those who attempt to impose harsher penalties for corporate malfeasance. Or indeed, for those lobbyists who fight voraciously to reduce the influence of lobbyists.

    5. Rico Boothman

      What I know about this particular character is limited to what you shared with us in your post. However, having lived and worked in Washington (the acronym “DC” is used only by farmers and Montgomery County residents, by the way) for many years, I’m all too familiar with the category of creature known as the lobbyist. I’m sure that “KR” (Kyle Rote?) is a fine fellow, who in between errands for his corporate masters devotes himself to worthy causes–e.g., Gout Awareness Week, the Faberge Egg Information Institute, and the American Friends of Equatorial Guinea. As far as I know, “KR”–if those are in fact his true initials–may one day replace the late Edward “Von” Kloberg or the all-too-with-us Lanny Davis as our nation’s greatest “lobbyist of the damned”. . .

      “lobbyist of the damne

    6. Lucas J. Dixon

      Experience has taught us all that there are those that can and those that can’t, those that will and those that won’t and then there is just downright castrated goat farmers that do nothing but look for a place to be heard. Generally that dictates that the goat farmer be half naked with a bowl of Cheetos’s and a Dr. Pepper sitting behind his computer screen whining about why life ain’t fair for him. Obviously oblivious to the fact that he has four days of Cheetos dust in his navel and the fact that overweight ain’t in vogue at the moment. You see Rico, it comes as no surprise that you feel the way you do. Either you got the balls to get out there and be a part of something or you stay out of the game and sit around watching reruns of Patrick Swayze in Roadhouse. I’m not too acquainted with KR, although I do know who he is and admire his tenacity and self effacing deprecation. You on the other hand are a dime a dozen, and have obvious idolization displacement and envy issues. But hey goat man, keep the fire burning that one day you and your socialist buddies might complete the abdication of all forms of capitalism and make us a welfare nation. Till then stay behind your screen, keep your hands out the tighty whities, and for god’s sake stay on your side of the Mason Dixon line.

    7. DCLawyer68

      The same people who critique lobbyists as some form of blot on “our fair Republic” are betraying their ignorance of how government actually works (whether they work in Washington or not). Want to go to court and defend yourself without an attorney? You’d be a fool to do so. Given the federal government’s intrusion into every facet of life, the same holds true for lobbyists. They advocate in the first and second branches of government rather than the third. There are ethical and unethical lawyers. There are ethical and unethical lobbyists.

    8. Lima

      Hey Rico Suave…

      Why you got to be caling KR a turd? You dont even know the brother or apparently anything about his profession. I wont go into detail, but thru KR’s lobbying efforts, he and his colleagues have kept thousands (if not more) of low-income people house’s warm in the dead of winter when they couldn’t pay their bill. And thats just the tip of the iceberg… Lobbyists advocate. Plain and simple. They also read the fine fine print in bills that are thousands of pages and review parliamentary procedures that most people dont even know about. Remember Schoolhouse Rock “I’m just a Bill, sitting here on Capitol Hill”? Well, it aint that easy, Rico…

      Wanna educate your bitter self on lobbying, study up on this guy, Bryce Harlow, http://www.bryceharlow.org/.

      As for KR. He’s one of the finest gents I know. A true sothern gentleman with a wicked sense of humor and just the right amount of grumpiness. Oh, and he sometimes wears these awesome dog print pants, but thats another post for Off the Cuff, in what I hope will be a series on KR…

    9. Cash

      Well ol’ Rico, did you ever fathom that by trying to be witty and take a shot at Mr. Hogan for writing about a lobbyist, as well as KR (someone you do not know) and his profession (which clearly you really know nothing about), that you would be getting the beat down that you are now receiving on this blog? I suspect not, Rico.

      Rico??? Let me pause here and ask: Is Rico short for Richard? Why not use the name Dick? Would seem to better fit your personality.

      See Dick, you impugn the character of KR and all lobbyists, by writing your ignorant rant on Mr. Hogan’s wonderful blog. Now why exactly would you do that, Dick? Perhaps ol’ Lucas has it right… you, sir, are a cheetos eating goat farmer who fingers his belly button while watching the movie The Birdcage over and over. Or, as I suspect, you are just a bitter little dude, who has struggled to get attention all of his life. Let me guess… you got bullied when you were in grade school? You could never get a gal? You decided to go by the name Rico in hopes that you could create a persona of “cool dude”? Well Dick, clearly you failed. And now, you surf the internet looking for websites that perhaps might offer you advice on how to be dress, or live “off the cuff”, in hopes that you will somehow become like Mr. KR. Well Dick, it just ain’t in ya’ boy! In fact, while I don’t know KR, the description set forth in the article, and the comments left by those who do know him, tell me he is a cool, modest dude, who rocks life in a manner most of us can only dream of. Oh, and I should add, it also appears he is darn good at his job… Which no Dick, is not a sleazy profession, but rather a much needed one. Why? Why, you ask Dick? Well, let me tell you why. Because see, Dick.. Let’s imagine, God forbid, that while you were living in “Washington” as you like to call it, that you had worked on the Hill. I am imagining that you would have fit well working for either Senator Larry Craig (hear the tapping, Dick?), or else Congressman Mark Foley. Well, imagine, for purposes of illustration, that you were tapped (ha.. I bet you have been tapped lots of times!)by the Senator to work on a “fashion bill”. Well, clearly you don’t know a darn thing about fashion, and so it would be incumbent upon a well-informed, well-educated, honest broker of a lobbyist to come in and assist you by giving you the facts needed to properly form policy. See Dick, much like Mr. Hogan does on this here blog — it is about education. And yes Dick, there are those who represent all sides of an issue. It is called the great American way. And it is what makes our system better than all others. But perhaps you, sir, would rather live in a system like that of the Roman Empire, where ol’ Julius Ceasar would have called for you to have been delivered to his room for a little hide and seek.

