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Sonny Days

Former Rep. Sonny Callahan (R-Ala.) has joined Dawson & Associates, a Washington, D.C.-based firm that helps companies, state and local governments, trade associations and individuals navigate federal environmental, transportation, energy and infrastructure regulations.

Callahan, an 18-year veteran of Congress whose term ended this month, is the fourth consecutive former chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee on energy and water development to join the firm. The others are former Reps. Tom Bevill (D-Ala.), John Myers (R-Ind.) and Ron Packard (R-Calif.). Packard has since formed his own firm, though he is expected to continue working with Dawson & Associates.

In a statement, Callahan said his new gig would help him continue to serve the interests of his Mobile, Ala.-based district.

Power to These People. People for the American Way, the civil rights and progressive activist organization, has named two new directors.

Marge Baker, a former staff director to the late Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.) on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, will become director of public policy and legislative affairs. She will head the organization’s various campaigns in Congress.

Nancy Keenan, a former Montana State Superintendent of Public Instruction, will be the new director of education policy, signaling that the organization plans to become more involved in the debate over the direction of the nation’s public schools.

Where Else? Sears, Roebuck and Co. has opened a government affairs office in Washington, right in the thick of things at 1725 I St. NW. Kenneth Gear, director of federal affairs for the huge retailer, will head the new office, which will be a satellite to the company’s government affairs group in its Hoffman Estates, Ill., headquarters.

For two years Gear managed Sears’ government affairs operations in half the country, and previously served as vice president and counsel for the Retailers Association of Massachusetts.

New Vice President. Bannon Communications Research, a public affairs and political consulting firm that specializes in designing poll-driven communications strategies for Democratic candidates, party organizations and groups that generally support Democrats, has a new vice president.

Randy Borntrager, who has been with the firm since 2001 and most recently was a senior associate, assumes the new position. Since joining Bannon, he has worked on the successful campaigns of Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) and Wayne County (Mich.) Executive Robert Ficano (D).

Howdy, Partner. Stevens Reed Curcio & Co., a leading Republican media firm, has changed its name to Stevens Reed Curcio and Potholm now that Erik Potholm has been taken on as a partner.

Potholm in recent cycles has produced campaign ads for Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio), Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.), New Hampshire Gov. Craig Benson (R) and the American Forest and Paper Association.

Government Reform Staffer Tapped. A leading government relations consulting firm has hired the former deputy staff director of the House Government Reform Committee as a new vice president.

Daniel Moll, who in six years with the committee became an authority on federal employee compensation issues and the Postal Service, is a 19-year Hill veteran, having worked for seven Members, three subcommittees and two full committees.

Wade-ing In. Terry Wade, a 30-year public relations, communications, government and political professional, has opened a new public relations agency, The Wade Group Inc. Wade describes the new firm as a “consortium of public affairs professionals” that will do business differently from other Washington public relations agencies.

Wade has worked at several major public affairs agencies, including Cohn & Wolfe and Burston-Marteller. He is also a former chief of staff at the Republican National Committee, and a former journalist.

Welcome to the Big Pond. SCM Associates, a Jaffrey, N.H.-based Republican direct-mail and telemarketing firm, is opening a Washington office at 733 15th St. NW.

It will be headed by Caryn Eggernat, a veteran fundraiser who has worked for then-Rep. Ed Bryant (R-Tenn.) and former Massachusetts Gov. Paul Cellucci (R). She was also the senior government relations manager for Fidelity Investments, and she managed that firm’s political action committee.

The End of Soft Money as We Know it. The Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy at Brigham Young University is releasing a report called “The Last Hurrah? Soft-Money and Issue Advocacy in the 2002 Congressional Elections.” The center is also hosting a daylong discussion of all matters political and financial, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday at the National Press Club. Call (202) 572-0399 for more information.

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