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Preview: washingtonpost.com - Judy Sarasohn -- Washington Post's Special Interests Column (washingtonpost.com)

washingtonpost.com - Judy Sarasohn -- Washington Post's Special Interests Column (washingtonpost.com)





 



Discover America Partnership Lands Ridge

Thu, 21 Dec 2006 00:00:00 EST

If a travel industry group wanted a big name with big credentials to speak up for opening U.S. borders to let in more business and recreational travelers, it couldn't have done much better than former homeland security secretary Tom Ridge.



Mutual-Fund Group Balances Its Political Books

Thu, 14 Dec 2006 00:00:00 EST

What a difference a midterm election makes -- or so it seems at some firms and trade groups scurrying to bolster their bipartisan credentials. But the folks at the Investment Company Institute, the trade association for the mutual fund industry, say their recent Democratic hire just maintains the status quo.



Consulting Firm Takes On GOP Look at Top

Thu, 07 Dec 2006 00:00:00 EST

Just as many firms are professing their Democratic bona fides in the wake of the Democratic takeover of Congress, Clark & Weinstock is unabashedly pushing Republican Vin Weber forward.



Everett to Take Helm at Black Think Tank

Thu, 30 Nov 2006 00:00:00 EST

At a time when African American Democratic lawmakers are poised to take significant leadership roles in Congress, Ralph B. Everett is leaving a major law firm to head the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, the nation's premier black think tank.
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Paving the Way for Ties With Cuba

Thu, 23 Nov 2006 00:00:00 EST

Perhaps a sign of the imminent post-Castro times, a small but official congressional delegation will be taking a quick trip to Cuba next month for a look-see. Helping to round up some interesting folks for the lawmakers to talk to is Sarah Stephens, a policy activist who has been trying for years to foster dialogue with the United States' communist neighbor.



Job Security for Lobbyists

Thu, 16 Nov 2006 00:00:00 EST

The Republicans may have lost big time last week, with the Democrats taking the House and the Senate, but GOP staffers on the Hill and in the administration don't have to worry too much about their next moves -- there are apparently a lot of good jobs to be had in the influence biz.



Word of the Day: 'Bipartisan'

Thu, 09 Nov 2006 00:00:00 EST

As former House member Gerry Sikorski (D-Minn.), now head of the government practice at Holland & Knight , put it, some of his fellow Democratic lobbyists have a nice "jump to their step" today after the Democratic takeover of the House.



PodestaMattoon by Any Other Name . . .

Thu, 02 Nov 2006 00:00:00 EST

Restructuring, okay. Spinning off, okay. Just don't say that they're splitting up. But it's no longer going to be PodestaMattoon .
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Gallaudet Pushes Its Message to Congress

Thu, 26 Oct 2006 00:00:00 EDT

Gallaudet University has taken a beating from its student protesters who oppose the selection of Jane K. Fernandes as the next president of the nation's premier college for the deaf. The nationally televised demonstrations have raged on campus for three weeks, disrupting classes, as disgruntled students complain that Fernandes, who takes office in January, is not a good leader.



Promoting Serbia, for a Price

Thu, 19 Oct 2006 00:00:00 EDT

Republican lobbying shop Barbour Griffith & Rogers has picked up a client that won't be an easy sell to the U.S. government, but at least it pays well.



The ACLU's Man From the FBI

Thu, 12 Oct 2006 00:00:00 EDT

The American Civil Liberties Union, often viewed as a bastion of liberalism, has not been reluctant to work with conservatives and libertarians or take up controversial causes. So how odd is it for the ACLU to hire a former FBI agent as a policy counsel?



Round-the-World Trip Ends on K Street

Thu, 05 Oct 2006 00:00:00 EDT

People leaving Capitol Hill or the administration often have another job lined up. Conventional wisdom would dictate that it's not a good idea to give the people you want to influence on behalf of a client time to forget who you are. Or to give your connections time to leave for the private sector themselves.
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Firm Applies to Lobby for Rights Group

Thu, 28 Sep 2006 00:00:00 EDT

Civil rights, says Wade Henderson , president of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, is not a partisan issue. And true to its beliefs, the conference has relied for some time on bipartisan PodestaMattoon for "strategic guidance" and communications support.



