Lotta Luck on K Street

Posted February 6, 2004 at 5:41pm

Although 2003 was not a particularly good year for former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.), his political misfortunes on Capitol Hill did not affect the fortunes of his son Chester on K Street.

Chet Lott, a Washington lobbyist, billed more than $220,000 in fees for representing a half-dozen clients last year, such as BellSouth Corp. and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.

That’s just about as much as Lott and his former partner, Larry Hopkins, shared the previous year when the lobbyist’s father was one of the most influential men in the Senate.

Lott started his own firm — which is affiliated with the Livingston Group — when Hopkins decided to retire about a year ago.

His father’s fall from grace also did not damage Chet’s ability to recruit new business. Lobbying reports show that Chet added a few new clients to his roster in 2003, including the National Association of Air Traffic Specialists and Kentucky’s Georgetown College.

Wal-Mart Restocks Office. The nation’s largest retailer is putting on a new look in Washington.

Erik Winborn has been promoted to the head of the office after Norm Lezy announced his retirement.

The personnel move is the latest change in Wal-Mart’s Washington operations in the last few months.

After not spending much time on lobbying in the past few years, the company has decided to beef up its presence by adding a few lobbyists to its 5-year-old lobbying office and ramping up its campaign donations to Members of Congress.

New campaign finance filings show that Wal-Mart contributed $1.4 million in campaign cash last year — more than any other company.

BRT Loses a Top Lobbyist. Patricia Engman, a senior executive at the Business Roundtable, is retiring at the end of the year in a move that will open up the No. 2 job at the business lobby.

Engman was with the BRT for 17 years after coming to Washington with then-Sen. Lawton Chiles (D-Fla.) in 1971. She plans to retire to Anna Maria Island in her native Florida.

Her departure comes a few months after Vince Randazzo, a former aide to House Rules Chairman David Dreier (R-Calif.), left the BRT to become a lobbyist for Wachovia Corp.

Bergner Bockorny Beckons Bowlin. A month after Brian Bergner decided to leave the lobbying shop he founded, Bergner, Bockorny, Castagnetti & Hawkins has hired Christopher Bowlin to pick up some of the slack.

Bowlin comes from the Health Insurance Association of America, where he served as a senior vice president for federal and public affairs.

Before joining the heath insurance association, Bowlin was deputy assistant secretary for Congressional and intergovernmental affairs at the Labor Department.

Prosperous Horizons. The Americans for Prosperity Foundation, the successor organization to Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation, has brought on an aide to Labor Secretary Elaine Chao as its senior vice president.

Michelle Larson Korsmo, who was Chao’s deputy chief of staff, hails from North Dakota, where she ran a grassroots lobbying firm.

BIO’s Feldbaum Resigns. The Biotechnology Industry Organization announced Carl Feldbaum intends to resign after 11 years as the group’s president.

Feldbaum said that while he plans to step aside at the end of the year, he will remain affiliated with the organization.

“I welcome the opportunity they have offered me to remain affiliated with the organization as president emeritus and to continue contributing to our industry as the new leadership deems appropriate,” Feldbaum said.

No word yet on a successor.

Social Security Reunion. The former counsel and staff director for then-Ways and Means subcommittee on Social Security ranking member Barbara Kennelly (D-Conn.) is reuniting with her old boss.

Sandy Wise joins Kennelly, who is now president and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, as the organization’s counsel.

Livingston Picks up Taylor Aide. Former Rep. Robert Livingston’s (R-La.) lobbying firm, the Livingston Group, has hired Roger France, the longtime chief of staff to Rep. Charles Taylor (R-N.C.).

Taylor is a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, where Livingston once served as chairman.

Leaving the State House. The former chief of staff to Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue (R), Eric Tanenblatt, has returned to his old law firm, McKenna Long & Aldridge, where he once served as managing director of government and regulatory affairs.

In his new role, Tanenblatt will head the firm’s national government affairs group.