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K Street Files: Tracking Lobbyists for Other Countries

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call
Michaela Sims (left) and Jennifer Bell are launching a new lobby shop today that will focus on tax and health care policy.

He was undaunted last week even before he downed his second bourbon at the famed lobbyist hangout Tosca, just blocks from the firm's downtown headquarters.

"What I have here is the closest evidence of bribery you're going to find," he said. "They can tell me that those two things weren't related all they want."

And, for $19.95 on Amazon, you can get in on that.

Heels on the Hill

Jennifer Bell and Michaela Sims today are launching Chamber Hill Strategies, a new lobby shop that will focus on tax and health care policy.

Sims, who spent a decade on the Hill as a senior aide to Nebraska Democratic Sens. Bob Kerrey and Ben Nelson, left the Bockorny Group to start the business with Bell, whose résumé includes a stint with then-Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).

The duo got to know each other while sharing a client, Sanford Health, which they will represent at the new firm. 

"We spent a lot of time talking about what each other's goals are," Sims said. "We both wanted the same things, and growing the business is one of them."

The firm has set up shop on Pennsylvania Avenue, and the duo picked the name so they won't have to wrangle over whose names go on the door when they bring on new colleagues. They said they hope the moniker will project an air of hard work and success.

"My heels are ruined walking the halls of Congress," said Sims, lifting her foot to show a worn sole.

Both lobbyists said they wanted to go into business for themselves because they have an entrepreneurial bug.

"This is a 24-7 operation," Bell said. "Work-life balance seems to be for other people."

The new shop's other clients include Independence Medical, Covenant HealthCare and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

In addition to legislative work, Bell and Sims sell clients a separate subscription service they've dubbed PolicyCrush, an early morning email that includes top news, links to federal government announcements and reports from think tanks.

K Street Moves

Prism Public Affairs has added Soren Dayton and Lyndsey Medsker as senior vice presidents and Scott Douglass as an associate. Dayton and Medsker joined from New Media Strategies, while Douglass previously worked at the Hawthorn Group.

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