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K Street Files: Crowell’s Catch

ITAA has worked in support of a patent reform measure, while AeA has not. Both leaders said a unified organization’s way of dealing with such potential conflicts would be ironed out during merger discussions.

They also said some staffing changes were possible but that in the end they hope the single group would actually have a larger budget and staff than just the two combined.

“The driving reason for doing this is to create better member value and more clout; it is not just to save costs,” Hansen said.

Team Player. While lobbyists have certainly become pariahs on the campaign trail, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Cole (Okla.) is counting on one hired gun — Drew Maloney of Ogilvy Government Relations — to help with outreach downtown. Maloney, who started the part-time gig in August, is continuing to lobby for clients.

“I’m focusing on targeted races, trying to generate more resources to do business outreach, conservative coalition outreach,” Maloney said of his responsibilities. “I think it’s sort of filling the necessary role, being a force multiplier. I’ve worked on campaigns, I’ve worked downtown and on the Hill, so I understand how it works.”

Maloney, a former aide to then-Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas), has long been active with the committee. This cycle, he’s been particularly busy as a founding member of Club 218, a program started by Cole to get younger lobbyists to raise money for vulnerable Members.

The group raises $15,000 to $20,000 per event, and Maloney says they’ve seen an uptick following the conventions and Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain’s selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) as his running mate.

K Street Moves. Venn Strategies has lured away an aide to Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R), who was rumored to be a top finalist for his party’s vice presidential slot. Christopher Graham, formerly an aide in Pawlenty’s federal affairs office, is joining Venn as an assistant vice president. Though Venn started out as an all-female, bipartisan firm, in recent years the shop has added men to the roster. Graham was also once an aide to Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.).

• Communications firm Gibraltar Associates has brought on James Lake, who will serve as president of the firm starting today. Lake joins Gibraltar after a seven-year run with Burson-Marsteller, where he was chairman of the U.S. public affairs practice. He has worked for such clients as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

• The National Association of Children’s Hospitals has named James Kaufman, former director of government affairs for Johns Hopkins Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Institutions, to the position of vice president of public policy. He will oversee the association’s federal advocacy agenda.

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