Abramoff Shutters Business?

Posted April 23, 2004 at 4:35pm

It was one thing when GOP rainmaker Jack Abramoff vowed never to lobby in Washington again after triggering a Senate investigation for his exorbitant lobbying contacts with American Indian tribes.

But it’s quite another for him to close Stacks Delicatessen, the famed Glatt kosher deli that he operates on Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest a few blocks from the White House.

Not to worry, says Abramoff, the deli has been closed for the past month because he would like to give it a makeover.

As required by Jewish law, Stacks Deli closed down for about two weeks during Passover.

When it did not reopen, rumors began to spread that Abramoff had closed it permanently.

Instead, Abramoff said he is in final negotiations with a New York-based upscale kosher restaurant group about upgrading the deli.

“As we hope that these negotiations will be completed soon, it did not make

sense for us to reopen after Passover,” Abramoff said.

Stacks Deli, located at 1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, is one of the few kosher delis in Washington.

Abramoff, an orthodox Jew, resigned under pressure from lobbying firm Greenberg Traurig as Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) investigates several multimillion-dollar contracts Abramoff had with American Indian tribes.

Telephone Lobbyist Going Solo. Brad Edwards, one of the top lobbyists for the U.S. Telecom Association, left the local phone industry’s lobbying group on Friday to start his own firm with another former Republican aide.

Edwards and Jeff Walter will create the Walter Edwards Group, a small firm that will represent companies in the telecommunications, energy and financial services sectors. The firm also will do appropriations work.

Edwards joined the trade association a few years ago as vice president of government affairs where he lobbied Capitol Hill and helped to run the association’s political action committee.

Before that, the one-time aide to former Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) worked for the American Council of Life Insurers and for UST Public Affairs.

Walter, his new partner at the Walter Edwards Group, once worked for former Sen. Al D’Amato (R-N.Y.) and for one-time Rep. Tom Bliley (R-Va.).

Together, the pair will begin with a solid base of clients, including Freddie Mac, Wachovia, Prudential Financial and Lockheed Martin. 

SEC Goes to the Well. GOP communications strategist Matt Well has joined the Securities and Exchange Commission as the director of the Office of Public Affairs under Chairman William Donaldson.

Well comes to the SEC from the American Tort Reform Association, where he also headed the public affairs office.

Well replaces Christi Harlan, a former aide to Sen. Phil Graham (R-Texas), who served as spokeswoman under former SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt.

A graduate of the University of Kansas and Johns Hopkins University, Well worked on the 1996 presidential campaign of then-Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.).

He also was a spokesman for the Republican Leadership Council.

Restaurants Add Mouthpiece. After longtime spokeswoman Kristin Nolt went to Disneyland, the National Restaurant Association has made a few changes in its communications office.

Katharine Kim has been promoted to vice president of media relations from director of media relations.

Meanwhile, a pair of Bush administration officials have joined the association.

Sue Hensley will join the association as senior vice president of marketing, communications and media relations after leaving the Small Business Administration.

Before joining the Bush administration, Hensley served as communications director to former Sen. Tim Hutchinson (R-Ark.).

Finally, former White House aide Brad Dayspring has been named manager of media relations for the trade group.

Dayspring served as deputy director for press advance at the White House after working for then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign.

At the National Restaurant Association, Dayspring will report to Kim.  

Jory Leaves Capitol Hill. David Jory, a co-founder and president of the Capitol Hill Consulting Group, has joined the Pacific Northwest law firm Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt.

Jory will continue to work for his former firm, while adding additional duties with his new firm.

Before founding the Capitol Hill Consulting Group a few years ago with former Rep. Bill Brewster (D-Okla.), Jory worked at Citibank and for the Air Transport Association.

On Capitol Hill, Jory was an aide to Sen. Bob Packwood (R-Ore.) and one-time Rep. Jim Weaver (D-Ore.).

Ensign Aide Joins Alltel. Alltel, the Little Rock, Ark.-based phone company, has named Christopher Parandian as vice president of legislative affairs.

Parandian joins Alltel from AT&T Wireless. During the 2000 elections, Parandian served as finance director for Republican Sen. John Ensign’s campaign in Nevada.

Cassidy Hires a Pair.  Cassidy & Associates has hired two more lobbyists, including another from Greenberg Traurig.

Jessica Myers, a former government affairs associate with Greenberg Traurig, joined Cassidy as the director of research and analysis.

Meanwhile, Trace Anderson will start as a senior associate at Cassidy.

Previously, he was a legislative counsel to the Navajo Nation in Washington.  

Stamm Taxed with PWC. Rick Stamm, a 28-year veteran of PricewaterhouseCoopers, has been appointed to head the firm’s U.S. tax practice.

Stamm succeeds Rick Berry, who will retire in June.  

D.C. Firm Nabs Rep. A state Representative in Florida has announced that he will not seek re-election and instead will join the public policy and regulatory practice of Holland & Knight.

State Rep. Manny Prieguez (R) will join the Miami office of the firm after serving in the state House for six years.