Landing on Their Feet

Posted May 6, 2003 at 4:11pm

After their Congressional terms ended in January, former Reps. Sonny Callahan (R-Ala.) and Bob Borski (D-Pa.), along with former Sen. Tim Hutchinson (R-Ark.), are active again in the nation’s capital, using their know-how to help clients on K Street.

Callahan, a senior adviser at Dawson & Associates, has recently signed on defense giant Lockheed Martin Corp. for his own lobbying shop.

His Alabama-based group, Sonny Callahan Associates, signed up Lockheed Martin to represent the corporation on homeland security and deep-water port issues, according to lobbying disclosure forms culled by PoliticalMoneyLine.com.

The firm’s senior associate is Clay Swanzy, the longtime chief of staff to Rep. Terry Everett (R-Ala.).

Callahan was chairman of the Appropriation subcommittee on energy and

water development in the 107th Congress. He previously served as chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee on foreign operations, export financing and related programs, and as Chief Majority Whip.

Borski, who represented a Northeast Philadelphia district, is helping the city’s former Democratic mayor, who now oversees the commonwealth as its governor.

After Ed Rendell (D) closed the Keystone State’s lobbying office in the nation’s capital as a cost-cutting measure, he turned to Borski and longtime Philadelphia lobbyist Peter Peyser Jr. to represent the Keystone State in the halls of Congress since February.

Working out of the same office as Peyser Associates, Borski and his Hill chief of staff, Andrea Toll-Whiting, focus on transportation and port security issues. He was the third-ranking Democrat on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee last year.

Peyser and his 11-person team represented the City of Brotherly Love from 1983 to 2001. A four-firm lobbying coalition now represents the city of Philadelphia, including Borski Associates. Patton Boggs is the lead firm for the city.

To better cover its GOP bases, the Borski-Peyser team has a subcontract with David Urban, a former chief of staff to Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.).

“We’ve deployed just about everybody on our team to cover everything,” Peyser said.

Peyser’s client list also includes the cities of Seattle and Macon, Ga., the High Speed Ground Transportation Association and various transit agencies, including Washington state’s Sound Transit, Portland, Ore.’s Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District and Philadelphia’s Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.

While Borski’s Pennsylvania roots have been key to signing up clients — such as the Delaware River Port Authority — his transportation network has also netted the American Maritime Officers union and the Port of Corpus Christi, Texas.

Riding to the Rescue. James Lee Witt, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency under then-President Bill Clinton, has added a provider of crisis information management software to his roster of emergency management-related clients.

James Lee Witt Associates has signed up Durham, N.C.-based Blue292 Inc. as a new client, according to lobbying filings.

The group also announced the formation of a strategic relationship with Redlands, Calif.-based ESRI in April. ESRI is an industry leader in geographic information systems, which can be used in crisis management and disaster response.

James Lee Witt Associates has a host of other clients relating to emergency response and crisis management.

The firm recently completed an in-depth audit of the preparedness of New York state nuclear facilities, particularly Westchester County’s Indian Point.

Witt’s chief operating officer, Pate Felts, is a former assistant U.S. trade representative for intergovernmental affairs and served as chief of staff to then-Sen. David Pryor (D-Ark.).

Rome Is Burning. The law firm Blank Rome LLP has announced the formation of a D.C.-based government relations group after buying out the lobbying firm Dyer Ellis & Joseph. The new firm, known as Blank Rome Government Relations LLP, will have a dozen people focusing on areas of election and campaign law and other issues relating to corporations, taxes, health care, government relations, homeland security and international trade.

David Girard-diCarlo, Blank Rome’s chairman, will serve as the new group’s chairman and CEO.

Going to the Chappell. Mike Chappell, the highly regarded aide to Rep. Chip Pickering (R-Miss.), is joining Fierce & Isakowitz as a lobbyist.

Chappell, a Mississippi native, has served as Pickering’s liaison on the Energy and Commerce Committee, where he worked on issues ranging from broadband Internet legislation and spectrum allocation to public broadcasting and legislation to revamp the nation’s electric grid.

Albert’s Ascension. Alex Albert, chief of staff to retiring Georgia Sen. Zell Miller (D), has joined the firm McKenna Long & Aldridge as managing director of the group’s government affairs practice.

He will be dividing his time between the firm’s Atlanta and D.C. offices.