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Message Man

Message Man. Cassidy & Associates, one of the city’s largest lobbying shops, has lured Chad Kolton, most recently press secretary at the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, to start a new communications practice at the firm.

Hiring Kolton is part of Cassidy’s larger effort “to diversify our portfolio to become less dependent on appropriations work,” for which the firm has been best known, said Cassidy’s chief operating officer, Gregg Hartley.[IMGCAP(1)]

Kolton, who initially decided to establish his own shop, said the strategic communications practice at Cassidy will allow him to build a practice from the ground up.

“We can grow the staff along with it,” said Kolton, a former public affairs director at the Federal Emergency Management Agency and one-time deputy press secretary to Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio).

Complete Accounting. Wondering where your favorite lawmaker gets the bulk of his or her campaign funds? The Center for Responsive Politics has posted “career profiles” that track a full 16 years of campaign activity.

The profiles display each lawmaker’s top campaign donors by organization, industry and sector since 1989, when CRP first started comprehensively tracking federal campaign contributions. They include totals raised and spent by each Member, as well as top ZIP codes for donors.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has collected more from lawyers ($357,300) than from any other industry since 1989. The labor union AFSCME tops her list of donors with $61,000 over the same period.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), meanwhile, raised $1.3 million from doctors and other health professionals since he was elected in 1994. His top career contributor list is HCA Healthcare, a hospital company founded by his father and brother. HCA’s employees and PAC have given Frist more than $83,500 since 1994.

Terri’s Battle. Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) and Rep. Dave Weldon (R-Fla.) introduced legislation Tuesday stemming from the ongoing legal struggle over Terri Schiavo, a Florida woman who suffered severe brain damage after a heart attack 15 years ago. She is at the center of battle between her parents and her husband, Michael Schiavo, over whether he can have Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube removed. That is slated to happen on March 18.

Martinez and Weldon want federal courts to have jurisdiction in such cases, as well as the appointment of an independent counsel to represent a disabled or incapacitated person in Schiavo’s position.

— Kate Ackley, Amy Keller and John Bresnahan

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