Cancer Funding Gets Grass-Roots Effort

Thu, 21 Sep 2006 00:00:00 EDT

The march on Washington this week of an estimated 10,000 cancer patients, survivors and family members seemed to be the culmination of a campaign in recent years by the American Cancer Society to kick up its advocacy efforts for increased federal support for cancer research, prevention and care.



Same Mission, New Look for Islamic Group

Thu, 14 Sep 2006 00:00:00 EDT

With too many Americans viewing their Muslim fellow citizens with suspicion because of the 9/11 attacks and other terrorist acts, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights and advocacy group, decided to launch "a new brand identity and logo."



Merger Adds to Humane Society's Bite

Thu, 07 Sep 2006 00:00:00 EDT

One would think that a membership roster of 9.5 million would make a special interest group quite special on Capitol Hill, but the Humane Society of the United States wants more firepower.
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No Chamber Left Behind

Thu, 31 Aug 2006 00:00:00 EDT

Several years ago, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce wasn't particularly active in the No Child Left Behind legislative effort. But education is now one of its top issues, and the chamber is getting involved in a big way.



An Honor and a Boon for Nine Nonprofits

Thu, 24 Aug 2006 00:00:00 EDT

Genius awards for nonprofits?



Putting the Pork in One Barrel

Thu, 17 Aug 2006 00:00:00 EDT

One legislator's "pork," of course, is another's vital public works project. But all are earmarks, those tax and spending directions added to money bills at the behest of anonymous lawmakers -- anonymous, that is, until the legislation is passed and they can boast of it to constituents.



Help With the Nitty-Gritty

Thu, 10 Aug 2006 00:00:00 EDT

The Heritage Foundation has never seemed to have had any trouble communicating its ideas, but when Congress started talking about banning private funding of congressional travel, meals and lodging, the conservative think tank decided it needed outside help.
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Clients Don't Come Much Hotter

Thu, 03 Aug 2006 00:00:00 EDT

One of Barbour Griffith & Rogers' foreign clients has gotten a lot more interesting lately with the fighting that's broken out between Hezbollah in Lebanon and Israel.



Stem Cell Advocates Regroup

Thu, 27 Jul 2006 00:00:00 EDT

President Bush may have vetoed the legislation, but supporters and lobbyists for increased federal support for stem cell research aren't giving up.



Tuna Gets a New Voice

Thu, 13 Jul 2006 00:00:00 EDT

Just don't say she's fishy or that she has good taste like Charlie the Tuna. Anne Forristall Luke is the new president of the United States Tuna Foundation, succeeding David Burney , who retired after 30 years as head of operations.



Carmen's Africa Team Has Its Keystone

Thu, 06 Jul 2006 00:00:00 EDT

The Carmen Group , which in the past year has made a play for business in Africa and hired strategically to make that happen, has scored a substantial lobbying client -- the government of Algeria.
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Ex-FEMA Official Aids New Orleans

Thu, 29 Jun 2006 00:00:00 EDT

Washington is a great place for second acts -- and third and fourth acts, too.



New Home for Alexander Group Duo

Thu, 22 Jun 2006 00:00:00 EDT

Another couple of refugees from the defunct Republican Alexander Strategy Group have turned up as the Polaris Government Relations lobby shop.



No Shanghai Nights for the Playboy Bunny

Thu, 15 Jun 2006 00:00:00 EDT

So you want to open a Playboy Club in China. What do you do? Hire a lobbyist, of course.



N.Y. Yankees Go Cap in Hand to Park Service

Thu, 08 Jun 2006 00:00:00 EDT

The New York Yankees reportedly have most of the state and city approvals that they need for the construction of a new baseball stadium. There's just a little problem with the National Park Service.
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Poker Players Lose a Round on Capitol Hill

Thu, 01 Jun 2006 00:00:00 EDT

The Poker Players Alliance is a young grass-roots organization that lost its first round recently when the House Judiciary Committee approved tougher legislation against Internet gambling, specifically online poker. But the PPA claims it has about 27,000 poker-playing members and says it won't be counted out.



