Party Time

Posted April 25, 2008 at 6:17pm

Convention ethics rules have made party-going lobbyists even more skittish than usual. And while many have said they plan to eschew the conventions completely, the C2 Group is taking a stand: The party must go on.

[IMGCAP(1)]The lobby shop is keeping up its tradition of doing an event the evening before the Democratic National Convention starts –– a surprise considering many ethics lawyers have said such a practice could be seen as trying circumvent the tighter convention rules, which apply only during the dates of each convention.

“The funny thing is we didn’t really plan it that way,” said Jeff Murray of C2 Group. “It’s nothing intentional. Sunday night is just our signature night.”

Murray says the tradition started in 2000 for the Los Angeles National Democratic Convention and continued in 2004 in Boston. The event, “A Blue Night in Denver,” is being held at Mile High Station, a warehouse- type building, and is still being planned.

The firm will have finger food and cocktails, which are kosher under the new rules, but they are still trying to nail down whether performers are permissible.

Extra! The Daily News of New York has hired a lobbying firm, apparently the first time the tabloid has registered a lobbying firm to represent it.

According to a lobbying disclosure registration filed with the Senate Office of Public Records, the Daily News has snagged the Madison Group to lobby on media ownership cap regulations. There are no other registrations on file for the Daily News.

Madison Group’s Robb Watters, Marcus Mason and Blair Watters are listed as the lobbyists on the account. The firm, through a spokesman, declined comment and referred inquiries to the Daily News. A spokeswoman for the Daily News in New York did not return two phone calls seeking comment.

Caucus On. There’s a new Congressional caucus, this one designed to combat the scourge of malaria, which kills more than 1 million people every year.

Malaria No More, along with Global Health Council, pushed for the formation of the 15-20 member Congressional Malaria Caucus, a bipartisan group effort to bring more attention to the disease.

First lady Laura Bush helped kick off the initiation of the caucus, and a Congressional briefing was held Wednesday that highlighted its efforts. The first-ever World Malaria Day was held Friday.

Take Heart. Kids might not be able to vote, but apparently there’s no stopping them from lobbying. Perhaps what they lack in electoral clout they can make up with cuteness. Or so the American Heart Association hopes.

The group has organized a lobby day this week with some 650 advocates from all over the country, including about 30 kids, who will meet with their Members of Congress. They plan to ask the lawmakers to fund research into heart and stroke diseases and for prevention efforts like fitness programs in schools.

Michelle Ballasiotes, a 10-year-old from from Bowling Brook, Ill., is in town this week, along with her mom, Mary Kay, to make the case. She had a stroke before she was born and now has cerebral palsy, which she says won’t stop her from walking the halls of Congress to tell Members that stroke victims come in all ages.

“I’ll be going on Capitol Hill, telling the Senators that children can have strokes and a little bit about strokes,” she said. “I would want them to fund some money to kids who have strokes.”

Amy Shope Manzi, grass-roots consultant for the group, said today the group will train the junior lobbyists about how to develop their stories into a lobbying message and to help the kids “understand how powerful and important their stories are in moving legislation.”

Going Green. The District-based private equity firm The Carlyle Group has hired Bryan Corbett as a principal in its global government and regulatory affairs team. Corbett will provide government affairs, regulatory and strategic advice to Carlyle’s fund managers.

Before he joined the firm, Corbett served in the Bush administration as a special assistant for economic policy and as a senior adviser at Treasury. Previously, he served as Republican counsel on the Senate Banking Committee.

K Street Moves. The Secular Coalition for America, a lobbying organization for the nonreligious, must have done some evangelizing of late. It has hired its second lobbyist, Sasha Bartolf, formerly of Congressional Quarterly. In addition, the American Ethical Union voted to join the coalition, becoming its ninth member.

According to the SCA, its member groups represent “humanists, freethinkers, atheists and other nontheistic Americans.”

• Artemis Strategies has expanded its roster of lobbyists, adding Dana DeBeaumont, Ari Strauss and Katie Yehl to its team. Most recently, Yehl represented the American Dental Association and before that the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. Strauss was legislative director for Rep. Tim Holden (D-Pa.), while DeBeaumont previously managed a PR firm in Illinois.

Jillian Bandes contributed to this report.

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