July 12th, 2010 by Elise
Robert Burley has been named executive vice president for Direct Impact. Burley previously served as a senior external affairs adviser and practice leader for government and media relations for Royal Dutch Shell.
Eric Eikenberg, Gov. Charlie Crist’s (I-Fl.) former chief of staff and Senate campaign manager, has joined Holland & Knight’s public policy and regulation practice.
Fred Humphries, Microsoft Corp.’s top federal lobbyist, was named vice president of U.S. government affairs for the software giant.
Lindsay A. Punzenberger has been hired as an assistant vice president at Venn Strategies LLC.
Alex Slater has left The Glover Park Group after 10 years to join the communications firm SKDKnickerbocker as managing director of its expanded corporate, advocacy and crisis communications practice.
Jordan Stoick has been hired as vice president of Direct Impact. He was communications director for Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).
July 12th, 2010 by Elise
Mark Clack is a new senior vice president at Cassidy & Associates. He was a senior adviser assisting foreign countries with U.S. relations at KRL International.
Gordon Johndroe, former deputy White House press secretary has joined APCO Worldwide as a vice president of government relations in Washington.
Marne Levine, former White House economic adviser, was hired by Facebook to be its new vice president of global public policy. Tim Sparapani will remain as director of Facebook’s DC office in charge of outreach to Congress and the federal government.
Singleton McAllister, Weldon Rougeau and Ronald Thomas II have joined Blank Rome’s government relations group as well as its subsidiary, Blank Rome Government Relations. The trio joins from LeClairRyan.
Jim Ray has been hired as a senior adviser at Venn Strategies LLC.
James P. Moore Jr. has been hired as a senior counselor at APCO Worldwide, where he will also be a member of the company’s international advisory council.
July 12th, 2010 by Elise
Matthew Berger has been appointed vice president of tax for the National Multi Housing Council. He had been economist and press secretary for the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
Timothy Cost is the new global chairman of health care and executive vice president of APCO Worldwide. Most recently, he had been senior vice president of corporate affairs for Wyeth, a global health care company.
Mary Langowski is now with the health care group at DLA Piper. Langowski was formerly a senior public policy adviser at Alston & Bird.
Stephanie Lundberg has joined Burson-Marsteller as manager of its issues and crisis group. Lundberg was House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s (D-Md.) former press secretary.
Jason Meath is now president of advocacy and advertising for Xenophon Strategies. Meath spent the past eight years with the Stevens & Schriefer Group.
Chelsie Redalen has been promoted to director of government relations for the National Pork Producers Council. Redalen was deputy director of government relations.
Brian Vanderbloemen is now vice president of federal public affairs at McGuire Woods Consulting.
July 12th, 2010 by Elise
The public corruption statute, which has been used by the federal government to prosecute lobbyists in the JackAbramoff case (among myriad other bribery and kickback cases), was narrowed in definition by the Supreme Court on June 24.
The decision, according to Roll Call, “limit[s] the use of a public corruption statute known as the ‘honest services’ law to only those cases involving bribery or kickback schemes.” The Court decided on three separate cases: Skilling v. United States, Black v. United States, and Weyhrauch v. United States. According to Covington & Burling, a DC law firm, the fraud statute is now “co-extensive with existing bribery and kickback statutes, meaning that the Government will need to prove that gifts, political contributions, or other things of value were provided to federal officials as a quid pro quo for specific official acts.”
Judge Ellen Huvelle, US District Court for the District of Columbia, ordered the re-trial of former Abramoff associate Kevin Ring to be delayed until October, citing the Supreme Court decision in Skilling as narrowing the scope of the applicable statute under which Ring was charged. But the Department of Justice isn’t changing their approach to prosecuting Ring, who was mis-tried in the fall and re-scheduled for trial this summer. Ring’s prosecution is for a bribery scheme. Federal prosecutor Peter Koski said the high court’s ruling in Skilling v. United States has “no impact whatsoever” on Ring’s prosecution.
