Saturday, March 3, 2012

Report: Seattle Lobbying Firm Sues Ex-Idaho Dems Chief, Colleague

Posted By on Sat, Mar 3, 2012 at 11:50 AM

John Foster, former journalist, executive director of the Idaho Democratic Party and staffer for former Congressman Walt Minnick, has been hit with a lawsuit by Seattle-based lobbying firm Strategies 360. The Idaho Business Review reports that Foster's colleague, Kate Haas, has also been sued by the pair's previous employer.

Foster and Hass (another former Minnick staffer) were both employed by Strategies 360 after Minnick lost his re-election bid in November 2010. The pair made up the Boise office of Strategies 360 and served as consultants and lobbyists for several high-profile clients.

But a series of events in early February resulted in the shutdown of the Strategies office and Foster and Haas leaving the firm.

Foster shocked more than a few former colleagues when he aligned himself with Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter to support so-called "Luna Laws." As a result, Strategies 360 lost at least one high-profile client-the Professional Firefighters of Idaho.

In an email to clients, friends and contacts, Foster said, "I am confident that both Kate and I will land on our feet."

The IBR reports that Strategies 360 is accusing Foster and Haas of breach of contract, violation of the Idaho Trade Secrets Act and breach of confidentiality, duty and loyalty.

According to Strategies 360's complaint, Foster and Haas used confidential company customer lists and marketing and pricing information in their attempts to set up a new lobbying organization.

The complaint seeks financial damages of more than $10,000, plus interest and legal fees.

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