NCTA Hires Another Big-Time Dem to Lobby

For the second time in a couple of weeks, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association has hired a lobbyist with extensive ties to Congressional Democrats.

The trade organization has named James M. Assey Jr., former senior counsel to the Democrats on the Senate Commerce Committee, as executive vice president. He will report to NCTA boss Kyle McSlarrow. He replaces David Krone, who recently moved to Comcast Corp. to be its senior vice president of corporate affairs.

“Throughout his professional career, James has demonstrated deep and insightful knowledge of telecommunications issues as well as great personal integrity,” McSlarrow said. “Widely respected on both sides of the aisle and at the FCC, James will represent our industry at a very high level.”

Assey served on the staff of the Senate Commerce Committee from 2001 until the end of December 2007. He was telecommunications counsel (and, previously, legislative assistant) for then-Sen. Ernest F. “Fritz” Hollings (D-S.C.), who was also the mentor of current FCC Commissioner Michael Copps. Most recently, he was senior counsel on communications and media issues for the committee.

Previously, he was an associate in the Washington office of law firm Willkie Farr & Gallaghern and he clerked for Judge Cameron M. Currie in federal court in South Carolina.

He is a graduate of Stanford University and Georgetown University Law School and currently teaches communications law as an adjunct faculty member of Georgetown Law.

Assey will start Feb. 1.

His hiring follows that of Rita Lewis as vice president for government relations for NCTA. She is a former deputy executive director and political director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (1995-98) and also worked for then-Rep. and later then-Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.).

In December, Comcast promoted former Daschle fundraiser Melissa Maxfield to the job of vice president of federal government affairs, overseeing the corporation’s Congressional lobbying efforts.