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Who Wants to Be a (Quarter) Millionaire?

Psst. Wanna earn 250,000 bucks? Think you’ve fostered an idea or movement or piece of legislation that has improved lives and communities?

Then the Milwaukee-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation wants to hear about you.

The foundation — dedicated, in its words, to “strengthening American democratic capitalism and the institutions and principles and values that sustain and nurture it” — is soliciting nominations for its first-ever Bradley Prizes. Up to four prizes, each in the amount of $250,000, will be awarded to outstanding individuals at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., later this year.

The fact that the ceremony will be in Washington is significant and suggests that there will be an emphasis on conservative policy, particularly policy that limits government.

“For nearly 20 years, the Bradley Foundation has made grants to institutions that have come to us with good ideas for improving our lives and communities,” said Bradley Foundation CEO Michael Grebe. “Through these grants, we have been able to support effective programs and policies. With the Bradley Prizes program, we will focus on the ideas that shape good public policy by celebrating the achievements of individuals.”

The foundation plans to solicit nominations for the prizes from more than 100 prominent academics, policymakers, journalists, business leaders and people involved in the arts. Those nominations will be forwarded to a selection committee — whose identities will be kept secret until the awards are handed out — and then to the foundation’s board.

Board members include former Sen. William Armstrong (R-Colo.), former Delaware Gov. Pete DuPont (R), developer and former Colorado politician Terry Considine (R) and National Review President Thomas Rhodes.

Three’s Company. Gary Hoitsma, who spent eight years as press secretary to Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), has joined the Carmen Group, a Washington-based lobbying firm, as transportation and infrastructure practice managing director. Previously, he served in senior positions at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and during the Reagan administration he was the top aide to the administrator of the Federal Highway Administration.

Two other government veterans have also recently joined the Carmen Group: Victoria Wassmer, previously of the Office of Management and Budget, as senior associate, and John Ladd, previously chief counsel of the House Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution, as managing associate in the firm’s private sector practice.

Immediately before joining Carmen, Ladd was in private practice, where he was general counsel and corporate secretary for companies in the entertainment and technology industries.

Wassmer spent six years at OMB, first as a policy analyst and special assistant in the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, and then as an analyst and acting branch chief in the transportation branch. She last worked at the Capital Programming and Oversight Office of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

Picking a Bentley. Shawn Bentley, who spent the past decade on the Senate Judiciary Committee staff, has become vice president for domestic public policy at media giant AOL Time Warner Inc.

Bentley will be the company’s lead policy manager on copyright and intellectual property law — expertise he garnered as the Judiciary Committee’s deputy chief counsel and chief intellectual property counsel. Before working on the Hill, Bentley was in private practice.

Hanging His Shingle. Alan Dillingham, a former adviser to Rep. Martin Sabo (D-Minn.) on defense and foreign operations appropriations projects, has started his own firm. Based in Springfield, Va., AJD International is an international, national and homeland security firm, specializing in Congressional relations and policy analysis.

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