      Uh Dick, is Mr. Hogan in some way lobbying you???? By taking his fashion advice have you somehow been lobbied? By applying that advice to Dick’s world, has your life been improved? Well, ol’ Dick, that is what KR and those who lobby in an ethical and honest way do when going about their profession. They provide staffers, who clearly are not experts in all the issues that they must deal with on a daily basis, with facts and data that they can use in applying to the development of positions and policy.

      Now Dick, are there crooked and sleazy lobbyists? Sure. Just as there are unethical and sleazy folks in all professions. But we should not paint with broad sweeping strokes pal, as that is not smart.

      Dick, I wonder what profession you are in… I can only imagine. But one thing is certain Dick, no matter what you do, I guarantee you that you 1) don’t do it as well as KR, 2) don’t look as good as that dude does, 3) don’t live the life he appears to live, 4) don’t have a wonderful blog doing a feature article on you, and 5) that you will always be what I would call a “hater”.

      So Dick, go crawl back in the hole from which you came (and by that, I am not referring to a the Senator’s…) and live your pathetic life. And, stop writing stuff on Mr. Hogan’s blog.

      See ya’ Rico… Uh, I mean DIck.

    10. Rico Boothman

      Where to begin? Life’s short, so I won’t be able to respond to all of the cornpone comments above. I’ll confine my remarks to “Cash”–an interesting handle for a corporate streetwalker. I’m not gay, but if I were, I’d be pretty damned offended at his not-so-latent homosexual bashing. Perhaps, Cash, your chicken-fried rant reveals more than you intended–something closeted, hidden, but begging to come out?

      Finally, who made you the boss of the internet? It’s still a free country, big boy, and I’ll reply to the postings of “Mr Hogan” (as you grovellingly insist on calling him–are you in his pay by any chance?) whenever I choose to do so.

      I’ll leave you with quote from Dick Cavett (for those of you below the Mason and Dixon Line, you can find out more about him on Wikipedia): “Fold it five ways and stick it where the moon don’t shine.”

    11. While I typically avoid injecting myself into the stream of comments, my name have been invoked on a few occasions and I feel compelled to add a few thoughts of my own.

      First, as a general rule, I do not overly manage or censor comments on OTC. Anyone may add their thoughts to the discussion and both Mr. Boothman and Mr. Cash, among others, have availed themselves of that privilege.

      To that end, while Mr. Boothman has expressed a degree of outrage at the assaults upon his reputation and person, he opened that door by way of an unprovoked and equally vociferous and and mean spirited attack upon the gentleman profiled in the post – KR.

      That said, I also find some of the robust and occasionally humorous counterattacks of those defending KR’s honor also lacking in decorum and restraint. Personally assaulting the character of another (whom you have never met), even of one who chose do the exact same thing, is ungentlemanly.

      I would prefer to see a discussion about the point of my article: holding true to your values and sense of self. The exchange about the roles and value of lobbyists is very interesting. The attack upon their value to humanity is equally fun to read.

      Lastly, in his last comment, Mr. Boothman asks if Mr. Cash is “in my pay.” Please be assured that I do not have the resources to have anyone “in my pay.” While the idea of being a puppet master is attractive, none of these comments, nor the comments on any post, were posted at my behest or suggestion.

    12. You are exactly right when it comes to lobbyists, Chris. When people understand that EVERYONE in this country is either a part of, or has interest in, a special interest group. Lobbyists are their voice in Washington. Yes, there is always a ‘bad apple’ in every bunch, but this country could not run without them, and they are not the enemy.

      I always tell people “if you don’t like lobbyists or special interest groups, then go ahead and call your congressman yourself. Go ahead – get him on the phone. You aren’t the only one calling…imagine every nurse, teacher, farmer, rancher, insurance salesman, banker, realtor and the list goes on…is ALSO trying to call him.” It’s impossible for that congressman to take every call…however when you pay your dues to have your lobbyist speak for you that politician will sit up and take notice.
      Why doesn’t anyone get this?

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *