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The Great Communicator

The House Republican Conference will unveil today its latest prize for rewarding GOP lawmakers: the Ronald Reagan awards. [IMGCAP(1)]

The honor, named after the late president who was famed for his communications skills, will be given to Members who excel at disseminating the party’s message on Social Security reform in their districts.

The program will copy one the Conference implemented in the 108th Congress, when 35 Members received Theodore Roosevelt awards for spreading the gospel on the Medicare prescription drug bill.

“People like to win things,” explained Conference Vice Chairman Jack Kingston (Ga.), expressing hope that the chance for an award would motivate lawmakers to hold more workshops and town hall meetings on Social Security.

Back in the Game. Former Rep. Denise Majette (D-Ga.) has joined the Decatur, Ga., law firm Keegan Federal & Associates.

Majette previously clerked for the firm’s namesake, Keegan Federal, when he served on the Superior Court in DeKalb County.

At the firm, Majette will focus on major litigation including catastrophic injury and death cases. She will also work with international clients.

The one-term Congresswoman, a former state judge, has been serving as a substitute judge in DeKalb since losing the 2004 Senate race to then-Rep. Johnny Isakson (R).

Verizon Venture. Lobbyist Steven Elmendorf, the former chief of staff to one-time House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.), has nabbed Verizon as a client. Elmendorf, who has previously represented the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, will handle telecommunications reform legislation for Verizon.

Elmendorf left Gephardt’s office in 2003 to start his lobbying career and to work on Gephardt’s failed presidential bid. In addition to Verizon, he is also registered to lobby for embattled mortgage giant Fannie Mae. Neither Elmendorf nor a spokesman for Verizon returned calls for comment.

— Ben Pershing, Lauren W. Whittington and Kate Ackley

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