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Styles Leaves Firm

Scott Styles has left lobbying shop Bergner, Bockorny, Castagnetti & Hawkins to become a top lobbyist for America’s Health Insurance Plans.

Styles departure from Bergner Bockorny makes him the latest in a string of top lobbyists to leave the firm in the past year.

Last week, partner David Castagnetti announced he would take a leave from the firm to help Sen. John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) presidential campaign manage his relations with Washington.

Last year, Chuck Brain left the firm to join Capitol Hill Strategies, and founding partner Jeff Bergner retired.

In all, three of the five name partners in the firm once known as Bergner, Bockorny, Castagnetti, Hawkins & Brain are no longer there.

But insiders say that the moves are a coincidence — and don’t signal any weakness.

“It’s just a series of idiosyncratic things,” said Brain, who left the firm last fall, a decade after he first joined Bergner Bockorny.

Brain said that Styles was offered a tremendous opportunity to return to organize the lobbying shop at his old trade association, while Castagnetti had the chance of a lifetime to work on a Democratic presidential campaign.

Brain himself took a temporary leave from the firm during 1998 when he joined the Clinton administration to help run its legislative affairs office.

So far, lobbying revenues have not decreased for the firm.

Last year, the firm reported $7.4 million in lobbying revenues, up 10 percent from $6.7 million in 2002.

Styles, a former Republican aide, once worked for the American Association of Health Plans, one of the predecessors of the AHIP.

On Capitol Hill, Styles served as a top aide to Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) after working for Secretary of State James Baker in the first Bush administration.

Rainmakers or Homemakers? Most people who write big checks to political candidates are considered rainmakers. But a new study by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics suggests a new category of major campaign contributors: homemakers.

According to the study, about one-third of the campaign money President Bush raised from women has come from those who identified themselves as “homemakers.”

In contrast, homemakers represented just one-fifth of the female givers to the presidential campaign of Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.).

These figures, based on contributions of more than $200 in campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission, point to a larger trend.

Women without an income-earning occupation tend to send most of their contributions to Republicans, while women with separate incomes tend to give most of their money to Democrats.

Overall, the Bush campaign has recorded far more female donors and raised significantly more money from women than Kerry.

Through February, Bush reported 28,333 female donors, while Kerry’s totaled 6,935 contributors.

However, when the number of female donors and their donations are looked at as a percentage of each candidate’s overall contributors and total fundraising, Kerry has the advantage over his rival.

Women constituted 34 percent of Kerry’s total receipts, compared with 31 percent for Bush.

Still, both percentages are significantly lower than the ratio of women in the general population — 51 percent — according to the latest U.S. Census.

Vic vs. Vin. Former Reps. Vin Weber (R-Minn.) and Vic Fazio (D-Calif.) squared off last week on CNN’s “Crossfire” about U.S. intelligence failures that preceded the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

But it wasn’t until midway through the debate that co-host James Carville pointed out that Weber and Fazio are both partners at the Washington lobbying firm Clark & Weinstock.

“I might add, interestingly enough, I did notice, but you two gentlemen have worked for the same firm together,” Carville said. “So anytime that anybody needs anything in Washington, these are two of the best that there is. Give them a call.”

“Can you imagine, a Republican and a Democrat living together under the same roof?” Weber responded.

Referring to his Republican wife, Carville retorted: “I actually heard that some Democrats actually sleep in the same bed as Republicans.”

Harrison Joins Council. The American Legislative Exchange Council has hired Stella Harrison as a public relations consultant.

Harrison comes to the council from Alexandria, Va.-based Stellar Strategies, which she owned.

Hotra Joins APCO. Michael Hotra has joined APCO Worldwide after spending five years with the American Tort Reform Association where he served as director of legislation and communications.

At APCO, Hotra will continue to work on litigation issues.

Westin Gets Addicted. The Association for Addiction Professionals has named Jonathan Westin to serve as the group’s new director of government relations.

Westin comes to the association from the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, where he often worked with the Association of Addiction Professionals.

Westin also once worked on Capitol Hill as a graduate fellow for Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.).

Megan Van Diver contributed to this report.

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