K Street Files: On the Market

Posted December 15, 2009 at 5:13pm

Although he’s not yet formally fielding offers, retiring Rep. Brian Baird (D-Wash.) told K Street Files on Tuesday that “nothing’s ruled out— when it comes to his post-Congressional career, including signing on with a lobbying shop or trade association.

[IMGCAP(1)]And he’s apparently willing to cast a wide net. His criteria? “Something that gives me time with my family and something that I care about and believe in,— he said.

A member of the Science and Technology Committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Baird said he’s hoping to move back to the Pacific Northwest, although his family and young children now live and attend public school in Washington, D.C.

The decision to retire after six terms was difficult, Baird said, but became apparent after his young son began associating his buzzing pager with late-night votes. “It was striking how early he learned to say, ‘Daddy, go vote,’— Baird said. He also said he won’t miss the continuous fundraising demands of running for office, echoing the sentiments of many K Streeters.

“The endless money chase is destructive to us as human beings,— he said. “Come talk to me about issues and don’t bring a check.—

Casting Call. The musical chairs in the tech lobbying world continued this week with the Motion Picture Association of America’s Frank Cavaliere heading to Microsoft Corp. Cavaliere, MPAA’s senior counsel for federal affairs and policy, is joining the tech giant to fill the space vacated by Scott Corley earlier this year. Corley, Microsoft’s top Republican lobbyist, is now at Monument Policy Group.

“Frank is one of the most talented people I have worked with,— said MPAA President Dan Glickman, who has plans to depart the group next year. “He is smart, thoughtful, and has excellent judgment. We are very sorry to lose him, but he will be an invaluable asset to his next employer.—

Intel Corp. is also facing a departure. The chipmaker’s chief lobbyist, Peter Cleveland, confirmed that longtime lobbyist Jenifer Verdery is leaving. Verdery has spent the past 13 years at the company.

Bernanke Bedfellows. It’s not every day that the progressive group Campaign for America’s Future teams up with conservative stalwarts Americans for Tax Reform and FreedomWorks. But the organizations, along with the Center for Economic and Policy Research, sent a letter Tuesday calling for a delay of the nomination of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to a second term. The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee is expected to vote Thursday on Bernanke’s nomination for another term.

“We know that Bernanke’s errant views contributed directly to the worst financial collapse since the Great Depression,— Campaign for America’s Future President Robert Borosage said. “He was blind to the housing bubble, wrong on the dangers of unregulated over-the-counter derivative trading, wrong on the scope of the crisis once it began, and was late to respond.—

Senior Moment. Senate Democratic leaders have finally clinched the much-coveted support of the seniors group AARP to proceed with their health care bill after promising to close the gap in Medicare prescription drug coverage.

While the Senate legislation does not address the “doughnut hole— in prescription drug coverage for seniors, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said the omission will be fixed during conference negotiations with the House, whose bill does fill the gap.

As a result of Reid’s pledge, AARP CEO Barry Rand sent the Majority Leader a letter in which he backed the Senate legislation.

“We understand, given Senate constraints, that this action must wait until conference,— Rand wrote. But he added that because of Reid’s commitment to closing the doughnut hole in conference along with “many other positive features— of the legislation, “AARP is pleased to support your efforts to obtain cloture, and urges timely passage of this legislation by the Senate.—

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