Republic Services, the owner of the troubled West Lake Landfill, paid $380,000 to D.C. lobbyists last year, including a firm headed by Sen. Roy Blunt’s former chief of staff.
Republic Services, the company that opposes removing radioactive waste from the West Lake Landfill, paid $380,000 to two powerful Washington, D.C. lobbying firms in 2016, according to Open Secrets, a website that tracks influence peddling inside the Beltway.
The lobbying costs were split between West Front Strategies and Cloakroom Advisors. West Front Strategies received $220,000 from Republic, while Cloakroom Advisors hauled in $160,000.
Republic has repeatedly opposed efforts in the U.S. Congress and the Missouri State Legislature that have sought to address the long delayed cleanup. In the last eight years, the company has paid federal lobbyists more than $2 million.
West Front Strategies, which has close ties to Republican Party leadership, also lobbies on behalf of Microsoft, which was founded by billionaire Bill Gates. Gates holds the largest share of Republic Services stock through his investment firm, Cascade Investment. Other corporations employing West Front Strategies include media giant Comcast, owner of NBCUniversal, and Aetna Insurance.
Cloakroom Advisors represents Republic through two of its St. Louis-based subsidiaries, Bridgeton Landfill and Rock Road Industries, which are both directly tied to West Lake Landfill Superfund Site.
Cloakroom Advisors also represents St. Louis-based BJC Healthcare, which is associated with Washington University Medical School and operates Barnes-Jewish Hospital and its affiliates; and Bayer AG, the German pharmacuetical conglomerate that bought out St. Louis-based Monsanto last year.
The top lobbyist at Cloakroom Advisors is Greg Hartley, former chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) from 1997-2003. Those years corresponds with the time period that Blunt, now a U.S. Senator from Missouri, was snared in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal.
Senator Blunt’s daughter, Amy Blunt, is a lobbyist for the Kansas City-based law firm of Lathrop & Gage, which represents Republic Services. The senator’s son Andrew is also a Missouri lobbyist, and ran his father’s reelection campaign last year.