K Street Files: Party Time

Posted January 13, 2009 at 6:11pm

With inauguration less than a week away, scrambling for tickets is becoming intense.

[IMGCAP(1)]Even the after-hours parties are filling up, including the lobbyist-filled fete from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. Tuesday at the Chi Cha Lounge.

Taking full advantage of the extended D.C. bar hours, lobbyists who are hosting in a personal capacity include Lyndon Boozer of AT&T, Mauricio Claver-Carone of the Cuba Democracy Public Advocacy Corp., Bryant Hall of Pfizer, Jennifer Stewart of Bryan Cave Strategies, Gordon Taylor of Ogilvy Government Relations, Dean Thomas of the National Beer Wholesalers Association and Ivan Zapien of Wal-Mart.

The event is expected to draw quite the crowd.

“With all the tourists and packed inauguration balls taking place, we thought it’d be a great idea to gather a group of colleagues and have a great party amongst friends,” Claver-Carone said.

“The host committee is composed of some of the hottest people on the Hill, which explains why we are so over-booked and had to quickly close down the RSVPs,” he said, adding,

with perhaps a touch of exaggeration: “It’s the first after-party of its kind, and I believe the only one on inauguration night. It’s going to be a long night.”

Closing Out. As firms prepare to file their fourth-quarter lobbying disclosures by Jan. 21, those termination reports are already piling up — 250 as of Monday, according to Senate disclosure records.

And there’s a lot more than the bad economy precipitating the terminations.

Gallatin Public Affairs, a firm based out of Seattle, had the highest number of terminations at 13. But the terminations were merely a technical change.

Gallatin’s Washington operations were acquired by R&R Partners on Jan. 1, which decided to merge Gallatin’s three-person D.C. lobbying operation — Sara Bartles, Joseph Hardy and Ethan Saxon — with R&R’s, according to Dan Lavey of Gallatin.

Mayer Brown also posted nine fourth-quarter terminations, including General Electric, Pfizer and US Airways. Duane Larson of Mayer Brown says the terminations were a result of “house cleaning” and that most of the clients had been inactive for months.

With the deadline for posting year-end numbers, the results are just days away on whether K Street will continue its recession-proof mantra.

A Global Award. Global Action for Children might be best known for its star messenger on Capitol Hill, celebrity Angelina Jolie, but the nonprofit is honoring stars of a different sort today.

The group, which seeks to increase foreign aid to the world’s poorest youths, is honoring Sens. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), and Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) with the inaugural Children’s Champion Award today.

Global Action for Children is recognizing the five legislators for their role in channeling increased resources to children, in particular a provision in a 2003 bill that reserves 10 percent of foreign HIV/AIDS funding for vulnerable children and orphans.

Executive Director Jennifer Delaney lauded the efforts of “these legislators working tirelessly on this issue,” as a result of which she said an additional 4 million children worldwide gained access to aid.

Global Action isn’t stopping there, though. The group has already drafted a letter to President-elect Barack Obama urging the establishment of a Presidential Initiative for the World’s Developing Children, and it has also backed proposals to create a new Department of Global Development.

“We’re incredibly optimistic,” Delaney said, referring to the incoming administration. “With the new tenor in Washington, we’ll hopefully see a new tenor in foreign relations.

Looks like Jolie’s star-studded lobbying may be back on Capitol Hill soon.

K Street Moves. Andrew Wheeler, minority staff director at the Environment and Public Works Committee, is leaving after 14 years on the Hill to B&D Consulting, where he will be a senior vice president on the energy and climate practice team.

Wheeler said he wasn’t actively looking, but was approached by B&D, which is owned by the Indiana-based law firm Baker & Daniels.

“I’m from the Midwest, Cincinnati. It’s a good Midwestern law firm, and I’m impressed with its Midwestern values,” Wheeler said.

He starts his new job on Jan. 26. Ruth Van Mark, deputy staff director, will replace him on the committee.

Terrence Davis has jumped to Schiff Hardin as counsel in the futures and securities regulation group. He was a senior attorney at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman.

Elizabeth Brotherton, Jeremy White and T.R. Goldman contributed to this report.

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