K Street Files: Insiders Float Names to Run Lobby Groups
It hasn’t even been a month since Edward Yingling, the longtime head of the American Bankers Association, announced his retirement. And only three weeks have passed since Business Roundtable CEO John Castellani decamped for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. But already K Street is abuzz about who will fill the two vacancies.
Financial Services Forum head Rob Nichols and Financial Services Roundtable President Steve Bartlett are among those being mentioned as possible contenders for the ABA job, according to K Street insiders. Former Rep. Ken Bentsen (D-Texas) is another name that several lobbyists have uttered for the post.
Bentsen joined the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association in 2009 as executive vice president of public policy and advocacy and head of SIFMA’s Washington, D.C., office. Prior to that, he was president of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association.
As for the Business Roundtable gig, Nick Calio, head of Citigroup’s D.C. office, and Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) are said to be high on the list of potential candidates. Gregg, a one-time Commerce secretary nominee for the Obama administration, is retiring after this Congress.
ABA spokesman Peter Garuccio said in an e-mail that the search process is under way, but he declined to comment on specific candidates. The ABA has created a search committee of board members and former association officers to look for Yingling’s replacement. Additionally, the committee has retained Korn/Ferry International to assist in the search.
The Business Roundtable did not respond to requests for comment.
Putting the Kubosh on Cameras
Ever curse as you see the flashbulb blasts in the rearview mirror?
If a new Texas-based grass-roots advocacy group has its druthers, motorists will be spared those episodes and the hefty fines that result when they gun it through red lights in the Lone Star State — and perhaps elsewhere. Citizens Against Red Light Cameras is immediately setting its sights on banning the traffic-enforcement cameras, which the group says are illegal, in the Houston area.
“It’s just wrong,” spokesman Randy Kubosh said. “If we can’t violate the law, then the government shouldn’t be able to violate the law.”
Kubosh’s group, which he says fights “for the little man,” is expected to turn in 30,000 signatures opposing the cameras this week to the city of Houston. Ultimately, he hopes to defeat the irksome revenue raiser by ballot initiative or by amending the city’s charter. And if the group is successful, Kubosh said it will provide a “template” for possible lobbying fights in places like Washington, D.C., where the pesky cameras are omnipresent in intersections.
The group, which runs the website NoCamerasHouston.com, registered as a political organization with the IRS on July 30.
“If we can take it down in the fourth-largest city in the United States, we can do it anywhere,” Kubosh said.
Hodes: Revolving Door No More
It must be an election year, and Rep. Paul Hodes must be running. The New Hampshire Democrat, a candidate for Senate, today will unveil what his political outfit promises to be “proposals to stop the revolving door between federal officials, Senators, Members of Congress and lobbyists.”
Such messages are a common refrain on the trail, though not everyone comes up with a proposal.
It’s all part of Hodes’ “ongoing efforts to end business as usual in Washington,” Matt House, press secretary for Hodes’ Senate campaign, said in an e-mail.
While House declined to provide more specific details, Hodes will offer his proposal today at the Legislative Office Building in Concord. Hodes’ plan would “end the revolving door of lobbyists and public officials in Washington, which has given powerful special interests even more influence over our political process,” a press release from the campaign said.
Kate Ackley contributed to this report.
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