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K Street Files: Internal Combustion

“At this point in my career I’ve decided I want to own and operate my own business, and I will be putting all of my effort into making it successful,” Thorsen said.

Waiting to Inhale. The Specialty Tobacco Council is giving its lobbying team an infusion of new power. Rogich Communications Group recently signed up to lobby as a subcontractor for the group’s law firm, Finger, Parker, Brown & Roemer. The Las Vegas-based shop registered three lobbyists — Sig Rogich, Alise Haney and Rachel Wilkinson — to work for the client.

The specialty tobacco lobby has been fighting against a prohibition passed this fall that bans certain flavored cigarettes, including cloves. Rogich’s Wilkinson said the firm has been working on trade issues for the client. Indonesia, which is a large importer of clove cigarettes, is expected to make the ban an issue at the World Trade Organization.

The tobacco group has spent $835,000 on lobbying so far this year with Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, the Smith-Free Group and Mayer Brown on retainer.

Four-More Encore. The National Music Publishers’ Association is expected to announce today that the group is extending the contract of its president and CEO, David Israelite, through 2014. Israelite was deputy chief of staff and counselor to then-Attorney General John Ashcroft, who ran the Justice Department during the George W. Bush administration, and has been at the helm of the NMPA since 2005. (Ashcroft now owns his own firm, the Ashcroft Group.)

“David has been exceptional in steering the publishing and songwriting industry through critical legal, business and regulatory challenges alike,” said Irwin Robinson, chairman of the NMPA board of directors, in a statement. Robinson added that Israelite “has been an effective public champion for the music industry.”

K Street Moves. The American Association for Homecare has brought on Jay Witter as senior director of government affairs. Witter was the chief lobbyist for the United American Nurses.

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