VENTNOR — Former 2nd District Republican U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo said Monday he has launched his own consulting firm to advise clients on aviation, maritime, defense, intelligence and national security.
Called “LoBo Strategies,” the firm will be based in Ventnor, LoBiondo said. His long-time communications director and chief of staff Jason Galanes will work with him, based in Washington, D.C., as a strategic consultant for the company.
It’s not a lobbying firm, LoBiondo stressed. He started his own firm rather than join an existing one because he didn’t want to be a lobbyist, he said.
Former members of Congress are prohibited for a year from lobbying current members under House Ethics Committee rules.
“The companies we are talking to already have their own lobbyists and public relations people,” said LoBiondo.
“They want strategists, not lobbyists,” said Galanes, of the company’s potential clients.
LoBiondo said he and Galanes will advise clients about the best approaches for their lobbyists and public relations people to take, but he wouldn’t rule out ever becoming a lobbyist.
The firm will allow him to stay involved with the issues that were important to him through his 24 years in Congress, he said. They include transportation, maritime, armed services and intelligence issues.
Under House ethics rules, LoBiondo was not allowed to start serious job negotiations until he had left office at noon Jan. 3. That’s when his successor, Jeff Van Drew, D-2, took office.
“I wish him well,” Van Drew said Monday. “He has a lot of knowledge and experience, and I’m sure he will bring it to the table.”
LoBiondo decided not to run for re-election in 2018, but said at the time he hoped to get a job in which he could use his experience in the House of Representatives. He had chaired subcommittees such as CIA under the House Intelligence Committee, which involved in part traveling the world visiting CIA outposts.
“I’m not ready to retire,” the 72-year-old said in December after 24 years in the House. He will serve as CEO of the new company.
“I will take the same philosophy to helping clients that I took in Congress, namely a bipartisan approach to find common-sense solutions,” LoBiondo said.
LoBiondo was a senior member of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, House Armed Services Committee and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He chaired subcommittees on aviation, Coast Guard and maritime transportation, and CIA during his time in Congress.
LoBo Strategies will also work with clients on unmanned aerial systems (UAS or drones), general transportation and infrastructure issues, environmental issues and fisheries, according to LoBiondo.
He said he has already agreed to serve on the New Jersey chapter of The Nature Conservancy’s Conservancy Council.
LoBiondo and his wife, Tina, a real estate agent, split their time between Ventnor and Florida with their Weimaraners Lucia and Lex.