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K Street Files: Sprint Plan to Fight Merger Not Yet Clear

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Former Science and Technology Chairman Bart Gordon has joined the public policy team at K&L Gates and will focus on technology issues.

In a release announcing his hiring, the firm said Gordon’s areas of emphasis will include technology-related issues, renewable energy and nuclear energy.

Gordon was chairman of the Science and Technology Committee, which oversees NASA, and served on the Energy and Commerce Committee as well as the Financial Services, Budget and Rules panels.

“Bart’s committee service in the House was extraordinary by any measure and will add considerably to our policy practice’s capabilities in the technology-dense 21st century and especially in the energy sector,” Peter Kalis, K&L Gates chairman and global managing partner, said in a statement.

K&L Gates’ clients last year included the Commercial Spaceflight Coalition, Dell, NanoBusiness Alliance and NextEnergy.

In Congress, Gordon was a member of the Blue Dog Coalition of fiscally moderate Democrats who represented swing districts, many in the South. In last year’s midterm elections, many of these lawmakers either retired or were defeated in the Republican wave.

But they have rebounded quickly with K Street firms eager to snatch up these former lawmakers because of their pro-business leanings and reputation for working with both parties.

Other Blue Dog Democrats recently joining lobbying firms include former Rep. John Tanner (D-Tenn.), who is now with the Prime Policy Group, and ex-Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-S.D.), who was hired by Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Bode Matz. 

Business Development

Pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb has hired a team of lobbyists from Ogilvy Government Relations. The firm’s Steve Tilton, formerly with the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, and Mike Hogan, who was deputy chief of staff for Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), will take the lead on the account.

Ogilvy isn’t the only firm with a new client on the books.

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck has signed Xcel Energy as a lobbying client. Lobbyists Elizabeth Gore, former chief of staff to then-Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), and Al Mottur report that they plan to work on legislation pertaining to Clean Air Act regulations as well as nuclear power and clean energy standards. 

And the U.S. Business and Industry Council has tapped the MITA Group’s James Edwards, a former Senate Judiciary Committee aide, to work on intellectual property and patent issues.

Also, the Frankfort, Ky.-based firm MML&K Government Solutions has opened a Washington, D.C., outpost and started a strategic alliance with mCapitol Management.

“With this expansion, we are taking representation of our clients’ concerns to the next level by providing the highest quality of representation at the federal, state and local levels,” MML&K Director Sean Cutter said in a statement.

Smoke ’Em if You Got ’Em

If most industries have a lobbying “fly-in,” perhaps when the marijuana lobby hits Washington, D.C., today, it should be a dubbed a “smoke-in.”

The National Cannabis Industry Association and Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) are planning a big event at the National Press Club where they will preview the group’s first Congressional lobbying day.

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