While lawmakers were immersed in the impeachment of President Clinton, congressional staff members and lobbyists were busy finding new jobs before the next Congress convenes Jan. 6.
Jim Hyland has been hired as legislative director for Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Tex. He had been chief banking aide to Sen. Lauch Faircloth, the North Carolina Republican on the Senate Banking Committee who lost his reelection bid in November.
The Financial Services Council has hired BankAmerica Corp. lobbyist Brian C. Conklin as director of legislative affairs. He starts Jan. 4 and will focus on the group's push for financial services reform. He succeeds Carol Messer, who moved to Cincinnati with her family this fall.
In an about-face after two months as Rep. Richard H. Baker's banking aide, Brian K. Smith is going back to work for Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb. Mr. Smith was lured back by Sen. Hagel when a promotion in Rep. Baker's office did not materialize, sources said.
Rep. Baker also must replace his top lieutenant on the subcommittee, Amos T. "Ted" Beason, who has returned to his farm in LaGrange, Ga., and will soon become a financial adviser for Robinson-Humphrey Co., an Atlanta- based investment banking unit of Citigroup Inc. Also, the Louisiana Republican's staff director, Paul B. Sawyer, is expected to jump ship for a job with the House leadership or in the private sector.
Sources said Rep. Baker is trying to rehire former banking aide J. Patrick Cave, who is assistant vice president of the Council of Federal Home Loan Banks.
The Independent Bankers Association of America is scrambling to find a successor to Marty Farmer, who abruptly announced his retirement last week. "Filling that job is going to be top priority," said IBAA executive vice president Kenneth A. Guenther, who added that he received several calls from interested parties immediately after news of Mr. Farmer's departure got out. Mr. Guenther said the trade group seeks a well-connected operative like Mr. Farmer. Ronald K. Ence, the group's House lobbyist, will help cover in the interim.
Holland & Knight, a Florida-based law firm with about 125 lawyers here, plans to launch a lobbying and legislative update service for its banking clients next month.
"We have not traditionally done a lot of lobbying in the financial services area," said partner John A. Buchman, a banking specialist in the firm's office here. "We see this as a way to serve our existing clients better ... and expand our practice."
The firm's largest banking clients include First Union Corp., BankAmerica Corp., SunTrust Banks Inc., Amsouth Bancorp., and Raymond James Financial Inc.
Mr. Buchman-who worked under Comptroller of the Currency John D. Hawke Jr. when he was a partner at Arnold & Porter law firm and under the comptroller's chief counsel, Julie L. Williams, when she worked at the Federal Home Loan Bank Board-will lead the lobbying service with senior associate Jack M. Burkman. Mr. Burkman is a former House Banking Committee aide for Rep. Rick Lazio, R-N.Y., and campaign staff member for Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa.
The two men plan to focus on legislation reforming financial and bankruptcy laws as well as regulatory relief.
The House Commerce Committee announced its subcommittee chairs in mid- December, and Rep. Mike Oxley, R-Ohio, was renamed chairman of the finance subcommittee that handles financial reform legislation.