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K Street Files: Yom Kippur Call Puts Jewish Donors on Hold

Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s write-in campaign has gotten off to a rough start.

First, the Alaska Republican resigned her leadership post, and then National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) directed K Street donors to support Joe Miller, the Fairbanks lawyer who defeated her in the August primary.

Ouch.

“We will ensure that [Miller] has all of the resources that he needs in order to win this November,” Cornyn said in a recent statement.

Then on Tuesday, her colleagues moved to strip her of her ranking member status on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Murkowski’s campaign claims it will have enough K Street backing to mount a successful write-in bid. Still, she may not have done herself any favors by scheduling a major conference call with downtown lobbyists in the middle of Yom Kippur, a major Jewish holiday that was observed from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. (Think conference call on Christmas Day for Christians.)

“First off, no one announces good news on a Friday,” a Republican lobbyist said. “It’s also tone deaf and counter to her ‘big tent’ strategy of being inclusive — no Jewish lobbyists could be on the call.”

A Business on Drugs

Recently departed Foley Hoag lobbyist Kelly Childress signed up 10 new clients last week, an impressive haul that included the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and the Biotechnology Industry Association.

Childress, a former health care staffer for Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), did not respond to a request for comment, but her former employer confirmed that she left her old job mid-summer to start her new shop, the East End Group.

In addition to the trade groups, Childress has also signed the drugmakers AstraZeneca, Eisai, GlaxoSmithKline and Merck, clients that Senate lobbying records show were represented by Foley Hoag during the first half of 2010.

Passing the Hat

The final fundraising push of the 2010 election cycle is under way, with Members and their campaigns urging their downtown allies to pony up before it’s too late.

Clogging up lobbyists’ e-mail inboxes this week were events for House Armed Services Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), who’s headlining an event that costs $5,000 per political action committee. The Sept. 30 fundraiser is being thrown by former Rep. Bud Cramer (D-Ala.), a Blue Dog Coalition co-founder who is chairman of Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) is hosting an Oct. 14 fundraiser for Rep. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.), according to an invitation. The Romney event is being held at the Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club in Bedminster, N.J., and suggests either $5,000 PAC contributions or $4,800 from individuals.

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) is raising money Thursday at the Capitol Hill Club for Ilario Pantano, an Iraq War veteran who is challenging Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.).

According to a recent list distributed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the caucus’s candidates have scheduled 50 fundraisers for today alone.

In the coming weeks, Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) is having an event at Citi Field, the Big Apple’s new baseball stadium that will play host on Oct. 1 to two of Major League Baseball’s worst teams: the New York Mets and the Washington Nationals.

On. Oct. 17, Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) is hosting a Redskins fundraiser at FedEx Field in Maryland. The Maroon and Gold will play the Indianapolis Colts that Sunday, and the event will set individual contributors back $1,000.

Bundles of Joy

Speaking of raising money, lobbyists Brian Wolff and Ben Barnes continued to direct vast sums of money to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee last month, according to new Federal Election Commission reports. In August, Wolff, who works at Edison Electric Institute, bundled $411,400 in donations to the DCCC, while Barnes, who runs the Ben Barnes Group, directed $116,000.

K Street Moves

• William Hederman, formerly the director of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s market oversight and investigative office, has joined the energy and resources industry group at Deloitte. Hederman also previously worked for the Congressional Budget Office and the Columbia Gas Transmission, where he served as vice president for business development and strategic initiatives.

Please send tips to kstreet@rollcall.com.

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