Mildred Webber, key aide to House Majority Whip Roy Blunt, will join government relations department, NAB confirms.
NAB is bolstering its government relations department by bringing in Mildred Webber, deputy chief of staff for House Majority Whip Rep. Roy Blunt (Mo.), the third-ranking Republican leader in the House.
“This is the first in a series of hires by David Rehr as NAB builds a strong bipartisan government relations team,” says Dennis Wharton, NAB’s executive vice president of media relations, in confirming the appointment.
Wharton indicated that future appointments would likely include the addition of Democrats to NAB’s team.
Strengthening NAB’s government relations operation and its grassroots activity are a priority since Rehr became the association’s president last December.
Webber will join NAB as senior vice president of government affairs on Sept. 29. She will report to the department’s executive vice president, Doug Wiley, who assumed his post in May.
According to a June 2003 story in The National Journal, Webber aided Blunt in his duties as Whip, always trying to make sure that 218 votes—a House majority—were aligned with the wishes of the Republican leadership.
The article also said that Webber tended to “member services, or taking care of Republican lawmakers’ unique problems, whether they involve policy, politics or personal matters.”
Webber is now working for Blunt, but her rise to prominence on the Hill—Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper, recognized her in 2004 as one of Capitol Hill’s 50 most powerful staffers—may have more to do with her association with Tom DeLay, the once powerful House Majority Leader who decided not to seek reelection earlier this year after being indicted for campaign financing violations.
Webber once served as DeLay’s director of coalitions, responsible for rallying outside support for the Republicans political agenda among lobbyists and businesses. And Webber is credited with helping DeLay land the job of House Majority Whip in 1994 in an upset over more established rivals.
The National Journal reported in Apirl 2005 that Webber contributed $500 to DeLay’s legal defense fund.
Prior to her work for Delay and Blunt, Webber was staff director for the House Subcommittee on National Economic Growth, Natural Resources and Regulatory Affairs.
Webber, who has a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, also knows her way around the executive branch, having worked for both the Reagan and the first Bush administrations.