K Street Files: United Auto Workers’ Reuther Plans to Drive Away

Posted June 15, 2010 at 6:06pm

Alan Reuther, the top lobbyist for the United Auto Workers, is stepping down, his office confirmed Tuesday. Reuther’s announcement comes as the UAW holds its annual convention this week in Detroit.

Reuther has been busy this past year. The federal government took ownership stakes in two domestic automakers, General Motors and Chrysler, and the Democratic health care overhaul ultimately incorporated significant concessions from organized labor.

Reuther’s office declined to discuss any details related to his departure.

Just the Facts, Ma’am

Lobbyists only need to list their previous Capitol Hill and executive branch experience once per client on disclosure forms, Congressional officials clarified Tuesday.

“Once a filer has met the previously described statutory requirement for listing a new lobbyist’s previous covered position(s), then the filer does not have to list those positions again for subsequent reports concerning the same client,” the offices of the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House wrote Tuesday. “If a registrant lists that lobbyist for the first time on a report/registration regarding a different client, then the Registrant must list that lobbyist’s previous covered positions held within 20 years of first acting as a lobbyist for the new client.”

The offices also updated the House and Senate lobbying rules “to stress that both registrants and lobbyists” must disclose their political contributions twice a year.

Hooked on Semiconductors

Brian Toohey, former senior vice president at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, has been named the new head of the Semiconductor Industry Association. Toohey will replace George Scalise, who announced his decision to retire in 2010.

Headhunting firm Korn/Ferry International led the search to replace Scalise, which included considering more than 75 candidates, according to a Tuesday letter by John Daane, chairman of the SIA and head of Altera Corp. Toohey officially starts at the SIA on July 19.

“Brian Toohey’s strong management and industry experience will enable him to build on the contributions George Scalise has made to the industry in his role as SIA president,” Daane said in a statement. “Brian has an understanding and passion for technology and innovation from his extensive experience with technology-driven companies and industries.”

Dirty Shores

With the Gulf Coast oil spill expanding toward the sandy Florida coast, the beach lobby sent a few suggestions to the White House this week about how to handle the oily mess that has already shut down popular summertime destinations in the region.

The American Shore & Beach Preservation Association urged federal officials this week to streamline the vast cleanup efforts that will ensue in the coming months and pleaded with lawmakers not to be stingy with federal dollars.

“Any uncoordinated and unfocused efforts by Federal agencies may well become a disaster within a disaster,” ASBPA President Harry Simmons wrote in a letter Monday. “As the past several weeks have shown, there are no easy answers to containing oil that is still spewing into the Gulf.”

Despite its pleas for efficiency, the ASBPA may end up with even more red tape if it gets what it wants. That’s because the association is encouraging the White House to set up a “Disaster Response Task Force” made up of “all executive branch agencies with a role in this event.” The organization also wrote that the administration should solicit advice from foreign governments and the academic community.

“If this coordinated effort is not undertaken now, we fear that there will instead be a series of actions that have little, if any, relationship to each other and that could end up be duplicative, disjointed and less effective,” Simmons wrote. “That will be of little help to those who need the assistance of the federal government in recovering from the oil spill.”

K Street Moves

• The Information Technology Industry Council has brought on Vince Jesaitis to be its lead lobbyist in the House. Jesaitis most recently served as legislative director for Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas).

• Research in Motion has hired Republican Jason Scism to fill the slot vacated by Democrat Brian Peters, who went to Franklin Square Group. Scism joins RIM from the office of Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.).

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