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AARP vs. ARP

Former Reps. Dick Armey (R-Texas) and Jack Kemp (R-N.Y.) are locked in a fight with AARP over the name of their newly formed Social Security lobbying coalition, the Alliance for Retirement Prosperity, or ARP. [IMGCAP(1)]

Shortly after Kemp and Armey unveiled the new group, they were contacted by lawyers for the nation’s top lobbying organization for seniors about the acronym ARP, an apparent reference to the AARP, a top adversary on Social Security reform issues.

Armey and Kemp agreed to refer to their coalition as “the Alliance,” but they have refused to change its domain name from www.ARPnow.org.  

Shawn Small, a spokesman for the group, said the Web site address is “not substantially similar and in fact is different” than the AARP. It’s “not an intentional means of confusing us with AARP,” Small added.

Mike Shuster, a lawyer for the AARP, said the organization was pleased with ARP’s name change — but is still waiting for a Web adjustment.

“It appears that they have gotten the message that this would likely cause confusion,” Shuster said. “We were pleased that they took it seriously and made changes right away.”

AARP continues to press the newly named alliance to change the Web address, but don’t expect Kemp and Armey to honor that request any time soon. “We think that we have met as many as their requests within reason,” Small said.

Borski Hauls in Clients. With his one-year moratorium on lobbying Congress behind him, former Rep. Robert Borski (D-Pa.) has registered to lobby for a boatload of organizations on transportation issues.

Borski, a one-time member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, signed up the City of Philadelphia, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Delaware River Port Authority, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority.

During his tenure on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Borski served as the top Democrat on the subcommittee on water resources and environment.

Former White House Aide Makes Good.  Andrew Lundquist, the author of the White House’s energy bill, has made it through his own one-year moratorium on lobbying after leaving the Bush administration for K Street.

Not surprisingly, he has signed up to represent nearly a dozen energy companies.

Even before Lundquist’s ban had expired, the Lundquist Group had registered to lobby energy companies including Exelon, TXU, BP America and fuel-cell developer ION America.

Lundquist, who worked for Alaska Gov. Frank Murkowski (R) when the former Senator chaired the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, also has signed up to represent his old boss in Washington.

According to forms Lundquist filed with Congress, his firm has been representing the state of Alaska and the Office of the Governor.

Lundquist reported $40,000 in lobbying fees from Murkowski’s office before the contract was terminated at the end of last year.

GOP Boards Airbus. As jet-maker Airbus Industrie works to cut in on the turf of rival Boeing Co., the French-owned consortium has added well-connected Republican lobbyists to its arsenal of lobbyists in Washington.

In the past year, Airbus and parent EADS North America have hired the lobbying firm founded by Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie as well as the Federalist Group.

The Federalist Group is run by an all-Republican team that includes former top aides to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (Texas), Financial Services Chairman Mike Oxley (Ohio), Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Chairman Richard Shelby (Ala.) and former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (Miss.). Joel Johnson, a former top aide to Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), has also been on the Airbus payroll since 2001.

The move by Airbus to expand its team in Washington comes as the Pentagon looks into whether Boeing broke the law in winning a billion-dollar contract for airborne tankers.

With Boeing under investigation, Airbus has promised that it would build plants in the United States if it is given the lucrative contract.

Supplemental Lobbying. Pharmarite LLC is the latest manufacturer of dietary supplements to establish a presence in Washington as Congress and the Food and Drug Administration look into regulations for the industry.

Pharmarite has registered to lobby Congress and the administration on the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, according to lobbying disclosure forms on PoliticalMoneyLine.com.

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