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Cutting Ties

Randy DeLay, the lobbyist brother of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas), has ended his controversial bid to become a million-dollar lobbyist for a small Texas town battling to guard its military bases from the next round of closings. [IMGCAP(1)]

A few months after submitting a proposal to officials in Nueces County, DeLay said he was withdrawing his application because “the mischaracterization, the false reporting and [the] efforts by special interests were obviously causing disharmony in the community,” according to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.

However, one county official, judge Terry Shamsie, told the paper he hopes to persuade DeLay to change his mind.

“Nothing is over yet, I think DeLay’s been given a bad rap,” Shamsie said.

DeLay had hoped to land a one-year deal with the county worth $1.2 million, for which he would team up with fellow Republican lobbyist Joe Allbaugh, a former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

DeLay, who grew up in Corpus Christi, and Allbaugh, who has Texas roots, said they wanted to help Nueces County protect its bases from the latest round of closings as a way to give back to Texas.

DeLay’s negotiations on the lobbying contract come nearly a decade after he ensnared his brother, then the House Republican Whip, in an ethics mess on Capitol Hill.

The House ethics committee investigated — and later cleared — Tom DeLay for rallying House Republicans in 1995 to support an anti-dumping order against Mexican cement companies.

At the time, Randy DeLay represented one of the biggest beneficiaries of his brother’s move.

After the run-in with the ethics panel, lobbyist DeLay lowered his profile in Washington, though he continued to represent a number of corporate clients through his Houston-based practice.

Though press reports often claim that the DeLay brothers are estranged, Randy DeLay told the Caller-Times that is not true.

“I specifically do not discuss with my brother, nor does he know any of my clients, nor do I know his staff or what they do,” he told the newspaper. “We just don’t discuss those matters. I love my brother to death and I’m very proud of all the things he’s doing. It’s just the innuendos and the implications behind those innuendos that I get tired of.”

Hastert Aide Joins Lundquist. Tim Kurth, a longtime aide to Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), has decided to leave Capitol Hill to become vice president of the Lundquist Group.

Kurth has worked on telecommunications and tax issues for nearly a decade in Hastert’s office.

A 1994 graduate of Marquette Univer-

sity, Kurth worked for the former Rep. Bob Michel (R-Ill.), the State Department and the Kamber Group before joining Hastert’s staff.

Kurth is the first major lobbying hire by the Lundquist Group since its president, Andrew Lundquist, hung out a shingle after leaving the Bush White House.

Lundquist hopes that Kurth will broaden his firm’s contacts in the House and on telecommunications issues.

An Alaska native, Lundquist was a top energy aide to Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), who currently chairs the Appropriations Committee and is the likely next chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. He also worked for former Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Frank Murkowski (R-Alaska).

After leaving the Senate, Lundquist took the lead in drafting the Bush administration’s energy bill, which has been caught on Capitol Hill for three years.

New Lobbying Legislation? Under new legislation proposed by Rep. Marty Meehan (D-Mass.), lobbyists would be required to disclose far more about their activities on behalf of corporate clients.

Meehan’s bill would require lobbyists to file their semiannual disclosure reports in an electronic format that could be put immediately into a searchable database. It also would call on lobbyists to disclose each individual contact and phone call with a Member of Congress.

The legislation also would for the first time shed light on the activities of grassroots and ad-hoc lobbying coalitions by requiring them to provide more detail on their finances, including the total cost of their efforts.

McCrery Joins Public Relations Firm. Just a few months ago, Washington was whispering that Rep. Jim McCrery (R-La.) would retire at the end of the year to become a well-paid lobbyist on K Street.

Now the Washington office of public relations giant Ketchum has announced that it has hired a McCrery — Johnette McCrery, the Louisiana lawmaker’s wife.

McCrery, who has been named a vice president at Ketchum, was a broadcast reporter and columnist before becoming a public relations and journalism professor at Louisiana State University seven years ago.

McCrery is the latest hire for Ketchum since the public relations firm installed former Rep. Susan Molinari (R-N.Y.) as its president and began expanding its Washington office.

A Prescription for Amgen. Roughly six months after taking over the Washington office of Amgen, David Beier has hired a half-dozen new faces and nearly completed the makeover of the lobbying operation for the world’s largest biotechnology company.

Beier, a Democrat who served as a top domestic policy adviser to then-Vice President Al Gore, was hired shortly after Amgen and the pharmaceutical industry scored a major win on Capitol Hill by approving an industry-backed prescription-drug bill last year.

In the months since, he has added several health care lobbyists, including Rodger Currie, a one-time Republican aide on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, as vice president of government relations.

Currie is one of three new lobbyists at the company who defected from the industry’s Washington trade group, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

Other former trade-association lobbyists who have joined Amgen include Mara Guarducci and Scott Olsen, each of whom will serve as directors of government affairs.

Another new addition is Josh Ofman, who will be splitting his time between the Washington office and the company’s headquarters in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Ofman will serve as vice president for reimbursement and payment policy.

“We are committed to a full-service, global government-affairs function operating at the highest level of competence,” said Amgen spokeswoman Mary Klem. “We expect to hire more.”

Clark & Weinstock Adds Ag Aide. Christopher D’Arcy, a one-time staff director for a House Agriculture subcommittee, has joined Clark & Weinstock as a lobbyist.

D’Arcy joins the lobbying firm headed by former Reps. Vic Fazio (D-Calif.) and Vin Weber (R-Minn.) after working for a year at the firm Will and Carlson.

While on Capitol Hill, D’Arcy worked for 10 years for Rep. Richard Pombo (R-Calif.), who now chairs the House Resources Committee.

After working for four years in Pombo’s personal office, D’Arcy spent six years under Pombo as staff director for the House Agriculture subcommittee on livestock and horticulture.

K Street Moves … Ken Markison has joined the Mortgage Bankers Association of America after leaving his position as assistant general counsel at the Housing and Urban Development Department. Markison will serve as senior director and regulatory counsel in the trade group’s government-affairs practice. … The Business Roundtable has named Larry Burton to be its executive director. Most recently, Burton served as a top official with BP America. … Alex DelPizzo, a former aide to Rep. Mike Ferguson (R-N.J.), has signed up with the lobbying firm Winning Strategies. DelPizzo joins three other lobbyists at Winning Strategies who have worked for Garden State lawmakers. … Mike Gill, formerly a vice president with the American Frozen Food Institute, is joining C&M Capitolink as senior associate. … The Business Software Alliance has added two former Capitol Hill aides to its office. Dexter Ingram, a former aide to the Homeland Security Committee, will become director of information security policy, while Wendy Rosen, the spokeswoman for Rep. Clay Shaw (R-Fla.), will be director of public relations and policy.

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