Dickey Lands New Clients

Posted June 10, 2003 at 3:57pm

Ex-Rep. Jay Dickey, the Arkansas Republican defeated by Democrat Mike Ross in 2000 and 2002, has lined up three home-state clients for his new lobbying gig. He also inked a deal to represent a D.C.-based relief agency on Tuesday.

JD Consulting, which is based in Pine Bluff, Ark., is trying to steer some appropriations for highway projects to the Razorback State for the group Citizens for Arkansas Infrastructure.

[IMGCAP(1)] “It’s a six-year monolith,” Dickey said in an interview, referring to the massive transportation reauthorization bill.

The current focus of highway interests in Arkansas is the extension of Interstate 49 through the state, which would provide a new north-south trade corridor link between Canada and the port of New Orleans through Arkansas.

During his time in Congress, Dickey was instrumental in getting funding for the extension of Interstate 530 around Pine Bluff.

Highway lobbyists in Arkansas have also been eyeing the long-talked-about extension of Interstate 69 — which cur-

rently runs in Michigan and Indiana — through the state. If completed south to Mexico, Arkansas would be the crossroads of two major north-south continental trade corridors.

Additionally, Dickey has been representing the Stephens Group, the Little Rock-based investment bank, on tax-reduction issues.

Back in March, he registered his first client, the Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel Co., which is interested in navigation improvements on the Arkansas River.

On Tuesday, Dickey finalized a deal to represent the Global Peace Initiative, which provides aid to communities in Africa with substandard water supplies and medical facilities.

Dickey says he enjoys lobbying because “it is less pressure,” though he says that in his new profession he faces challenges that are similar to the challenges he faced as a Member of Congress.

Thune Riding the Rails. The South Dakota lobbying shop of the once-and-perhaps-future Senatorial hopeful John Thune (R) has registered a home-state client, the DM&E Railroad.

The railroad is seeking funding from the Federal Railroad Administration and the Interior Department that would permit easements and rights-of-way for DM&E rail corridors.

Thune, the former Republican Congressman, is lobbying while he mulls his next political move. He is still deciding whether to challenge Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), who is up for re-election next year.

Back in the Supplement Game. Two years after its top dietary supplement lobbyist left to start his own firm, Parry Romani Deconcini & Symms has signed on General Nutrition Center as a client to represent the dietary and health retail giant on amendments to the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act.

Scott Hatch, the son of Senator and dietary supplement champion Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), left the firm in 2001 to form his own practice, Walker, Martin & Hatch.

The dietary supplement sector has been the recipient of some bad publicity this year — and has seen concentrated lobbying on Capitol Hill to shore up its reputation — after one popular metabolism-boosting supplement, ephedra, was suspected in the deaths of several athletes.