Inamed Augments Lobby

Posted January 16, 2004 at 4:59pm

Inamed, the world’s leading maker of silicone breast implants and facial aesthetics, has tapped well-known Republican lobbyist Dan Cohen to open and run a new government relations office in Washington.

Cohen, now a lobbyist with Loeffler, Jonas & Tuggey, had represented the Santa Barbara, Calif.-based firm for the past year and a half as it worked to persuade the Food and Drug Administration to reverse a decade-old ban on silicon implants.

Cohen’s departure comes shortly after Republican Mark Franz left Loeffler, Jonas & Tuggey, leaving the lobbying firm without any GOP lobbyists to support firm partner and former Rep. Tom Loeffler (R-Texas).

Ironically, Cohen is among a group of Republican insiders who have worked to implement the so-called “K Street Project,” a not-so-secret GOP plan to groom and place Republicans operatives in key lobbying positions around town.

Cohen organizes annual golf tournaments for House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) and Financial Services Chairman Mike Oxley (R-Ohio) as well as smaller fundraisers for a handful of House Republicans.

He began his career as a member of a prominent class of College Republicans that included Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.), Rep. Phil English (Pa.), political consultant Ralph Reed, conservative activist Grover Norquist and lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Cohen started his Washington career as the foreign officer for the College Republicans when Abramoff was chairman and Norquist was executive director. Later in his career, he worked for Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).

Cohen also spent eight years at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee beginning in 1986, where he is credited with helping to bring key Republicans such as DeLay into the pro-Israel community.

At Inamed, Cohen plans to start a political action committee and add a few staffers to his roster. He will be in charge of the company’s government affairs, corporate communications and investor relations activities. His goal will be to secure FDA approval of silicone implants, in addition to working on other regulatory and legislative issues.

Silicone implants, first introduced in 1960, were banned in the mid-1990s because of alleged health risks. Silicone implants make up more than 90 percent of the market outside the United States. Last fall, a Food and Drug Administration panel recommended approving the implants, but the full FDA delayed a final decision until it gets more information.

Cooper Back in Driver’s Seat. Jo Cooper, the recently departed head of the Association of Automobile Manufacturers, has been picked up by Toyota to serve as its top Washington lobbyist.

Cooper, a one-time aide to then-Rep. Dick Cheney (R-Wyo.), left the automakers’ trade association earlier this month after the group decided to hire a big-name president to serve above her.

Largent Brings in New Players. A few months after taking over the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association, former Rep. Steve Largent (R-Okla.) has reorganized the association and brought in a new team.

Brian Kidney, a one-time wireless industry executive, will serve in the newly created position of chief operating officer overseeing a staff of vice presidents who will report to him.

Beginning today, former Senate Democratic aide Bobby Franklin will take over the Congressional affairs office for the trade association.

Carolyn Brandon next month will join the association from the Washington law firm Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP to oversee the policy shop, and John Walls, a one-time sports broadcaster from Largent’s home state, will run communications.

Two other vice president slots will be filled by CTIA veterans. Diane Cornell has been tapped to handle regulatory matters at the Federal Communications Commission and elsewhere, while John Windolph will run the trade group’s trade shows and handle other business development issues.

Mike Altschul will remain as general counsel and will continue to report directly to the president. Meanwhile, former Largent aide Bob Bolster has been hired to a director-level lobbying job with the association.

The changes are the first announced by Largent after taking over for longtime President Tom Wheeler, who resigned last year. Also leaving the association are Communications Director Christina Martin and Democratic lobbyist Chris Putala.

Martin and Putala join Steve Berry, who left CTIA at the end of last year to become a top lobbyist for the cable industry’s Washington trade group.

The association is also in the process of moving to a newly purchased headquarters at 1400 16th St. NW.

Largent is expected to spend the next few months sorting through the half-dozen outside lobbying firms that CTIA has on retainer.

ChevronTexaco Strengthens Presence. Oil giant ChevronTexaco has appointed two general managers to bolster its global government affairs and public affairs practice.

Lisa Barry was named vice president and general manager of government affairs.She comes to the corporation from TimeWarner, where she was senior vice president for international policy.

Barry held similar positions at the Boeing Co., the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Commerce Department.

David Samson, a communications veteran at Oracle Corp., has been named general manager of public affairs. Samson has held similar positions at Ketchum Public Relations, Levi Strauss & Co. and IBM Global Services.

Greenberg Traurig Picks Up Ex-Member. Former Florida Rep. James Bacchus (D) has returned full time to Greenberg Traurig after he recently completed his final term as a member and chairman of the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization.

Disembarking at the Harbour. The legislative director for Sen. Zell Miller (D-Ga.), Mary Ann Chaffee, has left Capitol Hill.

Chafee has docked at the Harbour Group, the crisis communications, public relations and legislative strategies firm run by Democratic pooh-bah Joel Johnson.

Dutko Names Two Principals. The Dutko Group lobbying firm has promoted two senior vice presidents to principals.

Stephen Sayle joined the firm in 1998 after stints as counsel to Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), while David Beightol joined Dutko’s state and local government affairs shop, Kaufman Pattee Branstad and Miller, in 2000.