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If last year’s Democratic takeover of Congress was a signal that Republican lobbying firms needed to look for a new business plan, Fierce, Isakowitz & Blalock didn’t notice. The firm’s all-Republican makeup is unchanged. All nine of its lobbyists remain on staff. A single client, Office Depot, dropped the firm late in the year, but three new ones took the company’s place. Revenue rose 6 percent to $8.4 million, continuing a streak that goes back at least ten years and places the 30-year old firm in the 47th slot of this year’s Influence 50. “The vision we had for this business was that we would build long-term relationships with our clients as elections come and go,” says president Mark Isakowitz, who describes the firm as “part of the Republican extended family.” Last year’s revenue is evidence that those family ties can make for a full house. With BRG Holding’s hire of its first Democrat — Michael Meehan, formerly chief of staff for Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) — Fierce Isakowitz is officially Washington’s top one-party shop. But Isakowitz declines to criticize colleagues who strayed across the aisle. “A lot of the people who have decided to be bipartisan are friends of ours, and everybody makes their own decisions,” he says. But his firm hasn’t found that waving the GOP flag is a liability. “Our friends on the Hill like it,” Isakowitz says, citing conversations with members who praised the firm’s solidarity. That doesn’t mean the shop hasn’t gotten used to some changes: Its biggest client, the Coalition for Patent Fairness, added all-Democratic shop Elmendorf Strategies shortly after the 2006 elections to its roster of lobbyists. Isakowitz, who works directly with Steve Elmendorf on the account, describes the relationship as productive. Perhaps the biggest adjustment for the firm over the last year has been an increased focus on leading alliances and coalitions. Building on its success in landing the Coalition for Patent Fairness, Fierce, Isakowitz & Blalock picked up the Corporate Health Care Coalition, which is composed of large corporations trying to get out ahead of a 2009 health insurance fight. Isakowitz is hoping to court and assemble more coalitions this year, establishing the firm as the choice for those who would prefer not to work through trade associations. Besides that goal, Isakowitz says, the firm doesn’t intend to change much this year, either — even if Democrats increase their margins in the Senate and take the White House. “There is no election scenario where the business community will not have to lobby both sides of the aisle,” Isakowitz says. But even putting the question of financial wisdom aside, he likes that every member of the firm is rooting for the same political team. “It’s a fun way of doing business,” he says.
Jeff Horwitz can be contacted at [email protected].

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