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Revolving Door

Gina Mahony is leaving her post as senior policy adviser to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) to join the Washington, D.C., office of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, a Denver-based law and lobbying firm. She starts with the shop in late April as a policy director.

[IMGCAP(1)]With more than a decade of experience on Capitol Hill, including more than five as a senior House leadership aide, Mahony “is equipped with the essential insight on policy challenges facing our clients,” said Al Mottur, managing partner of the firm’s Washington office.

He said she would work on a range of issues, including financial services, education, telecommunications, trade, technology and intellectual property. In a statement, Hoyer called her an integral part of his office.

“Her valuable experience and deep knowledge of the issues have been vital, and I wish her all the best as she begins this new phase in her career,” he said.

H&R Block on K Street’s Block. Lobbyists overwhelmed by the beefed up reporting requirements under the ethics reform law can now outsource their worries. Roseanna Haley, a veteran filer who has spent the bulk of the past 20 years handling reports for Van Scoyoc Associates, has launched Capitol Filings, a firm devoted to handling K Street’s disclosure paperwork.

Haley said she expects the shop to be a sort of H&R Block for small to midsize lobbying firms, walking clients through the process and assembling their reports. “It’s an administrative burden and a lot of detail to compile,” Haley said.

She speaks from experience — at Van Scoyoc, she was charged with filing about 280 reports twice a year.

The Project Lives On. Democrats have been happily crowing about the death of the K Street Project since the November 2006 elections that restored their majorities in Congress. In fact, a version of the campaign, or what’s left of it, has still been kicking around, and it’s about to get some new management.

Americans for Tax Reform — the anti-tax group headed by Grover Norquist — has long maintained a Web site bearing the project’s name as a jobs bank for like-minded conservatives. Now, after three years at the helm of that effort, Sarah Smith has left for a job at a professional search firm. But Chris Butler, ATR’s chief of staff, said the group will continue its job-placement push and will announce Smith’s replacement soon. He acknowledged the political realities have changed the dynamic of the campaign.

“It’s pretty obvious to anybody watching that companies are hedging their bets now and hiring more Democrats,” Butler said. But, he added, the group is still making the argument to companies and trade associations that they should hire people who agree with their free-trade, lower-taxes agenda. And despair not, young conservatives: Butler said there continue to be plenty of opportunities for movement faithful at think tanks and issue-oriented groups.

The Big Dance. It might be the oddest way yet to fill out a March Madness tournament bracket, but it also might just work: picking winners based on the strength of the schools’ lobbying teams.

The Center for Responsive Politics used the premise to predict the results for the remainder of the championship, starting with the Sweet Sixteen. In each matchup, the school that spends more on lobbying advances. As of Friday morning, the method successfully predicted the results of the first four contests in the round: the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ($310,000) over Washington State University ($240,000); the University of Louisville ($160,000) over the University of Tennessee ($80,000); UCLA ($560,000) over Western Kentucky University ($80,000); and Xavier University ($80,000) over West Virginia University, which doesn’t employ lobbyists. If the model holds up, UCLA should beat North Carolina in the final. May the best (lobbying) team win.

New Downloads. The high-tech lobbying group Information Technology Industry Council is adding two new Democrats to its staff roster. Bret Wincup, a former deputy finance director for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and one-time aide to then-Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), is joining ITI from another tech-focused lobbying outfit, TechNet, where he was director of government and political affairs.

ITI’s new communications director is Vincent Morris, who previously held that same title in the office of Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and then-D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams. The group has two Democrats already on staff, Brian Peters, who worked for Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.), and Jon Hoganson, who worked for Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.).

“We have developed a strong lobbying team that can work with the new Congress,” said ITI’s top lobbyist, Ralph Hellmann, who once worked for then-Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.).

Kate Ackley contributed to this report.

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