Lobbyist Dave Lugar, son of Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), has started his own K Street practice, the Lugar Group.
After spending 11 years at Quinn Gillespie & Associates, Lugar said he was ready to make the move. He added that his split from Quinn Gillespie at the end of last year was amicable.
“It was a good opportunity for me to develop and create something on my own,” Lugar said of his new solo venture.
His lobbying clients include Google Inc. and Hilton Worldwide. He declined to name other clients that he is not publicly registered for because they aren’t lobbying clients.
“I help them navigate through the public policy arena: Senate, House, administration, the media and social media,” he said.
He is focusing on immigration, tourism and tax issues for Hilton and on science and technology matters for Google, according to lobbying disclosures filed this month with Congress.
Lugar said he does not lobby his father’s office, and he shies away from clients with interests before Sen. Lugar’s committees: Agriculture and Foreign Relations.
The boutique lobby firm Thorsen French Advocacy has had a growth spurt in recent weeks.
The two-man, bipartisan shop has signed Western Union, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, Sprint and Travelport, which was recently sued by American Airlines for alleged antitrust violations in airline ticket sales.
“So far this session, Congress has been very active in our areas of expertise,” said partner Carl Thorsen, a former GOP counsel on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security.
Fundraising of a Different Kind
Most K Streeters log hours each week attending fundraising events, fielding calls or twisting their clients’ arms to give money — all to help candidate coffers. But this week, a group of Members and lobbyists banded together to raise money for three charities helping with relief in tornado-ravaged Alabama.
“We Are Alabama: An evening to help the victims of the recent storms” on Tuesday night brought out several well-known K Street names, including host committee members former Rep. Bud Cramer (D-Ala.) of Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates, Gloria Dittus of Story Partners, Van Scoyoc Associates’ Ray Cole, and Kirk Blalock of Fierce Isakowitz & Blalock.
Other host committee members included Hogan Lovells’ Mike House, Susan Hirschmann of Williams & Jensen, the lobby shop Cauthen Forbes & Williams and corporations such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Travelers.
The Alabama delegation, including GOP Sens. Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions and seven Representatives, served as honorary hosts.
“So many people wanted to do something,” said Dittus, who helped organize the event on the rooftop of the Van Scoyoc Associates offices at 101 Constitution Ave. NW.
She said that because all the food, spirits and venue space were donated, “100 percent of what we raise will go to the three charities” including the Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund, University of Alabama Acts of Kindness Fund and the Red Cross’ Alabama disaster relief effort.
Though all the funds had yet to be tabulated by press time, Dittus predicted the event would raise at least $250,000 for the trio of organizations — depending on how much tickets to the Masters golf tournament, an Aspen, Colo., vacation and a quail-hunting trip fetched at an auction.
K Street Moves
The Retail Industry Leaders Association has picked up Bill Hughes, a longtime Capitol Hill veteran, as its new top federal lobbyist.
Hughes most recently was chief of staff to Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) and previously served as a lobbyist for General Electric Co. His Hill career also included stints as Republican staff director for the Senate Commerce Committee and as policy director for then-Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.).
The RILA also added Christine Pollack as vice president of government affairs. She will focus on health care policy.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.