Google Bolsters Its Washington Presence

Thu, 25 May 2006 00:00:00 EDT

Google, which along with other Internet companies is battling the telephone and cable giants over "network neutrality," is doubling the size of its Washington lobby staff.



DeLay Aide Heads to Private Sector

Thu, 18 May 2006 00:00:00 EDT

First Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) stepped down last year as House majority leader, and now he's planning to leave office altogether in June. What's his staff to do?



Alcatel and Lucent Lobbyists Are on the Job

Thu, 11 May 2006 00:00:00 EDT

The planned merger of Paris-based Alcatel and Murray Hill, N.J.-based Lucent Technologies Inc. is dialing up teams of high-powered and pricey lobbyists in Washington -- partly to make sure there's no rerun of the Dubai Ports World dust-up.
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Republican to Lead Fight on Gun Violence

Thu, 04 May 2006 00:00:00 EDT

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence -- formerly Handgun Control -- has tapped a Republican to lead its organization.



Advancing Medical Technology

Thu, 27 Apr 2006 00:00:00 EDT

The Advanced Medical Technology Association, known as AdvaMed, wants to raise the profile of its industry in the nation's debate on the future of health care. And to do that in Washington generally means new staff and a pricey national public awareness campaign.



'Mandarin Club': Hoping Life Won't Imitate It

Thu, 20 Apr 2006 00:00:00 EDT

Timing can be everything in lobbying and literature.



A New Lobbying Beachhead

Thu, 13 Apr 2006 00:00:00 EDT

Though many lobby shops have found a successful niche as a subsidiary or a practice within a law firm, it's not uncommon for lobbyists to chafe under law firm culture.
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Campus Politics as a Training Ground

Thu, 06 Apr 2006 00:00:00 EDT

J im Smith , who ran Paul Begala 's ultimately successful campaign for student body president at the University of Texas in the early 1980s, is bringing his campaign skills to the issue of long-term/post-acute health care.



Chief of Staff Can Pick From Plenty of Cards

Thu, 30 Mar 2006 00:00:00 EST

When Andrew H. Card Jr. walks out of the White House for the last time as chief of staff to President Bush on April 14, it's unlikely that he will be worrying about his next job. But just in case he runs into any obstacles, he has family to fall back on in the Washington lobbying biz.



Monster Gobbles Up Staff, Hires Lobby Firm

Thu, 23 Mar 2006 00:00:00 EST

Is Monster Worldwide Inc. taking on Washington?



Ads to Try to Reach Through the Madness

Thu, 16 Mar 2006 00:00:00 EST

They may not be controversial Super Bowl commercials, but a series of humorous ads designed to remind the public and lawmakers of the broad benefits of higher education and the need for government support are set to start airing tonight on CBS and ESPN -- timed for March Madness.
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Mining for Legislation

Thu, 09 Mar 2006 00:00:00 EST

With the coal industry's improving safety record pretty much shot already for 2006 by the explosion in a West Virginia mine in January and other incidents that have left 21 coal miners dead -- 22 died in all of 2005 -- about two dozen mine executives and industry representatives lobbied the Hill this week in support of mine safety legislation.



Lobbying Against Cliche of Casino-Rich Tribes

Thu, 02 Mar 2006 00:00:00 EST

Faced with the misconception that every tribe is casino-rich, 300 Native Americans went to Capitol Hill yesterday and today to lobby lawmakers to help turn around deplorable housing conditions in Indian Country.



At New Job, No Mention of Abramoff

Thu, 23 Feb 2006 00:00:00 EST

David Funderburk , a former Republican House member from North Carolina and Reagan-appointed ambassador to Romania, has joined the Perennial Strategy Group, a lobbying and consulting firm.



