K Street Files: Zerzan’s Out

Posted October 21, 2009 at 6:37pm

As the lobbying battle over the financial services regulatory overhaul kicks into high gear, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association is out a top lobbyist for its Washington, D.C., office. Greg Zerzan, head of public policy for the trade group since 2006, is no longer with ISDA. The decision was mutual, according to an ISDA spokeswoman.

[IMGCAP(1)]Zerzan, a Republican, worked in the Bush administration’s Treasury Department and prior to that was senior counsel on the House Financial Services Committee. ISDA will not be replacing Zerzan. Mary Johannes, director of U.S. regulatory policy, remains in the Washington office.

The association also has a trio of outside lobby shops working for it, including the Sternhell Group, Patton Boggs and the Cypress Group.

Insurers Fight Back. America’s Health Insurance Plans and the American Insurance Association are fighting back against Congressional attempts to end an antitrust exemption for the insurance industry. The House Judiciary Committee approved a measure that would make health and medical insurance companies subject to antitrust laws.

AIA’s Blain Rethmeier said a similar measure that Senate Democrats are preparing to offer as an amendment to health care legislation would negatively affect medical malpractice insurance as well as the health insurance industry.

“If adopted, this amendment could create ambiguity over the ability of medical professional liability insurers to engage in certain activities that are subject to state insurance regulations,— Rethmeier said in a statement.

AHIP also sent a letter Wednesday to House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.), saying that the trade group and its members believe the bill would undermine the regulatory structure. “The bill holds the potential for increasing legal uncertainty,— AHIP President Karen Ignagni wrote.

Family Matters. Rep. William Lacy Clay’s (D-Mo.) campaign has paid his sister, a former lobbyist, more than $40,000 in fundraising and legal fees so far this cycle, roughly 20 percent of his campaign’s overall receipts, according to CQ MoneyLine.

In this year’s third fundraising quarter alone, Clay’s campaign paid $12,527 to the Law Office of Michelle C Clay LLC, whose Silver Spring, Md., address is listed as her house, according to public records. During the past six years, campaign finance records indicate that Clay’s campaign has paid his sister $231,000 in legal and fundraising expenses overall.

According to lobbying disclosures filed with the Secretary of the Senate, Michelle Clay once represented the municipal government of her family’s hometown, St. Louis. Both Clay’s campaign and Michelle Clay declined to comment.

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