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K Street Files: Bond Group Hires Up; Saltzman Lands a Lobby Job

The Bond Dealers of America has made an investment in a new top lobbyist. Susan Collet will join the organization July 9 as its senior vice president for government relations. She will also take a leading role in the BDA’s new political action committee.

She signs on at a critical time for the industry, said the group’s CEO Mike Nicholas, who noted that numerous tax reform proposals would seek to end the tax-exempt status of municipal bonds.

“When people hear ‘municipal bonds,’ oftentimes their eyes glaze over,” Collet said. “So we really have to highlight these issues so [policymakers] understand the consequences.”

Collet added that she would spearhead the group’s work with Congress and the regulatory agencies. Nicholas said on the regulatory side the Dodd-Frank law has created a lot of work for his membership even though the mid-sized players “did not contribute to the credit crisis of ’08 and ’09.”

He also said the BDA filed the paperwork for its PAC last year but has only started to try to actively fund it in the past two weeks.

When it comes to the tax reform efforts, Nicholas said his group can’t wait until next year, when Congressional action is more likely.

“We’re already trying to educate the Hill and others so that we don’t have to play defense in 2013,” he said.

Collet is replacing Bill Daly, who is now director of government affairs for the National Association of Bond Lawyers.

Landing on K Street

The airline lobby, Airlines for America, has added Josh Saltzman, most recently chief of staff to Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), as vice president for global government affairs.

Saltzman spent 12 years on Capitol Hill including stints with then-Rep. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.).

In a press statement, the airline group’s president and CEO, Nicholas Calio, said Saltzman “will be a strong addition to our growing advocacy team.” Sessions added in the statement: “While I will miss his experience, skill and leadership, Airlines for America could not have hired a more hard-working or dedicated advocate.”

White to BIO

The Biotechnology Industry Organization hired Derrick White as director of federal government relations. The former senior director of federal affairs at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America has been principal of his own shop, Derrick White Consulting. He worked on Capitol Hill for Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

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