With the second annual Congressional Hockey Challenge just days away, the trash talk has started among last year's losing club of lobbyists, who are promising a comeback against the reigning champions on the Members and staff team.
[IMGCAP(1)]Jeffrey Kimbell of Jeffrey J. Kimbell & Associates said the K Streeters have regrouped and undergone "extensive off-season training" that will turn the tables on the lawmakers' team, which bested the lobbyists 6-4 in the inaugural game last year.
In addition to mountain climbing and power lifting, Kimbell joked that the lobbyists have been listening to positive-thinking records of the great Swami Baha, a reference to the success secret of a character in the hockey movie "Slap Shot."
An impressive roster of K Streeters and Members of Congress and their staff are signed up to face off at the game, which is slated for Tuesday from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the Fort DuPont Ice Arena. The event raises money for the Fort DuPont Ice Hockey Club, an inner-city youth ice hockey program based in Washington, D.C.
Brad Card of Dutko Worldwide; John Cline and Nelson Litterst of the C2 Group; Bob Filippone and Steve Tilton of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America; and Nick Lewis of UPS are among the lobbyists suiting up to battle Members of Congress and their staff.
John "Goody" Goodwin of the National Rifle Association and Kimbell will also be on the K Street team, whose coach/publicist is Jonathan Grella of Securing America's Future Energy.
Reps. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.) and Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.), along with last year's MVP, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), are also poised to take to the ice.
Team lobby has its eye on Weiner in the goalie position, according to Kimbell who has been perfecting his super fast "Ukrainian Howitzer" slap shot all year.
"It's possible that I [will] put Congressman Weiner back into the goalie cage with a shot from the point," Kimbell said.
Duffield's Endgame. Steven Duffield, former policy director and counsel for Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), has hung his own shingle. The former Republican National Committee senior staffer and corporate litigator at Mayer Brown has formed Endgame Strategies. The public affairs firm is focusing on reaching out to Republican leadership, the House and Senate Judiciary committees and clients looking for Senate Republicans to use their power to filibuster to hold up legislation.
Free[dom] Songs. House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (Mich.), flanked by representatives from musicians and civil rights groups, on Tuesday framed the ongoing battle over radio royalties for musicians as a struggle akin to slavery.
Conyers said musicians are subject to protections under the Thirteenth Amendment, which outlaws involuntary servitude. "When you tell somebody that you're benefitting from their work product and there's no compensation, it kind of hearkens back to the great problem that was not resolved when our country was formed," he said.
The remarks came at an event to publicize a partnership between civil rights groups and the musicFIRST Coalition, which is in a heated battle with the National Association of Broadcasters over the Performance Rights Act, sponsored by Conyers. The bill would grant musicians compensation when their work is broadcast on the radio.
Grammy award-winning R&B singer Dionne Warwick said the typical musician or singer doesn't get paid as much as the public thinks; in fact, the average is $40,000, she said. "I'm sure you all thought I walked on by with my little check in hand," she said, referring to her 1964 hit. "I wish I had, but all I did was walk on by."
The NAACP, League of United Latin American Citizens and the National Council of Women's Organizations have also joined the musicians' cause. And musicFIRST Executive Director Jennifer Bendall said the coalition will step up its advocacy this year with more campaigns and advertising.
Conyers said he thinks the bill can pass this year.
Advocacy Invasion. Nearly 1,000 members of the veteran's group American Legion stormed the Hill on Tuesday to lobby legislators on military issues.
The group's legislative director, Steve Robertson, said it's not specific legislation that they're pushing, but mostly administrative matters, such as advancing quality of life for retired military members and speeding up the disability claims process. He said they also want to support President Barack Obama's budget for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The group also presented a distinguished public servant award to Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla.), a veteran and ranking member on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.
K Street Moves. Susan Schwab, the U.S. trade representative during the Bush administration, has signed on as a strategic adviser with Mayer Brown. She is the firm's second former trade representative, following Mickey Kantor, who held the job during the Clinton administration and has been a partner with the firm since 1997.
"The firm's global platform gives me a unique opportunity to continue working on important strategic issues at the highest levels of business and government," Schwab said in a statement.
Freddie Mac's former senior lobbyist David Lynch has landed at the Independent Community Bankers of America. Lynch was listed as a senior director of Congressional relations at Freddie Mac in Senate lobbying disclosure reports until 2008. Lynch has previously worked for the National Association of Realtors.
Powell Moore is headed to Venable. The secretary of Defense's former Representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe will be in the firm's government affairs group. Moore has previously worked as a registered lobbyist at McKenna, Long & Aldridge for clients like Emergent Biosolutions, Research in Motion and SAP America, according to Congressional lobbying disclosure records.
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