Newly installed Illinois Sen. Roland Burris (D) may be a creature of the Prairie State, but he isnt a stranger to everyone in Washington, D.C.
His cupboard of K Street confidants is limited, but not completely barren. In fact, most of his inside-the-Beltway connections go back to the 1980s when he served as comptroller for the state of Illinois.
During that time, Bockorny Groups Scott Shearer worked alongside Burris as chief fiscal officer for the Illinois State Treasurers Office.
More recently, Shearer said they met up in Denver at the Democratic National Convention.
Former Illinois state Sen. Gary LaPaille (D) of mCapitol Management is also a longtime Burris friend.
LaPaille worked for Burris as deputy for legislative affairs during his tenure as comptroller.
He was the first African-American statewide elected official at the time, LaPaille said. He definitely had visions to move to higher office.
Fellow Illinoisan Charles Smith of the PMA Group also knows Burris from his days as an aide to then-Illinois Secretary of State Alan Dixon (D), who went on to serve in the Senate.
So far, Burris former aides say theyve checked in with his staff but otherwise are giving the newly appointed Senator time to settle in.
That could last just until the next battle in the Senate when they are looking for Burris vote.
Seeing Red. When the Financial Services Roundtable replaced Democratic lobbyist, Vice President for Insurance Andrew Barbour, with a GOPer, little did the trade group know what a ruckus it would cause on K Street.
Democratic lobbyists are grousing about the associations hire of Peter Freeman not because Freeman is unqualified, but because of the big R that follows his name. Freeman jumped to the private sector earlier this month after serving as deputy chief of staff to then-Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio).
Theres a collective griping, said a Democratic lobbyist, questioning the continued dominance of Republicans on K Street.
The Roundtable, which is headed by former Texas Rep. Steve Bartlett (R), isnt making apologies.
Republicans and Democrats are hired based on their technical qualifications and arent just assigned to lobby offices of their particular political bent, according to Scott Talbott, the groups senior vice president for government affairs.
Mulligan. Whole Foods Inc. has asked a Washington, D.C., appellate court to determine whether the Federal Trade Commission violated the companys due process rights.
The high-end grocery chain, which recently enlisted Clinton White House lawyer and lobbyist Lanny Davis, is locked in a prolonged battle with federal regulators over its merger with rival chain Wild Oats. The two retailers announced the merger more than a year ago, but the proposed union is being challenged by the FTC over concerns that Whole Foods would unfairly dominate the premium natural and organic supermarket sector.