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K Street Files: Kit Bond on K Street; Issa Shops for Ideas

The law firm of Thompson Coburn announced Tuesday that retiring Sen. Kit Bond will become a partner, shuttling between St. Louis and Washington, D.C.

According to a news release from the firm, the Missouri Republican will advise clients in the areas of international trade, biotechnology, agriculture, cyberlaw and transportation. In the Senate, Bond was the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee and served on the Appropriations and Small Business and Entrepreneurship committees.

Back to the Hill

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), incoming chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee — which has jurisdiction over health care issues — has hired lobbyist Howard Cohen to be his health care counsel.

Cohen, who previously worked for the committee, has recently headed his own lobbying shop, HC Associates, whose clients included some of the biggest players on various sides in the heated debate over the recently enacted health care reform law. 

His clients in 2010 included the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, which supported the health care overhaul, as well as America’s Health Insurance Plans, which opposed a number of provisions in the law. The trade groups each paid HC Associates $150,000 in the first three quarters of 2010, according to lobbying disclosure forms filed with the Senate. 

Other clients included biotechnology companies Amgen, which paid the firm $180,000 during that period, and Genzyme, which paid $90,000. Cohen also represented the Federation of American Hospitals, which paid him $60,000. The hospital group supported the health plan.

Happy New Year?

Van Scoyoc has lost several education clients in recent weeks with the departure of some of the firm’s experts on the issue. 

On the last day of 2010, the nation’s third-largest lobbying firm filed forms terminating its work on behalf of nearly 20 clients. In all, these clients, including many colleges and other educational groups, spent more than $1.1 million in lobbying fees with Van Scoyoc during the previous four quarters. 

The client departures are because of an “amicable split” of a few lobbyists who left to set up a new firm specializing in education, according to an official at the firm. Veteran lobbyists Vic Klatt, D’Arcy Philps and Rich Stombres have opened a new firm called the Penn Hill Group located on Sixth Street across from the Verizon Center in Gallery Place.

But an official for Van Scoyoc said the firm will be fine in 2011 and is working to strengthen its expertise in education. Van Scoyoc recently hired Jessica Gross, who was an education legislative assistant for former Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.).

Seeking Advice

Rep. Darrell Issa, incoming chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has sent a letter to more than 150 trade associations, companies and think tanks asking them to help him identify bothersome federal regulations.

“I ask for your assistance in identifying existing and proposed regulations that have negatively impacted job growth in your members’ industry,” the California Republican wrote in the December letter. “Additionally, suggestions on reforming identified regulations and the rulemaking process would be appreciated.” 

Issa asked that the groups and companies submit their responses by Jan. 10.

Seeking Relief

Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute, delivered a state of American energy speech Tuesday at the Newseum in which he decried increasing federal controls, some of it coming in the aftermath of the BP oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico last spring.

“There is a growing, bipartisan concern that regulatory overreach from burgeoning federal agencies will decrease America’s competitiveness and increase the kind of uncertainty that can stall new energy projects … or in some cases, kill them altogether,” Gerard said, according to prepared text of the speech.

Pomeroy Lands Safely

Alston & Bird announced Tuesday that it had hired former Rep. Earl Pomeroy, who lost his bid for re-election, and Bob Siggins, the North Dakota Democrat’s chief of staff. The two will join the firm’s expanding health care team. Pomeroy has served on the Ways and Means Committee, which oversees some health care issues.

Alex Knott contributed to this report.

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