Record Sum Spent on Lobbying

Thu, 16 Feb 2006 00:00:00 EST

It is February 2006, but the results of the lobbying disclosures for the first six months of 2005 are just in at PoliticalMoneyLine, the online organization that tracks lobbying and campaign money: A record $1,164,586,968 was spent on lobbying Congress and the executive branch during the first six months. That amounts to "$194 million in spending per month, almost $6.5 million a day, or more than $540,000 an hour in a twelve-hour day."
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Lobbyist Leaves Mouse House for Own House

Thu, 09 Feb 2006 00:00:00 EST

The well-connected and well-liked Walt Disney Co. lobbyist Mitch Rose is leaving the Mouse House this week to open his own shop, and he already has an enviable book of business.



Sugar Producers Boost Their Lobbying Muscle

Thu, 02 Feb 2006 00:00:00 EST

Although the farm bill doesn't expire until 2007, it's not too soon for the sugar lobby to start increasing its firepower.



After Social Security? Corruption

Thu, 26 Jan 2006 00:00:00 EST

Fresh off its success in raising a grass-roots wave of public opposition that helped block President Bush's plan to overhaul Social Security, Americans United to Protect Social Security has redefined itself.



A Power Lunch

Thu, 19 Jan 2006 00:00:00 EST

Yes, that was attorney general-turned-consultant John Ashcroft having lunch at the posh Hay-Adams the other day with congressman-turned-trade association chieftain Billy Tauzin .
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Trade Group's Quick Advice: Slow Down

Thu, 12 Jan 2006 00:00:00 EST

With lawmakers rushing out new plans for cleaning up their relations with lobbyists in the wake of the Jack Abramoff scandal, there's one trade group that would like a larger role in the deliberations. Indeed, it would like members of Congress to take a collective big breath and slow down a bit.



A Free-Speech Case Creates Unusual Allies

Thu, 05 Jan 2006 00:00:00 EST

Coalitions often gather up strange bedfellows when lobbying Congress on this tax or that public policy. But perhaps there are no stranger bedfellows than the antiabortion Wisconsin Right to Life group and the liberal Alliance for Justice, which are teaming up to try to persuade the Supreme Court to rule against a provision of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law.



Tort Watch for Animal Lovers

Thu, 29 Dec 2005 00:00:00 EST

Distraught pet owners are not marching on Washington -- yet -- to win the right to sue for the loss of companionship if their dogs and cats are injured or killed. But that's not stopping lobbyists for pet-medicine manufacturers from keeping an eye on the Hill.



Security Contractors Try Friendly Persuasion

Thu, 22 Dec 2005 00:00:00 EST

Everyone could use a little peace -- actually, a lot of peace -- no less the angelically named International Peace Operations Association.
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Wildlife Group's Chairman Expands Resume

Thu, 15 Dec 2005 00:00:00 EST

Jerome Ringo , who earlier this year became chairman of the board of the National Wildlife Federation, the first African American in such a leadership position at a major national environmental group, is taking on yet another challenge.



Clinton Pollster Takes Helm of Global Firm

Thu, 08 Dec 2005 00:00:00 EST

M ark Penn , pollster extraordinaire to President Bill Clinton, is crunching some new numbers. He has been named the new worldwide chief executive of Burson-Marsteller , a major global public relations company.



New AT& T's Lobbying Operation Takes Shape

Thu, 01 Dec 2005 00:00:00 EST

With the SBC acquisition of AT&T all but tied up with telephone wire, the lobbying operation of the merged company is taking shape.



Afghan Tour Leads to Peace Shop

Thu, 24 Nov 2005 00:00:00 EST

A Thanksgiving story for the lobbying and public relations world of Washington:
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Lobby Shop Is Over 21

Thu, 17 Nov 2005 00:00:00 EST

The porn industry is tired of getting no respect.



Miller Finds Room in the Lobby, After All

Thu, 10 Nov 2005 00:00:00 EST

Late last year, when he was getting ready to retire from the Senate, Zell Miller , the Georgia Democrat who campaigned for President Bush, didn't sound as though he would be doing any direct lobbying for his new employer, McKenna Long & Aldridge. He said in an interview back then that he would be advising clients on how to get their legislative way, but "I certainly don't plan on walking any halls of Congress."



