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Ex-GOP aide to leave job as MPAA executive

February 08, 2007|Jim Puzzanghera | Times Staff Writer

A former top Republican congressional aide who joined the Motion Picture Assn. of America when the GOP held power on Capitol Hill is stepping down a month after Democrats took control, the Hollywood lobbying group announced Wednesday.

John Feehery, the MPAA's executive vice president of worldwide government affairs, said he was leaving to start his own strategic consulting firm.

"This is something I have wanted to do for a long time," Feehery said in a statement.

A onetime aide to former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) and former House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), Feehery was hired in 2005 in what many thought was an attempt to smooth over Republican anger that the MPAA had chosen Dan Glickman to replace Jack Valenti as the group's chief executive. Glickman was a Democratic congressman and served as Agriculture secretary under President Clinton.

Although Feehery is leaving just a month after Democrats took power in the House and Senate for the first time since 1994, an MPAA spokeswoman said politics was not the reason.

"We're always a bipartisan organization and I think we will remain that way," Kori Bernards said.

Glickman will now directly manage government affairs and lobbying, the MPAA said. Although the MPAA speaks frequently with both parties, and top Republicans attended a high-profile symposium on Hollywood economics the group held Tuesday in Washington, Glickman noted recently that he was close to many Democrats.

"I spent 18 years as a Democratic member of Congress and I worked in the Clinton administration, so it's obvious that I have personally strong ties on the Democratic side," he said.

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jim.puzzanghera@latimes.com

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