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The beleaguered Ford Motor Co., which has been hurt by financial losses and legislative efforts on climate change and fuel standards, has tapped a new top lobbyist: Democrat Bruce Andrews, who is joining the company from Quinn Gillespie & Associates. [IMGCAP(1)]

Andrews, who will be Ford’s vice president of government affairs, will run the company’s Washington, D.C., office and also will oversee its state lobbying efforts. In a sign of the Democrats’ new power on and off Capitol Hill, Andrews replaced a Republican, Dan Brouillette, who left Ford in May 2006 for USAA.

Ziad Ojakli, a former Bush administration liaison to the Senate who is in charge of all of Ford’s global government affairs, called Andrews “the perfect fit,” adding that Andrews will set the company’s legislative strategy when it comes to fuel-economy standards, health care reforms, trade policy and global warming initiatives. “We’ve got a lot of challenges,” Ojakli said.

Andrews referred to the new job as “a great opportunity, a chance to join an iconic American company” as it moves forward. Andrews, who was placed by the search firm Korn/Ferry International, will start early next month. Fellow Democratic lobbyist Steve Elmendorf, who represents Ford, called Andrews “a first-round draft pick.”

Not to be outdone, Quinn Gillespie & Associates announced Andrews’ replacement at the firm. Chris McCannell, the former chief of staff to Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), is joining the firm as a director.

Name partner Ed Gillespie said that while “Bruce is going to be missed here, Chris McCannell will be able to pick up where Bruce left off.”

Shacking Up. A year and a half after its corporate “marriage” to Ogilvy Public Relations, the lobbying firm Federalist Group has changed its name and announced plans to move in with Ogilvy. Removing any memories of its former days as an all-GOP outfit, the firm is now Ogilvy Government Relations. By the end of this month, the lobbyists will set up at 1111 19th St. NW, along with Ogilvy’s PR shop.

K Street Moves. Former Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D-Tenn.), who lost his bid for a Senate seat in November, is crying all the way to the bank. Merrill Lynch & Co. has hired him as vice chairman and senior policy adviser. He will focus on domestic policy issues for the financial services company.

• Nick Kolovos, a lobbyist with CTIA – The Wireless Association and a one-time tech adviser to Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), is heading to the National Cable & Telecommunications Association. Kolovos has been director of government affairs at CTIA.

• ML Strategies has added Jeremy Rabinovitz, most recently chief of staff for Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.), as vice president of government relations.

• TechNet has hired Betsy Mullins, most recently deputy director of the Democratic Governors Association, as vice president of government and political affairs; Mike Platt, formerly the legislative director for Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), as vice president of government and political affairs; and Bret Wincup, the deputy finance director for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) political action committee, as director of government and political affairs.

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