Meet the 50 people inside the beltway closest to House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich. The list includes two former and one current Cabinet official, a handful of mostly telecommunications lobbyists, several current and former senior staffers, a Fox journalist, and a smattering of other people from many walks of the Washington political life.
In interviews with National Journal, these people conveyed a few common themes about the friendships Upton forged with them, including Upton’s love for football and dogs, his leadership on telecommunications issues during his time chairing that subcommittee from 2001 to 2006, and the strong bonds forged by fellow Michiganders transplanted to Washington.
This list restricts the number of House members and current staffers to those whom have formed uniquely strong relationships with Upton over the years. It doesn’t include usual suspects like the three other Republican committee chairs from Michigan: House Administration Committee Chairwoman Candice Miller, Ways and Means Chairman David Camp, and House Select Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers. The list also does not include Upton’s wife, Amey. Dozens of people interviewed for this story noted she is one of the people Upton depends on the most for both personal and professional triumphs and tribulations.
CORRECTION: The original version of this report said Fred Barnes, Fox News contributor, was included in the list of people close to Upton. The person is Peter Barnes, senior Washington correspondent for Fox Business.
This article appears in the April 18, 2013 edition of NJ Daily.