John Raffaelli

Founder /

John D. Raffaelli is the founder of Capitol Counsel, LLC. He has more than 35 years of experience in federal policy and policymaking, with an emphasis on taxation, finance, health care, international trade, and general business matters. Raffaelli is nationally recognized as one of the most effective lobbyists in Washington and is respected by both Democratic and Republican lawmakers for his knowledge of the legislative process and his ability to develop public policy solutions to client problems. In 1994, he was named by Washingtonian magazine as one of the Top 50 Lobbyists in the Nation’s Capital, and he has made every top lobbyist list in the magazine since it began publishing them. In 2012, he was listed in Washington Life Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Washington. Raffaelli is active each year in many House and Senate campaigns.


  • New York University Law School – Tax LL.M.
  • University of Arkansas Law School – J.D.
  • American University – B.S.

Positions Held

  • The Washington Group, Washington, D.C. – Founder and Chairman. Represented a wide variety of business, tax, and trade clients on Capitol Hill and before executive branch agencies. The Washington Group’s predecessor firm was McAuliffe, Kelly, and Raffaelli.
  • Office of Senator Lloyd Bentsen (D-TX), Washington, D.C. – Counsel for tax and international trade. Extensive expertise in the tax rules governing depreciation, R&D, insurance, real estate, energy, and other issues.
  • Office of Chief Judge Samuel Sterrett of the U.S. Tax Court, Washington, D.C. – Attorney-Adviser
  • Office of Congressman Wright Patman (DTX), Washington, D.C. – Staff Assistant
  • Bishop, Cook, Purcell, and Reynolds Law Firm, Washington, D.C. – Partner
  • Campaign work includes: 1992 Clinton for President campaign; 1996 Clinton-Gore national finance committee; and Vice Chair of the Kerry for President campaign national finance committee.

Memberships / Recognition

  • Susan G. Komen Foundation – Board Member, 2011-2016
  • John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C. – Past member of the President’s Advisory Committee for the Arts.
  • Democratic National Committee – Former Managing Trustee


From changing the definition of “under construction” to include archeological excavation, creating a new depreciation rule for sale-lease transactions, creating new kinds of tax-advantaged accounts, or working to fix the tax treatment of unique and new financial transactions, Raffaelli has been a key player in developing the strategy that advanced sound tax policy and business reality. His ability to find creative solutions to conflict has been the key to his success as a lobbyist, a skill that he has used in other fields such as trade, financial services, and health.