Bill Miller is leaving his post as one of Washington's most powerful political operators for a job with more international flavor. As the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's senior vice president of political affairs, Miller oversaw a $50 million war chest last election cycle, showering allies and burying opponents in campaign cash.
But at the end of the month, Miller will leave the Chamber after a dozen years to join Brunswick Group as a partner. The business consultancy is known for its crisis communications representing global giants like BP throughout the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and InBev and Anheuser-Busch during their merger.
"This is an opportunity for Bill Miller to get a little bit of international polish and not just be some political hack," Miller told the Alley.
But it's his skills as a hack that have made him a force in Washington politics. Miller helped create the Chamber's political program. During its first election cycle in 2000, the Chamber spent about $10 million, playing in a handful of Senate and a dozen House races. Last year, the Chamber worked about 10 Senate and 40 House races, spending $50 million.
And the program is only poised to grow, Miller said. It's important to "show support for your friends and go after your enemies in the elections. It makes your ability to influence policy that much easier," he said. "It's such an important element of the Camber's arsenal. Good strong politics creates better legislative success environments."