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K Street Files: Capitol Hill, K Street Denizens Toast Pickens

Texas oilman and alternative fuel advocate T. Boone Pickens celebrated his 82nd birthday Thursday night flanked by dozens of Members, downtown luminaries and television and newspaper types who gathered at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.

Spotted on the museum’s terrace for a cocktail reception were House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas), Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), and retiring Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.).

According to an official list of attendees, Democratic lobbyist Heather Podesta also feted Pickens, along with Susan Axelrod, the wife of White House adviser David Axelrod, Fox News personalities Greta Van Susteren and Bret Bair, PBS’ Judy Woodruff, John McLaughlin of the McLaughlin Group, the Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart and “Meet the Press” producer Betsy Fischer.

On the Mend?

The American Medical Association may not be happy about it, but the doctors’ lobby will go along with a plan by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and the Democratic leadership to roll back scheduled cuts in physician Medicare payments through 2013.

Late last week, Democrats made it clear that they would only comply with a short-term patch, which is to be included in a larger package of tax extenders that the House is expected to vote on next week.

In a statement released Thursday, AMA President J. James Rohack said his organization is “deeply disappointed” in the compromise. But he added, “Achieving full repeal of the payment formula is not feasible at this time.”

Portable Business

Polsinelli Shughart’s new health care policy group is making good on its switch from Bryan Cave, signing up 11 new clients less than two months after joining the firm. The eight-person team includes Alan Parver, Steven Stranne and Cynthia Berry. Julius Hobson, Harry Sporidis, Tim Perrin, Darryl Drevna and Leah Stone also made the move.

So far, their lobbying clients include the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Blue Shield of California and National Association for Behavioral Health. They have also signed up the National Association for the Support of Long Term Care, National Home Infusion Association and Mentor Corp.

Jim Davidson, head of the firm’s lobbying operation, said he is “ecstatic to have Alan Parver and his colleagues join us … and is just exceedingly pleased that they are bringing themselves and new clients to the firm.”

K Street Moves

• Laura Burton Capps has joined Blue Engine Message & Media’s strategic communications and issue advocacy team. Capps comes on board after serving as senior vice president for government affairs and communications for the Ocean Conservancy and as communications director for the Alliance for Climate Protection.

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Photos of the week ending May 24, 2024