K Street Files: K Street Influence?

Posted January 19, 2010 at 6:24pm

In the final days of the Massachusetts Senate special election, an unlikely character showed up in an advertisement put out by the state Republican Party. Veteran D.C. lobbyist Tom Boggs, a Democrat, was shown in the spot, which supported state Sen. Scott Brown, the GOP candidate in the race for the seat of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.).

[IMGCAP(1)]“I hope they’d all use lobbyists to raise millions,— Boggs says in the ad, while being interviewed outside of a Washington, D.C., fundraiser held for Brown’s opponent, state Attorney General Martha Coakley (D). “Without lobbyists, this town wouldn’t work.—

The ad was meant to challenge Coakley’s comments that she has “held health insurers accountable for fraud and denying care— by blasting her for taking money from insurance industry lobbyists at a recent D.C. fundraiser. The ad identified Boggs as an “insurance lobbyist.— According to Senate lobbying records for the past year, Boggs was registered to lobby on behalf of pharmaceutical concern Bristol-Myers Squibb, the North Carolina Baptist Hospital and 1-800-Contacts.

Boggs declined to comment Tuesday through a spokeswoman at his lobbying firm, Patton Boggs, so it is unclear what his insurance clients, if any, may be. A call seeking comment to the Massachusetts Republican Party was not returned.

Teaming Up. Jim Gottlieb, former chief of staff to Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), is joining Capitol Counsel as a partner. Gottlieb, who hung a shingle out in early 2009 with Gottlieb Strategic Consulting, spent more than 10 years with Rockefeller, first as his chief of staff on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee and later as chief of staff in his personal office. At his own firm, Gottlieb lobbied on behalf of Embarq Corp., the General Aviation Manufacturers Association and the National Business Aviation Association.

Gottlieb said he was looking to broaden his base and reach by moving to a bipartisan firm. Additionally, he was attracted to Capitol Counsel’s “strong health and tax practices.— In addition to working on such issues as telecommunications, technology and aviation, Gottlieb said he wants to expand into oversight and investigations work.

Skaggs Sets Up Shop. Former Rep. David Skaggs (D-Colo.) has joined McKenna Long & Aldridge as a senior strategic adviser in the firm’s government affairs operation.

“I am thrilled to be partnering with MLA,— Skaggs said in a press statement. “The firm has such a strong reputation in Colorado, and I am confident that it will be a great place to continue to work on policy issues that are important to me, including higher education, the environment, technology and national security.—

In addition to government affairs work, Skaggs will advise clients on legal issues in administrative law, government contracts and corporate ethics. He will remain chairman of the Office of Congressional Ethics and a member of the U.S. Public Interest Declassification Board.

Expanding Funds. The Managed Funds Association is making good on its effort to form alliances with regional hedge fund associations. The group announced Tuesday that it has formed an alliance with the Connecticut Hedge Fund Association, a regional group representing 150 member firms with operations in Connecticut.

“We are pleased to begin an alliance with the Connecticut Hedge Fund Association,— MFA President and CEO Richard Baker said in a statement. “With a large number of major hedge fund advisers headquartered in Connecticut, we look forward to sharing ideas and collaborating on key initiatives, including restoring investor confidence and fostering high standards of professional conduct and client services.—

The Mid-Atlantic Hedge Fund Association was the first group to affiliate at the national level last October.

Going Green. Dow Lohnes Government Strategies recently launched a green-focused practice, Dow Lohnes Green Solutions. The practice is focusing on helping clients on green practices that will benefit the environment as well as help companies’ bottom lines. Jessica Lenard, former top energy and environmental policy adviser to Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and Liz Burdick, who served as executive director of a public-private White House climate program during the Clinton administration, will be principals at Green Solutions.

Toasting Ramsey. Newly installed TechNet CEO Ray Ramsey is hitting the Capitol Hill circuit today. The trade association is hosting a fete at Sonoma starting at 5:30 p.m. The event sponsors include Hewlett-Packard, VeriSign, Intel and Cisco.

K Street Moves. Remember Jeffrey Birnbaum, who previously penned a column on the influence industry for the Washington Post? Now he’s joining the K Street set as president of BGR Public Relations.

Most recently, Birnbaum was managing editor of digital for the Washington Times, which recently reorganized resulting in large-scale staff reductions and other changes. As a journalist, Birnbaum also worked for the Wall Street Journal and Fortune magazine. He is co-author of the K Street classic, “Showdown at Gucci Gulch.—

“I’m happy to join such a well-established and well-regarded enterprise,— Birnbaum said in a press statement.

• San Antonio-based Tesoro has landed Jamie Moore, a former senior aide to Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), as director of federal government affairs. Moore will be representing Tesoro before Congress and the executive branch.

• Jim Brewer, a state-level lobbyist for the National Education Association, was recently brought on by the International Union of Painters and Allied Trade’s Washington, D.C., office. Brewer graduated from the University of North Carolina in 2007.

Matthew Murray contributed to this report.

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