Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 28, 2014

Posts in "Downtown Moves"

July 17, 2014

John Devaney Set to Take Leadership Role at Perkins Coie | Downtown Moves

John Devaney, who will soon become the new managing partner of law firm Perkins Coie, has some big shoes to fill.

The law firm — whose clients include a collection of high-profile Democrats — announced earlier this month the change in the firm’s leadership. Come the new year, Devaney will replace Bob Giles, who has served as chairman for the past 28 years and will still act as an adviser to the firm.

“After being led by a strong leader for 28 years, its going to be a challenge to fill the shoes of someone who has been at the helm of this firm for so long,” Devaney told CQ Roll Call. Full story

July 15, 2014

Former Hill Staffer Tom Downs Heads to Venable | Downtown Moves

Venable law firm has added yet another former Capitol Hill staffer to its practice. The firm announced Tuesday that Tom Downs, a former chief of staff and legislative aide, will be joining the firm from Patton Boggs (now Squire Patton Boggs).

Before joining Patton Boggs, Downs served as chief of staff for former Rep. George Hochbrueckner, D-N.Y. He also worked as a legislative aide for former Rep. Martin Olav Sabo, D-Minn., who chaired the House Budget Committee.

In a statement announcing the hire, Venable touted Downs as an addition to their “deep bench of Capitol Hill veterans,” which includes former Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., and Andrew Olmem, who was chief counsel and deputy staff director at the Senate Banking Committee during the 2008 financial crisis.

“The firm has an all-star roster of former government officials — the very advisers who understand and can guide clients through the most challenging and sensitive legislative and executive branch issues,” Downs said in a statement.

Downs also brings that insider knowledge to the table in his new position as a partner in legislative and government affairs in D.C.

According to Venable’s statement, he will be working with “government entities, corporations, nonprofits and educational institutions” on issues pertaining to congressional funding and public-private partnerships.

July 11, 2014

McKenna Long & Aldridge Hires Gen. Walter Sharp To Extend Asian Presence | Downtown Moves

Moving to expand its clout in Asia, law firm McKenna Long & Aldridge has hired retired Gen. Walter L. “Skip” Sharp, a well-seasoned Korea expert who once served as commander of U.S. forces in South Korea from 2008 to 2011. Sharp will serve as a strategic adviser for the firm as it continues to establish offices throughout Asia.

Sharp’s longstanding relationships with major Korean corporations — as well as his military career in the country — will help develop the firm in Korea, McKenna Chairman Jeff Haidet said in a statement announcing Sharp’s hire.

Full story

By Cady Zuvich Posted at 1:09 p.m.
Downtown Moves

June 27, 2014

Mercury Public Affairs Adds Chris Mottola | Downtown Moves

Mercury Public Affairs added to its wave of high-profile hires made within the past year Friday, announcing that GOP media consultant Chris Mottola will join the firm’s team, bringing his consulting company Chris Mottola Inc. along with him.

“Joining Mercury affords me the chance to work with a truly smart group of people who are experts in research, and understand how to translate the numbers attached to policy and politics into great creative content,” Mottola said in a statement.

The addition of Mottola, the late Sen. Arlen Specter’s longtime media consultant, continues the public firm’s expansion as several notable figures, including former diplomat Erin Pelton, have been hired within the past few months. With Mercury looking to hone its media capability, Mottola will head the paid media operations firm from his headquarters in Philadelphia.

Mottola’s past clients include such Republican heavy-hitters as former President George W. Bush, Sen. John McCain of Arizona and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Mottola is a national award-winning producer of campaign ads, and has owned his media consulting firm for 28 years. His work for Specter took place in the Pennsylvania senator’s stints as both Republican and Democrat.

“Chris Mottola’s decade of work in campaign ads and political consulting is known throughout the United States,” CEO Kieran Mahoney said in a statement on the firm’s new hire. “We have worked with Chris for many years, and have seen his talents contribute to myriad successful campaign wins.”

By Cady Zuvich Posted at 4:31 p.m.
Downtown Moves

June 24, 2014

Betsy Mullins Named President and CEO of Women’s Campaign Fund, She Should Run

The Women’s Campaign Fund and its nonprofit arm She Should Run announced Tuesday that Betsy Mullins will be its new CEO and president, directing the sister organizations in their shared mission of increasing women’s political participation at all levels of government.

