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K Street Files: Checking In

But CAGW isn’t stoping there. The watchdog group is also taking the sides of conservatives in the ongoing health care debate.

“The Obama/Pelosi/Reid healthcare plan being debated right now on Capitol Hill may be the single most dangerous piece of legislation I have seen in my 35 years in Washington, and we urgently need your help to STOP it!” CAGW President Tom Schatz wrote in an e-mail action alert last week.

CAGW has been known to take positions favorable to donors in the past. Per usual, the group is staying mum on whether any of its contributors have a large industry stake in the fight.

“We have been doing this for 25 years, so certainly our membership is very supportive,” Schatz said.

Schatz also included a fundraising pitch in his e-mail blast, to “help CCAGW wage and win this battle.”

The group, which uses its Council for Citizens Against Government Waste as its lobbying arm, is telling lawmakers to address the problems with Medicare reform before dealing with larger health care issues.

In addition to sending letters up to the Hill, CAGW is urging its members to contact their representatives and expects to do another direct mailing in August on the health care package.

Grass-Roots Group Hires DCI. The Coalition to Protect Patients’ Rights, a grass-roots group that has been pushing back against President Barack Obama’s health care plan, has hired some high-powered public relations guns to aid its cause.

Headed by former American Medical Association President Donald Palmisano, the group has brought on DCI Group.

“DCI Group’s services were obtained by this non-partisan group to provide them with public relations support,” DCI spokesman Geoffrey Basye said in an e-mail statement.

Chrysler Re-Enters K Street. The struggling auto company Chrysler is out of bankruptcy and back in the influence game.

Re-emerging as Chrysler Group, the automaker has rehired Venable and Timmons & Co., according to recently filed lobbying disclosure reports.

Chrysler has been lobbying heavily against a bill that auto dealers are pushing that would undo any changes made by Chrysler or General Motors in their dealer agreements during their bankruptcies. The bill passed in the House earlier this month, but its fate in the Senate is uncertain.

Chrysler spent $1.4 million on lobbying, while Chrysler Group reported spending $316,805 during the second quarter of 2009.

Moving on Up. Engineering firm CH2M Hill has named Howlie Davis as its senior vice president and director of U.S. government affairs. Davis most recently served as the company’s director of national government affairs.

As head of the Washington, D.C., office, Hill will now lead the firm’s federal, state and local government affairs teams.

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