Valenti stepped down as head of the MPAA in 2004 after nearly 40 years with the organization. But Valenti has not taken a low-key approach even in retirement. He still works out of an office at MPAA’s D.C. outpost in a building that was named for him in 2005.
In 2006, he helped a coalition of industry players launch a high-profile effort aimed at keeping Congress from passing new indecency laws, saying that parents have all the controls they need to keep children from watching inappropriate programming.
According to the MPAA, Valenti also serves as president of the Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which is affiliated with The Global Fund created by the G-8 countries.
The Means of Bipartisanship. Last week, before heading to an off-the-record meeting with the CEO members of the Business Roundtable, Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) decided to ask a date along. Well, sort of.
The chairman of the committee that is perhaps the most important to business interests asked ranking member Jim McCrery (R-La.) to join him, according to sources familiar with the meeting.
“In the spirit of bipartisanship, [Rangel] asked Congressman McCrery to join him,” said one source. “It was taken as a powerful sign by the business community of bipartisanship at the committee.”
A lobbyist familiar with the meeting said that it signals “a new day” at Ways and Means, which under the chairmanship of then-Rep. Bill Thomas (R-Calif.) was viewed as incredibly partisan.
The Business Roundtable, which represents the CEOs of top corporations, declined comment, saying that all such meetings are off the record.
A Democratic Ways and Means spokesman said that Rangel did ask McCrery along and said the move was consistent with Rangel’s bipartisan approach — including the development on Tuesday that Rangel has proposed Democratic ideas to move pending trade agreements forward.
Spelling Bee. It’s a good thing BKSH & Associates registered to lobby for the Public Private Partnership Coalition on trade and budget issues and not spelling. A recent electronically filed lobbying registration for the education coalition listed the group as an
“educaiton advocacy” enterprise. Oops.
K Street Moves. Covington & Burling has added Holly Fechner, most recently policy director to Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), to its team of lobbyists. While on the Hill, she worked on such issues as retirement security, health care, education and labor.
• Patricia McDermott, a counsel to the U.S. Congress Joint Committee on Taxation, has left to join the law and lobbying firm Venable as a partner. She will advise clients on employee benefits matters, executive compensation, payroll taxes and retirement savings.
• Jim Schweiter has joined McKenna Long & Aldridge as a member of its government contracts practice in Washington, D.C.
Roll Call has launched a new feature, Hill Navigator, to advise congressional staffers and would-be staffers on how to manage workplace issues on Capitol Hill. Please send us your questions anything from office etiquette, to handling awkward moments, to what happens when the work life gets too personal. Submissions will be treated anonymously.