The Podesta Group has lost the business of one of its longest and more lucrative clients, the Science Coalition, to Quinn Gillespie & Associates. [IMGCAP(1)]
The coalition, made up of more than 400 universities and research institutions, has been with Podesta for more than eight years. Earlier this year it put out a bid for its contract, which is worth at least $500,000 a year. Podesta competed to keep the client, according to a member of the coalition.
This member said other members were looking for new ideas and wanted to focus more on programs at the National Institutes of Health.
“A lot of our membership said, ‘So shouldn’t we be doing something else or more or other things? Let’s go out and look for other ideas,’” this member said. “I would say this is not at all a reflection on the Podesta firm.”
The coalition member added that a contract with Quinn Gillespie has not yet been worked out, but will be in the neighborhood of $500,000 to $600,000 annually.
Fire Sale. When the Electronic Industries Alliance board voted last week to disband the EIA — and sell off its assets — it left unanswered the question: What will happen to the group’s lobbyists?
Although the EIA’s top slot, previously held by former Rep. Dave McCurdy (D-Okla.), is vacant, it has maintained a robust policy and lobbying shop headed by Storme Street, vice president of government relations, and Richard Goss, VP of environmental affairs. Their departments include nine employees, in addition to another five who work for the EIA in non-lobbying jobs.
“I think there could be some layoffs,” said one person familiar with the board’s decision. However, several of the EIA lobbyists have been approached by EIA’s member associations, including the Telecommunications Industry Association and the Government Electronics and Information Technology Association.
EIA’s member associations stand to profit significantly from EIA’s “realignment” as the group is calling it. That’s because the EIA building in Arlington, Va., and stock assets are valued at nearly $50 million, according to the source familiar with the board’s decision.
“We believe these changes will dramatically enhance” the four remaining associations, according to a statement by Motorola’s Mike Kennedy.
The remaining associations are talking about starting some affiliation among them, but there’s another rub: Sources said industry insiders want to keep the EIA brand name in some fashion.
Two sources said the sale of the building and liquidation of assets could take until the end of the year.
Hawaii Ho. Hawaii may have been the last state to join the Union, but it’s the third to enact a policy that allows its legislature to approve or reject requests by Washington that would bind the state to conform its procurement policies with future free-trade agreements.
The July 10 law, which follows similar legislation in Maryland and Rhode Island, is a victory for Global Trade Watch, a division of Public Citizen, which promotes “government and corporate accountability in the globalization and trade arena” and fights against the current models for foreign trade such as the World Trade Organization and North American Free Trade Agreement.
“How Hawaii chooses to spend its taxpayer dollars should be decided by Hawaiians through their democratically elected legislature with approval by their governor, not imposed top-down by foreign trade agreements,” said GTW Director Lori Wallach in a press release.
K Street Moves. The all-Democratic Glover Park Group is boosting its roster. Joyce Brayboy, who spent a dozen years as chief of staff to Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.), comes on board as senior vice president in the legislative affairs division. And Brenda O’Connor, previously with the American Insurance Association, will be a vice president in the public affairs practice.
• The National Association of Broadcasters has reshuffled its in-house lobbying team. Laurie Knight, who worked for former Rep. Jim Turner (D-Texas) on the Hill, has been promoted to executive vice president of government relations. Doug Wiley, a one-time aide to former Rep. Tom Bliley (R-Va.) who previously held Knight’s position, is taking over a newly created post as executive vice president of administration and agencies. Emma Dumain contributed to this report.
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