Abraham's Rechanneled Energy

Thu, 03 Nov 2005 00:00:00 EST

S pencer Abraham is making good use of his experience as President Bush's first energy secretary. Along with two former top aides, he has set up the Abraham Group , an "international strategic consulting" shop.



Under Bush, the Revolving Door Gains Speed

Thu, 27 Oct 2005 00:00:00 EDT

A coalition of do-gooder groups has issued a report listing a startling number of folks who have spun through the revolving door, making stops in industry, the administration and Congress. It all contributes to a cynicism about government -- who is making policy and why, and who is making money off public service.
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Stranger Than Fiction?

Thu, 20 Oct 2005 00:00:00 EDT

How far would the pharmaceutical industry go to stop legislation that would make it easier for people to import drugs from Canadian Web sites? Would it fund a terrorist attack? Would it commission a mystery thriller to scare the American public into opposing the legislation by telling a story of Bosnian Muslim terrorists somehow infecting the pills, thereby killing many people? Would the idea for such a potboiler come from a D.C. divorce lawyer and a friend at Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America?



Activist Leaving Town, Keeping Up the Fight

Thu, 13 Oct 2005 00:00:00 EDT

Feminist activist Martha Burk is stepping down as head of the National Council of Women's Organizations -- but don't expect her or the council to be quiet about the all-male membership of the Augusta National Golf Club or the corporations that pay women less then men.



Chemistry Council's 'Essential' Campaign Is Designed to Win Clout for Plastics

Thu, 06 Oct 2005 00:00:00 EDT

In a series of television ads, a patient's X-ray disappears before his eyes, and then the cushion under him dissolves. A woman's alarm clock disappears from view, as do some of her prescription capsules. As does Jasper the dog's chewy.



Ohio Firm Seeks to Join the Bigs in Election Law

Thu, 29 Sep 2005 00:00:00 EDT

Campaign finance and election law certainly seems a natural specialty for a Washington law firm, but there are only a handful of major players: Wiley Rein, Perkins Coie, Skadden Arps, Patton Boggs most often come to mind.
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Frist Aide Leaving for 9-to-5 Life

Thu, 22 Sep 2005 00:00:00 EDT

B ill Wichterman , an aide to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) who has been one of the key Senate staffers involved in the fight over judicial nominations, is leaving for the slightly less contentious -- and better paid -- world of lobbyists.



India, Pakistan Sign With U.S. Lobby Shops

Thu, 15 Sep 2005 00:00:00 EDT

B arbour Griffith & Rogers and officials in the government of India didn't want to talk fees for their new lobbying contract last week. Well, we could wait a bit.



Lobbyists Pitch In for Katrina Relief

Thu, 08 Sep 2005 00:00:00 EDT

Washington lobbyists, spinmeisters, strategic advisers and consultants are paid the big bucks for delivering federal largess to clients. But with the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Katrina, a number of lobbyists are digging into their own pockets to help the Gulf Coast survivors.



A Lobbying Venture Is Stymied

Thu, 01 Sep 2005 00:00:00 EDT

Michael Liu, a housing official in the Bush administration until May, has learned a difficult lesson about the lobbying world.
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Astronauts Turn to Lobbying

Thu, 25 Aug 2005 00:00:00 EDT

It seemed like a natural fit: pairing a company that manufactures space shuttle booster rockets with astronauts. That is just what ATK Thiokol Inc. has done.



New Lobbying Crew on the Menu

Thu, 14 Jul 2005 00:00:00 EDT

Signatures, the pricey restaurant where much-investigated Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff wined and dined politicians and their aides, has been sold -- to other lobbyists.



Shuffle Complete at Manufacturing Group

Thu, 07 Jul 2005 00:00:00 EDT

The National Association of Manufacturers is bringing on a former longtime senior aide of Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) to head the trade group's policy and government affairs staff.



