Young Guns

Posted October 24, 2007 at 6:46pm

The National Republican Congressional Committee is launching a new program to get up-and-coming GOP lobbyists more invested in its decidedly uphill campaign to retake the majority.

By cutting a check for $2,500 to the party committee — and pledging to raise $5,000 more for endangered incumbents — youngish K Street Republicans can rub shoulders at the kickoff event tonight with House Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio), NRCC Chairman Tom Cole (Okla.), Republican Policy Committee Chairman Thaddeus McCotter (Mich.), GOP Conference Chairman Adam Putnam (Fla.) and Ways and Means ranking member Jim McCrery (La.), among others. [IMGCAP(1)]

The event starts at 6 p.m. at Bobby Van’s Grill on New York Avenue Northwest.

While there is no age limit for the program — which is so far also nameless — one participating lobbyist said he expects it to attract a 30- to 45-year-old crowd.

“We’re much more active in Republican politics than the older folks because we’re younger and we can do that,” the lobbyist said. “This gives us another opportunity to help the party and talk about the future.”

Organizers expect about 40 people to show up tonight but hope that roster will grow. Among the early recruits: Mike Beer of Williams & Jensen; Mike Chappell of Fierce Isakowitz & Blalock; Chris Cox of the DC Navigators; Nelson Litterst of the C2 Group; Drew Maloney of Ogilvy Government Relations; and Brett Shogren of The Washington Group.

Patently at Odds. Two competing groups that are fighting over patent reform legislation are stepping up their lobbying efforts this week. Both the Coalition for Patent Fairness, which is pushing for passage of a patent reform bill, and a loosely organized but unnamed group of companies that are against the bill sent letters to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday.

Patent reform already has passed in the House, and the Senate Judiciary Committee this summer approved its version of the bill. But the full Senate has yet to consider the hotly contested measure.

In addition to the letters, the Coalition for Patent Fairness is bringing in as many as eight general counsels from its member companies — including HP, Cisco and Adobe — to lobby Senators in support of the bill this week.

The opposition group, which includes a diverse assortment of some 430 members — such as CropLife America, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, Qualcomm and Coca-Cola — told Senators in its letter that the current patent bill would “create uncertainty” and “weaken the enforcement of validly issued patents.”

K Street Moves. Houston-based Cheniere Energy has hired career U.S. diplomat Albert Nahas to head up its D.C. office. Nahas most recently was deputy director for Iraq economic policy at the State Department’s Near East Bureau, Office of Iraq Affairs.

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