DeLay Aide Starts Grassroots Shop

Posted February 20, 2004 at 5:25pm

Susan Hirschmann has not been off Capitol Hill for long, but she is already making an impact on K Street.

Hirschmann, a former top aide to then-Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Texas), has teamed up with one of her partners at Williams & Jensen to launch a grassroots lobbying shop that offers corporations coordinated, campaign-style lobbying drives.

The new shop, called Integrated Legislative Strategies LLC, aims to serve a growing number of companies that want their Washington lobbyists to organize robust lobbying efforts that pair grassroots public relations programs and coalition-building with traditional lobbying.

Integrated Legislative Strategies will organize and carry out the grassroots and coalitions work, while Williams & Jensen will provide the on-the-ground lobbying duties.

To run the operation, Hirschmann hired Anthony Zagotta from the DCI Group, one of the few K Street shops

that couples lobbying campaigns with grassroots activism.

Hirschmann and Zagotta unveiled their new grassroots outfit in a Feb. 4 letter to prospective clients. The duo met years ago through the College Republicans.

Bertram Carp, a vice president at Williams & Jensen, also will work for the new grassroots shop.

Clear Promotion. Andy Levin, who opened the Washington office for Clear Channel Communications just last year, is moving to the media giant’s Texas headquarters to take a new promotion.

Levin will be Clear Channel’s new executive vice president for law and government affairs and chief legal officer.

The former top telecom aide to Energy and Commerce ranking member John Dingell (D-Mich.) will now be based in San Antonio.

Bracing for a New Voice. Bracewell Patterson has added another strategist to its growing strategic communications office.

Ricardo Reyes joins the firm today after serving as a spokesman for the U.S. Trade Representative. He joins Scott Segal and Frank Maisano at the firm’s one-year-old communications practice.

ATA Seats Two More. The Air Transport Association is expanding its government affairs team with the addition of Marc Gonzales and Robert Dibblee.

Gonzales worked for Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas), while Dibblee joins the airlines’ trade association from Delta Air Lines.

Marching to a Different Drummer. Striking out on his own, Robert Drummer has left the American Moving and Storage Association to start his own lobbying firm, Drummer & Associates.

Despite his new venture, Drummer will still represent the moving association on Capitol Hill.

Derrick Gets New Gig. The law firm Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough has expanded its presence to the nation’s capital, opening an office on Constitution Avenue and tapping former Rep. Butler Derrick (D-S.C.) to head the office.

Joining Derrick in the D.C. office is Leo Coco, his former chief of staff who also served in the Education Department.

Netting a New Political Director. CapNet, the national technology association, is saying goodbye to its political director, Jaime Hjort, who is taking a technology policy position with the House Government Reform Committee.

Stepping in will be Jason Flanary, who has worked for former House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bud Shuster (R-Pa.) and Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.).

Norwood LD Moves to Kerr-McGee. The legislative director for Rep. Charlie Norwood (R-Ga.) is leaving Capitol Hill to take a position with Oklahoma City-based Kerr-McGee Corp., the energy and inorganic chemical company.

Lem Smith, who once worked for Rep. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.), will be Kerr-McGee’s director of federal relations.

From the Halls of Montezuma to K Street. Gerald Cassidy’s lobbying powerhouse, Cassidy & Associates, has tapped a Marine Corps reserve captain as one of the firm’s new associates.

Gina Levy, an active reserve captain who was most recently a community and media relations officer at the Pentagon, will work specifically on the firm’s federal marketing initiative.

Longtime Approps Aide Leaves Hill. Copeland, Lowery, Jacquez, Denton & Shockey has brought on David Kilian, a 20-year veteran of the House Appropriations Committee.

Within the past three years, Kilian was the subcommittee on Defense’s minority staff director under Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) and minority staff director for the subcommittee on energy and water development under Rep. Peter Visclosky (D-Ind.).

Building a New Team. The Construction Management Association has named Michael Stark to a director-level position in its Washington office.

Stark, a former Republican aide, will coordinate the group’s federal legislative and regulatory strategies.

Independent Insurers Tap New Lobbyist. Charles Symington has left the House Financial Services Committee to join the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers Association.

Symington, a Republican, will head the association’s federal government affairs program.

Dittus Adds 6. Dittus Communications has expanded its staff to bolster its D.C.-based public affairs team.

Steve Clawson, former vice president of public relations at AT&T Corp., is vice president; Lorenzo Lopez, former vice president of international business development at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, is director; Gina Screen, who was a vice president at Matthews Media Group, is a senior director; Ellen Dickson, a former Ford Motor Co. communications manager, is a senior director; Former Capitol Hill aide Brian Bogle, who has worked for former Sen. Lauch Faircloth (R-N.C.), Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), Rep. Cass Ballenger (R-N.C.) and Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.), is a senior account manager; and Jack Jacobson, who formerly worked at Morgan Meguire LLC, is a senior account executive.