“WCF has a proud legacy of bipartisan innovation,” said Mullins in a statement on joining the organization. “I look forward to expanding on that legacy and applying 21st century tools to building a government that harnesses the full potential of our nation’s diverse population.” Siobhan Bennett, who previously led the fund, stepped down in November.

Georgia Berner, chairwoman of the pair organizations’ board of directors, announced in a statement that Mullins’ hiring comes after an “exhaustive search.” Full story

June 11, 2014

Cantor’s Loss Worries Business Lobbyists on Export-Import Bank, Immigration

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s primary loss Tuesday shocked K Street and has left the business community without a crucial, well-placed ally in the ongoing battle between conservative and pro-business factions within the GOP.

The Virginia Republican’s defeat by a tea-party-backed political novice could deal a setback to the already toned-down summer agenda of the business community. In particular, business lobbyists working in support of the Export-Import Bank’s re-authorization by the Sept. 30 expiration say Cantor’s loss will only embolden the conservative Republicans who wish to block the bank.

“It is shocking,” said one business lobbyist speaking on the condition of anonymity. “As for policy, this completely kills any chance of immigration reform this year and surely imperils Ex-Im.” Full story

June 2, 2014

Wyden-World Comes to GPhA Government Affairs | Downtown Moves

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Green, left, and Dorst are new to the GPhA. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Generic Pharmaceutical Association has added two senior-level staff members to its government affairs division.

Jonathan Dorst, a former legislative assistant for Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., joined GPhA as senior manager of federal government affairs. GPhA also added Hannah Green to focus on measures at the state level as senior manager of state government affairs.

The fact that both positions were open at the same time was unusual, according to Melissa Schulman, senior vice president of GPhA government affairs.  However, when it came to Dorst and Green, “both had more experience than we thought we were initially going to be able to find,” Schulman said in a recent phone interview. Full story

May 27, 2014

Jose Parra Leaves Reidland for ProsperoLatino | Downtown Moves

Jose Parra has left the office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and struck out on his own to head up ProsperoLatino, a Latino-focused public relations firm.

“We saw a void in Hispanic communications,” said Parra in a recent interview.

Latinos are one of the fastest growing demographics in the country and Parra and his business partner David Taggart hope to be the place where Fortune 500 companies and political candidates go to reach out to the community.

“There is so much that is needed…[for] corporations that have a lot of room to grow or have a high stake in Hispanic markets around the country,” Parra said. “And obviously there are going to be different [political] races that are going to need the Hispanic votes and need to figure out how to message.” Full story

May 23, 2014

Squire Sanders, Patton Boggs Decide NOT to Call The Whole Thing Off | Downtown Moves

Talk about a Friday news dump. At 5:42 p.m., when just about everyone was either a couple of sheets in at Happy Hour or halfway to Rehoboth, the announcement came in, subject line: “Squire Sanders and Patton Boggs Announce Agreement to Combine Firms.”

The release laid out the particulars: “Operating under the name Squire Patton Boggs, the firm will consist of approximately 1,600 lawyers spanning 45 offices in 21 countries around the world. This places the firm among the top 25 firms globally in terms of lawyer headcount, and eighth by number of countries where they have offices, as per The American Lawyer 2013 Global 100. The firm will also rank as one of the top 10 largest firms in Washington DC with approximately 280 lawyers and among the largest in the United States with roughly 785 lawyers.”

Patton Boggs, like many K Street firms who have seen revenue plunge in recent years, has been trying to figure it out lately, shedding partners and checking out its merger options, so it’s no huge surprise that this happened. Earlier this week, the merger hit a snag over last minute jitters over Patton Boggs’ involvement in a lawsuit between Chevron and Ecuadorean villagers. The late-Friday-before-the-holiday-announcement signals that the powers that be finally got enough of a green light to not call the whole thing off. Congratulations to the happy couple.

By Jason Dick Posted at 6:42 p.m.
Downtown Moves

May 16, 2014

Lisa Tan Joins GPhA | Downtown Moves

tan013 050714 445x296 Lisa Tan Joins GPhA | Downtown Moves

Tan is new to GhPA. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A former Food and Drug Administration official has joined the Generic Pharmaceutical Association to strengthen the partnership between the FDA and the pharmaceutical industry.

Felecia (Lisa) Tan will now serve as associate vice president for science and regulatory affairs at GPhA.  Tan said in a recent phone interview that she will work  “to enhance the existing bridging and collaborative efforts between the industry and the agency.”

