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K Street Files: Fiorina’s D.C. Welcome Mat

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO-turned-California Senate candidate Carly Fiorina (R) has found several K Street allies to throw a fundraising fete for her this week. Navigators Global’s Phil Anderson and Cesar Conda; Wayne Berman of Ogilvy Government Relations; and Fierce, Isakowitz & Blalock Co-founder Kirk Blalock are among those on the host committee to help fill her coffers.

[IMGCAP(1)]Business Roundtable’s John Castellani; Smitty Davis of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld; Doyce Boesch of Strategic Health Care; and Steven Hart of Williams & Jensen are also listed as hosts.

The Feb. 25 fundraiser at Johnny’s Half Shell from 6 to 7:30 p.m. is also drawing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), along with GOP Sens. Jon Kyl (Ariz.) and Lamar Alexander (Tenn.).

Host committees are expected to contribute $2,500 per political action committee or $1,000 per person. To attend, guests are expected to contribute $1,000 per PAC or $500 per person.

Verizon Drops Consultants? When Verizon Communications and Verizon Wireless merged their in-house lobbying teams, many K Street insiders speculated that it would cause some firms to lose out on the business. It appears they were right.

Verizon Wireless and nearly 20 of its outside lobbying firms filed fourth-quarter lobbying terminations with the Senate Office of Public Records. The wireless company’s lobbying operation, which last year spent more than $13 million on lobbying and was headed by Howard Woolley, will no longer retain its own cadre of consultants.

While there was significant crossover among Verizon Communications and Verizon Wireless’ outside consultants, it appears that at least a few of Verizon Wireless’ consultants are no longer on retainer, at least temporarily. BGR Group, Jim English Consulting, Capitol Solutions, Quinn Gillespie & Associates and Venable all filed termination reports for Verizon Wireless and have not yet registered to work for Verizon Communications.

“Verizon Communications has an annual consultant review process,” spokesman David Fish said in an e-mail. “Many of the former Verizon Wireless consultants have existing relationships with Verizon Communications. Firms that did not have a relationship with both were given the opportunity to be considered for work with Verizon Communications. Most of them are still on board.”

Republican Peter Davidson, who had been heading Verizon Communications’ lobbying team, is continuing to oversee federal lobbying for the combined effort, while Woolley, who remains with Verizon, is now focusing on wireless issues and outreach to the Obama administration. Both have the title of senior vice president.

At least 10 outside consultants that the two entities had in common — including Capitol Hill Consulting Group, DLA Piper, Elmendorf Strategies, Wiley Rein, Polaris Government Relations and Mercury Strategies — remain registered with Congress to work for Verizon. As of press time, no outside lobbying firms have signed new registrations to work for Verizon in 2010.

Melting Away. Three lobbying heavyweights are saying sayonara to the U.S. Climate Action Partnership: oil companies BP and ConocoPhillips and manufacturing giant Caterpillar.

ConocoPhillips’ in-house lobbyist Red Cavaney said his company left the group to focus more on core issues that affect ConocoPhillips, such as getting allocations for natural gas and transportation.

BP’s Ronnie Chappell said the company left because it can be “a more effective advocate for a good climate change bill” as an individual company rather than as part of a group.

“What’s occurring is the policy debate is becoming more and more specific,” Chappell said. “As the policy proposals become more specific, it is easier for BP to play a role if it does so as BP as opposed to being a part of a larger coalition.”

BP and ConocoPhillips’ exit leaves USCAP with only one oil company, Shell, as a member and reveals the growing divide between energy sectors on how to address climate change issues.

“All three companies have provided invaluable assistance, expertise and significant commitments of time and resources in USCAP’s efforts to advance comprehensive climate and energy legislation,”
USCAP said in a statement announcing the departures last week. “We believe that U.S. action on energy and climate legislation in 2010 will preserve and create American jobs, secure our energy future and generate new investment in the global clean energy economy.”

The departures come after USCAP has taken a lower-profile lobbying approach after being praised last year by Members of Congress for its draft of climate change principles.

Crossroads Hits Ground. Crossroads Strategies, the firm launched by a trio of former Ogilvy Government Relations lobbyists, is hitting the ground running, signing up eight clients this month. Founded by Republicans John Green, Stewart Hall and Jim Baker, the firm has a solid book of business that includes AT&T and the National Rifle Association, both clients from Ogilvy.

Crossroads also recently signed up Pernod Ricard, Fitch Ratings, the Community Financial Services Association of America and the Alternative Investment Management Association.

K Street Moves. Barrett Kaiser, who spent more than a decade working for Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), is leaving the Hill for the private sector. Kaiser, who most recently served as Baucus’ Montana chief of staff, will be a principal and director of western operations for Hilltop Public Solutions. “I couldn’t be more excited to hitch up to the Hilltop team,” Kaiser said in a press statement.

• Bill Kelly is joining the National Foreign Trade Council as senior vice president on March 1. Kelly served for 29 years as director of international governmental affairs at Ford Motor Co.

• Jasmine Majid is signing on to the American Council on International Personnel. Majid will serve as director of agency liaison, working with federal immigration agencies.

• Kristofer Eisenla has set up shop at Widmeyer Communications as assistant vice president of public affairs. Eisenla worked for Reps. Diana Degette (D-Colo.) and Sander Levin (D-Mich.).

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