Two of freshman U.S. Rep.
Her chief of staff and legislative director both did lobbying for public sector unions, according to a review of hiring decisions made by new members of
Frankel, a Democrat who represents Broward and Palm Beach counties, wasn't unique. A report from the group Remapping Debate, which researches public policy, and the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks money in politics, found 43 staffers for new members of Congress were previously associated with lobbying or groups that lobbied.
Democrats often turned to liberal groups and unions and
U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, a Democrat who represents northern Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie counties, hired Eric Johnson as his chief of staff. Johnson, who was the longtime staff chief for former U.S.
Between his Wexler and Murphy jobs, Johnson was associated with the South Florida-based lobbying firm LSN Partners and the big law firm Akerman Senterfitt, which has a lobbying practice.
Frankel's chief of staff, Jonathon Bray, was her campaign manager. He was previously associated with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
Her legislative director James Cho held the same job for former U.S. Rep. Ron Klein, D-Boca Raton. Between Klein and Frankel he worked with the International Association of Firefighters.
"Congresswoman Frankel hired staff with knowledge of Florida's 22nd Congressional District and who are focused on the congresswoman's priorities," Frankel spokeswoman Sarah Rothschild said via email.
Ira Sabin, chairman of the Palm Beach County Republican Party, agreed. "Representative Frankel isn't going to hire somebody who doesn't think the way she does.