K Street Files: ALEC Office for Rent, Ogilvy Departures
The Washington, D.C., headquarters of the embattled American Legislative Exchange Council is on the market.
The space occupied by the conservative nonprofit – an entire floor in a downtown office building near the intersection of Vermont Avenue and L Street Northwest – includes 32 windowed offices and is being offered “below market value” at a monthly rent of between $44,985 and $50,904, according to a flyer obtained by Roll Call that lists commercial real-estate consultant MGA Inc. as the contact.
But Kaitlyn Buss, a spokeswoman for ALEC, said the group was not about to vacate its prime spot.
“We have currently no plans to move but if we ever do, we’ll make sure Roll Call gets a change-of-address announcement,” she said in an email, adding that the space has been on the market for “more than two years.”
The group, which brings corporations and state lawmakers together to craft and promote model legislation, has come under fire for its support of controversial voter-identification laws. In the past year, it has lost dozens of its corporate members, including Johnson & Johnson, which sat on its 13-member private enterprise board. In May, the organization told Roll Call it had gained other private sector members.
Corporate members pay annual dues as high as $25,000, but some firms contribute far more in the form of conference sponsorships and other donations. State lawmakers pay $100 in dues every two years – a small percentage of the nearly $6 million the group raised in 2010, according to IRS fillings.
More than 35 corporations, most recently General Electric Co. and Sprint Nextel Corp., have dropped their memberships with ALEC. Until recently the group was considered one of the most powerful forces in conservative politics.
Liberal groups, led by the African-American advocacy group Color of Change, continue to pressure other member companies such as Duke Energy and eBay Inc. to cut ties with the organization.
Ogilvy Departures Continue
After a small exodus earlier this summer, the lobby shop Ogilvy Government Relations recently lost a couple more employees. And at least one more departure and two new hires are on the horizon, according to sources familiar with the WPP-owned outfit.
De’Ana Dow, previously an in-house lobbyist with the CME Group, left Ogilvy for Capitol Counsel. And Ryan Thompson, one-time chief of staff to Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), has started his own shop.
In addition, Ogilvy lobbyist Steve Tilton, a former Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America lobbyist, will exit the firm later this fall, according to multiple sources, and join Crossroads Strategies.
In June, Ogilvy lost four lobbyists including its biggest rainmaker, GOP heavy-hitter Wayne Berman, who left to go in-house with his longtime client Blackstone.
“We’re still completing our restructuring, and we have new hires that we’ll be announcing in the coming weeks that reflect the future of Ogilvy Government Relations,” President Gordon Taylor said. “And we’re excited about it. I’m not diminishing the loss of any of my colleagues who have left. We wish all our former colleagues the best.”
The revamped Ogilvy is not likely to enter the top revenue tier of K Street firms any time soon but is more likely to take on the identity of a midsized boutique.
Rachel Goldberg, previously with Goldman Sachs’ Washington office, has joined the firm Rich Feuer Anderson as a vice president. Her job will include lobbying, communications and business development.
At Goldman, she focused on the Dodd-Frank financial law and energy policy. Goldberg also previously worked at Prism Public Affairs. She joins Rich Feuer Anderson on the heels of another addition, John Anderson, who came aboard from Credit Suisse this summer.
The Lampkin Group has just doubled in size. The firm started a year ago by Republican Emily Kertz Lampkin, has added Ashley Prime Gula as a vice president.
Gula has experience in grass-roots legislative and political campaigns, and her clients have included corporations and trade associations. Most recently she was a senior account manager with the firm New Media Strategies. She also once worked at Direct Impact – where she focused on auto, beverage and tech clients – and at Quinn Gillespie & Associates, which is now QGA Public Affairs.
QGA is also the former firm of Lampkin’s husband, Marc.
“I’m thrilled to have Ashley join my growing team,” Lampkin said.
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