K Street Files: Oops!
Who hasn’t made a clerical error when operating under a looming deadline? We at K Street Files sure have. So we are laughing with — not at — those unlucky few lobbyists who, in trying to meet last week’s lobbying disclosure report due date, accidentally clicked a few extra buttons and ended up the top advocacy spenders of the second quarter.
[IMGCAP(1)]Take, for example, the Museum of Science in Boston. The group’s second-quarter lobbying filing puts it at the very tippy top of all lobbying spenders at $51 million, bigger than the likes of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and multinational conglomerate General Electric combined.
The museum’s Patti Curtis said the filing, which arrived a couple of days late, mistakenly added a few extra zeros. “Nonprofits don’t have that kind of money,— she said, clarifying that it should be $51,000 for the quarter — a bit less than the previous eye-popping figure.
The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity made a similar snafu. It reported spending $11,317,625 for the second quarter of the year but quickly filed an amended report changing the figure to the much more modest $544,853. A coalition employee attributed the mistake to human error.
An official with the Senate Office of Public Records said such mistakes are relatively uncommon but frequently cause a chuckle in the office, which so far this quarter has processed almost 20,000 lobbying reports. The lobbying law comes with criminal penalties, but the official said that as long as groups self-amend, the only punishment is a little embarrassment.
From Farm to Fork. Three food industry veterans are putting their collective experience together to set up a new lobby shop, Policy Solutions.
John Motley, former senior vice president of government affairs for the Food Marketing Institute; Barry Scher, Giant Food’s former vice president of public affairs; and Jay Truitt, former vice president of government affairs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, have hung out a shingle.
The trio, which has experience in the food supplier, wholesale and retail parts of the industry, came together after several months of discussions.
“Necessity is the mother of all inventions,—said Motley, who left the FMI at the end of December. “I found out pretty rapidly there wasn’t much of a market out there for a 65-year-old Republican, even with 37 years of experience.—
Policy Solutions won’t just be focusing on the food industry. In addition to pharmacy and energy issues, Scher, a Democrat, has very close ties to the Maryland and Virginia delegations and the D.C. Council.
Keep on Trucking. More than 150 manufacturers, companies and agriculture groups have formed the Alliance to Keep U.S. Jobs after Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) added language into the Senate omnibus appropriations bill that terminated the Department of Transportation’s cross-border trucking pilot program with Mexico.
The alliance argues that axing the program, which allowed for about 60 Mexican trucks to operate in the U.S., is a direct violation of the North American Free Trade Agreement and has hampered its ability to sell about $2.4 billion worth of manufactured and agricultural products headed for Mexico.
Mexico added tariffs to 89 classes of U.S. products after Congress terminated the program.
While the Obama administration has asked Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to come up with a new cross-border trucking program, no visible action has been taken so far. The group says that without action, several thousand jobs are at risk.
“Once those U.S. jobs are lost,— alliance spokesman Steve Mulder said, “they may well be gone forever.—
Law and Order. The FBI may keep mum while investigating crimes, but now its employees have an official means for speaking up through the recently formed FBI Intelligence Analysts Association.
Started earlier this month, the association “gives us a strong, unified voice that allows us to have more input into the important issues pertaining to the FBI intelligence program and the Intelligence Analyst workforce,— according the group’s Web site.
FBI employees can’t join unions, but they can form groups to help represent their interests before FBI officials, Congress and the executive branch.
It’s unclear how many analysts are taking advantage of the group. The association didn’t return calls, but compared to most association dues, the $4 contribution per bi-weekly paycheck seems to be a steal.
K Street Moves. The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity is continuing to build out its Washington, D.C., office, adding Bianca Prade and Pat Cavanagh.
Prade, who joins as vice president of digital media, most recently served as vice president of web strategy and operations at the Newspaper Association of America.
Cavanagh will be vice president of federal affairs. He comes to the group after serving as legislative director for Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.). He was also director of constituent communications for then-Rep. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.).
Langston Emerson, a former aide to Rep. Mike Capuano (D-Mass.), has joined as director of the federal government relations team at the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund. Emerson, who focuses on financial services and health care policy, has also worked at the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts and for Locke Lord Strategies.
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