K Street Files: Jet Setter

Posted January 14, 2010 at 3:13pm

Google CEO Eric Schmidt encouraged House Democrats at this week’s jobs summit to invest in innovation, according to a company spokesman, but he will save lobbying discussions on the search engine’s recent decision to go head-to-head with the Chinese government for another day.

[IMGCAP(1)]The Mountain View, Calif.-based firm on Tuesday announced that recent Chinese cyber-attacks prompted it to cease censoring Web content deemed subversive by Red army officials.

According to numerous sources, Schmidt was not expected to formally discuss the company’s decision with lawmakers or the White House, although the Google chief is expected to meet with President Barack Obama at his residence on Thursday following Obama’s speech to House Democrats at the Capitol Visitor Center.

Schmidt is expected to depart Washington, D.C., following his White House meeting.

Reason for Giving. Holland & Knight is going casual for a cause on Friday. The firm has pledged to match employee contributions up to $100,000 for charitable gifts benefiting Haitian earthquake victims.

Any buttoned-up lobbyists that want to dress down can fork over some cash for the effort. The firm’s nonprofit wing, the Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation, is dubbing it “Casual Day for a Cause.—

K Street Moves. The National Committee for Quality Assurance has tapped Sarah Thomas as its vice president for public policy and communications. Thomas, formerly director of the public policy institute health team at AARP, has specialized in health care reform, Medicare and other health policy matters. “Sarah is a seasoned leader with deep experience developing and implementing innovative health care policy,— the group’s president, Margaret O’Kane, said in a statement. “She will be an asset to NCQA. I’m thrilled to welcome her to our team.—

• Eric Schnure, a political speechwriter, has joined the Dewey Square Group as a principal in its communications practice. A one-time aide to then-Vice President Al Gore, Schnure teaches speechwriting at American University. “Through his years of work as an innovative speechwriter and communications strategist, Eric Schnure brings a wholly unique skill set and background to our team and clients,— the firm’s chairman, Chuck Campion, said in a statement.

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