Auto Alliance Chief Drops 'Acting' From Title

Thu, 30 Jun 2005 00:00:00 EDT

Looking for a high-profile name for CEO, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers was rebuffed a couple of years ago by then-Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson, who was persuaded to stay in the Bush administration until the end of the first term. So, the group appointed retired trade association executive Frederick L. Webber as the acting chief executive in January 2004 and kept looking.
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For Melton, Time and Time Again

Thu, 23 Jun 2005 00:00:00 EDT

The latest buzz is that Carol A. Melton , executive vice president for government relations at Viacom and one of the most senior women in the lobby biz, will be moving to Time Warner Inc. as executive vice president for global public policy.



Too Early to Google

Thu, 16 Jun 2005 00:00:00 EDT

The blogosphere was agog and aghast in recent weeks about news that Dan Senor , former top spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq and senior adviser to then-presidential envoy L. Paul Bremer, was joining Google. Hard copy reports that Senor was the new vice president for global communications were confirmed by a Google spokesman.



Jericho Fights the Battle of Stem Cells

Thu, 09 Jun 2005 00:00:00 EDT

Eric Yaverbaum , a New York PR executive whose wife is suffering from multiple sclerosis, is using his public relations acumen to start his own grass-roots campaign in support of stem cell research.



A Marriage Group's 'Interesting' Union

Thu, 02 Jun 2005 00:00:00 EDT

With an Internet store and online fundraising and advocacy, to say nothing of 1 million free bumper stickers, the Alliance for Marriage is trying to build up support for its proposed constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.
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Aide in Schiavo Case Lands a Lobbying Gig

Thu, 26 May 2005 00:00:00 EDT

It's become a Washington truism that there may be flameouts, arrests, firings and other falls from grace, but rarely is anyone truly down and out. Keep your head down at least briefly, and you're sure to pop up again.



Anniversary Steeped in Bipartisan Goodwill

Thu, 19 May 2005 00:00:00 EDT

In a town riven by partisanship, Cassidy & Associates' 30th-anniversary party Tuesday night was positively brimming over with political goodwill.



The Telephone Game

Thu, 12 May 2005 00:00:00 EDT

CompTel/ALTS, the new industry association of competitors to the local phone companies, has snared a politically well-connected Republican as its new chief executive to help in its fight against the not-so-Baby Bells and further consolidation.



From Counselor to Consultant

Thu, 05 May 2005 00:00:00 EDT

It was almost inevitable. John D. Ashcroft , the former conservative hard- line attorney general, Republican senator from Missouri and scourge of the liberal- and privacy-minded, is headed for the lobby biz.
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Making Their Moves Without DeLay

Thu, 28 Apr 2005 00:00:00 EDT

Two major lobbying operations recently signed up folks with significant ties to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) -- proud of these key hires and confident that DeLay's growing ethics issues will not taint them.



The Complexity of Taiwan's Ties With Lobbyists

Thu, 21 Apr 2005 00:00:00 EDT

Taiwan's relationships with its Washington lobbyists are sometimes as complicated and tortuous as its relationship with the U.S. government.



Coalition Pushes Social Security Accounts

Thu, 07 Apr 2005 00:00:00 EDT

Even though there's a decided lack of momentum on Capitol Hill for President Bush's proposal on Social Security private accounts, business supporters are sounding quite upbeat.



For Lobbyists, the $65 Million List

Thu, 17 Mar 2005 00:00:00 EST

In case there was any doubt that lobbying Congress and the administration is big business, now comes "the Influence 50," the law firms and lobby shops that brought in the most lobbying bucks in 2004.
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Thompson Joins Firms, But Not to Lobby

Thu, 10 Mar 2005 00:00:00 EST

Tommy G. Thompson , secretary of health and human services during President Bush's first term, is joining the law and lobby firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld as a partner and Deloitte & Touche USA as a senior adviser.



Strange Bedfellows for International Affairs

Thu, 03 Mar 2005 00:00:00 EST

You can call it the "Strange Bedfellows Coalition," but its name is the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign. The campaign is sending out teams of corporate types and do-gooders today to lobby lawmakers and staffers of the Senate and House budget committees in support of President Bush's budget for international affairs.