The Times remembers superlobbyist Anne Wexler

The Times remembers Anne Wexler in this piece, part of a package of notable obituaries for 2009.

The day after Reagan took office, Anne Wexler officially opened her own lobbying shop. Washington was never the same.

Up to that point, the lobbying business was primarily divided by partisan boundaries; Democratic firms had access to Democratic lawmakers and Republicans to Republicans, which meant that a lobbyist’s business relied on the fortunes of his party. Putting aside the ideological convictions that transformed her life, Wexler would team up with Nancy Clark Reynolds, a close friend of Reagan’s, to create a firm that not only would be led by women — “We’re going to be underestimated, and it’ll work every time,” Wexler told her new partner — but that could also reach any level of government, no matter who was in charge. As the lobbying business grew into a $3 billion industry, Wexler’s name became synonymous with a new generation of elite “superlobbyists,” lawyers and political operatives whose influence on Capitol Hill made them far wealthier than many of the politicians they manipulated.

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