Perennial K Street powerhouses, such as Patton Boggs, Dutko Worldwide and Quinn Gillespie & Associates, have seen little growth or quarterly declines as corporations tightened their belts during the downturn. Trade associations have witnessed multiple layoffs, with the American Petroleum Institute being the latest victim. And the number of lobbyists in town has apparently shrunk by almost 1,400 from the 2008 number, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Yet by every metric, the Podesta Group is growing. The firm has made more than $18 million in lobbying fees so far in 2009 — nearly 17 percent more than its 2008 take, and the year is not done yet. It hired 29 more staff members in 2009, close to doubling the firm’s size. And it has registered 55 clients so far this year, almost twice as many as it signed up in 2008, according to lobbying disclosure records.