Because the prosecutor must now prove specific quid pro quo actions in order to correctly use the Honest Services Fraud statute, Huvelle told prosecutors that they must outline specific official actions and their intended outcomes in the next few weeks; she also ordered Ring’s attorneys to file a new motion to acquit.
Roll Call article is here; Covington & Burling update is here. (PDF) See our previous post on Skilling, et. al, here.
July 8th, 2010 by Elise
Even NFL players need a lobbyist… except this lobbyist is really more of an “educator.” Since he’s not currently registered under the LDA, Joe Briggs, whose title is “Public Policy Counsel,” says he’s not pushing legislation, but he is advocating on behalf of NFL Players.
He’s more of a go-between for football players and Members of Congress – who often share interest in the same issues, and are looking for mutual help in pushing pet projects. Since DC is all about who you know, and how you can get to those people, having a non-lobbyist Congressional liaison such as Briggs makes sense in a member-based organization such as the NFL Players Association.
According to Lobbyists.info, the NFLPA is registered as a “lobbying client” under the LDA, represented by Patton Boggs, under the issue “Sports/Athletics.”
The NFL is also listed as having outside lobbying help, with representation by Capitol Hill Strategies, Covington & Burling, Elmendorf Strategies, The Glover Park Group, and Dudinsky, Lisker, & Associates. Issues that the NFL is interested in include (among others): Labor/Antitrust/Workplace, Alcohol/Drug Abuse, Communications/Broadcasting/Radio/TV.
Story: The Football Fixer.
July 6th, 2010 by Elise
So you’re a lobbyist, you just moved to your brand-new Capitol Hill rowhouse, and you want to invite friends – including Members and staffers – over for a house-warming party. Who can you invite? Do you have to get it approved by the ethics committee? What should you serve?
We can’t help you with the menu in this case (although take a look at our Meal Definition Edition ethics tip for tips on what constitutes a “meal”). But here’s does and don’ts for entertaining people at your home.
A lobbyist may entertain a Member or staffer in his/her home if that person is a personal friend of the lobbyist and the situation meets the test for the personal friendship exceptions. This means that the personal hospitality being offered under the personal frienship exception is reciprocal in that the Member or staffer similarly provides meals and personal hospitality to the lobbyist.
A lobbyist is not permitted to offer his / her home as an entertainment venue to a Member or staffer, nor to issue an invitation to visit or use a lobbyist’s beach house or mountain condo, even if those are owned by the lobbyist personally. The exception for personal hospitality does not extend to individuals who are lobbyists. Inviting Members or staffers to your home must fall under the personal friendship exception, meaning that all the factors of personal friendship must be in place for the exception to be appropriate.
Again – the key word is “reciprocal.” There must be a history of gift-giving or reciprocal dinner invitations, at the same level of giving.
The information in this post is from the Lobbying Compliance Handbook, a comprehensive guide to ethics, LDA filing, and life as a federal lobbyist. New edition coming soon! Details on the Lobbying Compliance Handbook are available here.
July 2nd, 2010 by Elise
1. As a lobbyist listed on an LD-2, you must file an LD-203. The LD-203 has civil and criminal penalties attached to it. If you fill out a legally binding document incorrectly, you run the risk of opening yourself (and your company) up to damaging PR and DOJ investigations. Learn exactly what you’re signing and why, at the audioconference.
2. Cleta Mitchell. Cleta is one of the nation’s leading political lawyers and an expert on the LD-203 and related issues. Take advantage of the situation to ask your own specific questions, before you have to answer questions from DOJ lawyers.
3. Learn how to record-keep properly. The statute requires a certain number of years’ worth of record-keeping. Learn how to properly retain what you’ll need in the event of an audit or internal investigation.
4. Get proof of your good-faith effort to understand the law. A quick but detailed survey after the conference tests your knowledge of the topics and provides you with proof of training – particularly useful in the event of a GAO audit.
Register today at www.lobbyists.info.