K Street Files: Crowley Seeks Groupies Who Have Cash to Donate

Posted July 9, 2010 at 5:29pm

Rep. Joe Crowley has long been known as a music aficionado, throwing a fundraiser in June at a James Taylor and Carole King concert at the Verizon Center and picking up the guitar at the Kennedy Center last year to kick off the new Congressional Musicians Caucus.

But the New York Democrat is taking it to the next level this month by promising to strum for dollars.

The event on Thursday at the Recording Industry Association of America’s F Street office is being billed as “Crowley Unplugged,” according to a recent Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraising list.

While hosts are required to contribute $1,000, individuals can purchase a “ticket” for a mere $150.

This isn’t the first time Crowley has crooned to K Street for cash. Last year, the Congressman held a similar event for his Jobs Opportunities and Education Political Action Committee, or JOE PAC, at RIAA’s headquarters.

Still, an RIAA spokesman said that the trade group isn’t favoring Democrats over GOPers. Crowley’s campaign rented out RIAA’s office space — as both Republican and Democratic groups occasionally do, according to the spokesman.

Of the nearly $50,000 it has doled out, RIAA’s PAC has contributed 64 percent to Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Crowley has received only $150 of that.

But the music industry group is equal opportunity in renting out its space. Last year, it got flak for opening its offices for the group 218, whose mission is to help fund Republican candidates to win control of the House.

Chipping Away at Advocacy

Texas-based defense attorney Chip Lewis has made a living as a hired gun representing white-collar defendants such as Enron founder Ken Lay. But now Lewis is getting in on the action in Washington, D.C. He has hired the Ben Barnes Group, according to a recent Senate lobbying registration.

Barnes and his colleagues Kent Caperton, Wyeth Wiedeman, Patsy Thomasson and Scott Moorhead all registered to lobby on behalf of Lewis to “engage in dialogue with relevant committees charged with oversight” of the Department of Justice. Lewis and Barnes did not return a request for comment. The client is one of six the firm registered this month.

Barnes Group also signed up Friends of the University of Houston, Wintec Group and Newind.

K Street Moves

• Melika Carroll, director of government affairs at Micron Technologies Inc. for the past three years, has jumped to Hewlett-Packard. Carroll, who previously worked at Intel Corp. in international government affairs, is now executive director of global public policy at the tech company.

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