January 7, 2014

The job market on K Street looks a lot like the rest of the country’s employment situation. It’s tough.

That is, unless you were chief of staff to the incoming Senate Finance chairman — in which case, who wouldn’t want to hire you?

Josh Kardon, who logged 17 years with Sen. Ron Wyden, the Oregon Democrat poised to take the Finance gavel, has a new gig as general counsel of Capitol Counsel, a bipartisan firm with deep ties to the current chairman, Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont. Baucus, of course, plans to head to China soon, as President Barack Obama tapped him last month to be his top envoy there. That has opened up the chairmanship of one of the most plum committees in Congress.

Most recently, Kardon was a lobbyist with the Capitol Hill Consulting Group, where his registered clients last year included Exxon Mobil, the National Parks Conservation Association and the Open Space Institute, according to Lobbying Disclosure Act filings.

Capitol Counsel focuses on tax, health care and trade policy, among other issues, all high-profile matters under the Finance Committee’s jurisdiction. Having a Wyden guy — a rarity on K Street — certainly won’t hurt business.

“Josh Kardon is well known as one of the most seasoned veterans of Capitol Hill,” said former Rep. Jim McCrery, R-La., a partner at Capitol Counsel. “His experience working with key committees and policymakers on both sides of the Capitol will be a great asset to our clients.”