“We are delighted that Lisa Tan has joined the GPhA staff,” GPhA CEO Ralph G. Neas said in a statement. “Her hiring demonstrates our continued commitment to making collaboration with FDA a key priority.” Full story

May 6, 2014

Nelson Mullins Mourns Ex-Rep. Butler Derrick

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, which tapped the late Rep. Butler Derrick to open its Washington office in 2004, is mourning the South Carolina Democrat, who died Monday at age 77.

Derrick Butler MK 09 24 98 401x600 Nelson Mullins Mourns Ex Rep. Butler Derrick

“Since opening the Washington office, Butler helped us grow in the nation’s capital, which today has more than 40 attorneys and policy advisers. Butler leaves a legacy of gentility and professionalism that won’t soon be forgotten on the Hill or at Nelson Mullins,” Managing Partner Jim Lehman said.

Would that all people who work and strive in the capital city aim to be known for their “gentility and professionalism.”

By Jason Dick Posted at 4:31 p.m.
Downtown Moves

April 16, 2014

Alignment Government Strategies, New Lobby Boutique, Comes Into Alignment | Downtown Moves

Five lobbyists at Williams & Jensen are leaving to set up their own bipartisan shop, Alignment Government Strategies.

Bert Carp, Michael Beer, Rebecca Anderson, Jenny DiJames and Pat Pettey, all formerly with Williams & Jensen, are joining with Leo Jardot, who previously ran the Washington office for the pharmaceutical firm Wyeth.

“We saw an opportunity to do something entrepreneurial,” said Carp, who served as a domestic policy aide in the Carter administration and lobbies on telecom, tax, energy and other issues.

In 2013, Williams and Jensen was the seventh largest lobbying practice, according to reports filed with Congress under the Lobbying Disclosure Act. Full story

April 9, 2014

Robert Zirkelbach Leaving AHIP for PhRMA | Downtown Moves

It’s as a colleague said, the end of an era. Robert Zirkelbach, the long-time chief flack at America’s Health Insurance Plans, is heading to another titan of the industry, the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers of America.

Zirkelbach was in charge of helping AHIP and its head, Karen Ignagni, navigate some of the most treacherous policy and political waters in recent history: the debate over the Affordable Care Act. AHIP worked hand-in-glove with the Obama administration to make sure insurers stayed on board, and Ignagni and her organization took some major licks. The place he’s heading, PhRMA, also got criticized by those skeptical and opposed to Obamacare for doing much the same. Full story

By Jason Dick Posted at 2:57 p.m.
Downtown Moves

Abbott Ups Haas to Top Lobbyist | Downtown Moves

Abbott Laboratories has a new chief federal lobbyist.

The pharmaceutical and health care company promoted Rosemary Haas to vice president of federal government affairs. It also created a new trade policy team headed by Jason Grove, who will manage global issues.

An outside spokeswoman for the company said neither was available for comment because Abbott does not allow its government affairs employees to speak with the press.

Haas has been with Abbott since 1984 and spent the past nine years as a senior director in federal government affairs. She has focused on tax, nutrition and health care policy and  spearheaded the company’s effort to repeal the medical device tax included in the Affordable Care Act, according to a company press release. Full story

April 3, 2014

Mark Baker Joins Mercury to Expand Rocky Mountain Presence | Downtown Moves

In a series of new hires to broaden its influence, Mercury Public Affairs announced Thursday that attorney and Republican political adviser Mark Baker is joining its team.

Baker will serve in an “of counsel” role with Mercury, working with some of the firm’s clients in an effort to expand its presence in the Northwest.

“My understanding of the culture of the Rocky Mountain West is important,” Baker told CQ Roll Call.

Currently, Baker is managing partner of his Montana law firm and serves on the National Finance Committee for the National Republican Congressional Committee.  He said he will remain on the committee and “raise critical resources for the 2014 cycle.”

The “of counsel” role is not new for Baker.  He worked in the same capacity for Denny Miller Associates for 15 years.  Mercury approached Baker around the time that Miller closed his office last year so, Baker said, “The transition worked out well from a timing perspective.”

Baker joins fellow Montanan and former Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg at the public affairs firm. Rehberg served in Congress for more than a decade and is now co-chairman of Mercury’s D.C. office.

Baker will remain in Montana, although he plans to spend one week per month in Washington, D.C.

“Mark is a critical addition to the firm,” said Mercury Partner Vin Weber in a statement, “with impressive experience in both national and Montana politics.”

 

 

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