Sunrise (2/1/11)

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ARAB WORLD LOBBYING

Sunlight: “The Egyptian government’s lobbyists made the third most reported lobbying contacts of all Arab nations during the previous reported period in 2010. Surpassing Egypt’s 366 lobbying contacts were the United Arab Emirates (407 contacts) and Morocco (653 contacts). … Only three other Arab nations or territories reported any lobbying contacts over the same period in 2010. These include Algeria (50 contacts), Saudi Arabia (20 contacts), and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank (19 contacts).”

TAKE PAGE FROM CANADA

Guy Giorno in The Hill: “[Congress] should look north of the border, where a robust and effective Canadian law shines bright light on the details of lobbying meetings. … Each month in Canada, details (dates, participants and topics) of lobbyists’ meetings with Members of Parliament, Senators, senior government officials and political aides are reported and posted online. That is more disclosure and transparency than is currently required by U.S. federal law. … Canadian law makes the people doing the lobbying, not the officials being lobbied, responsible for reporting the meetings. … When employees of a company lobby government officials, the corporate CEO is the one who must report on the meetings. It is a duty that the CEO cannot delegate to underlings. A corporate director who lobbies elected politicians or senior officials must file a separate report for each and every meeting. Again, only the director can make the disclosure. … Canada has assigned the job of overseeing compliance to an independent regulator, the Commissioner of Lobbying. … Everyone has the democratic right to try to influence law makers – what is not a democratic right is to influence law makers in secret.”

ANOTHER REVOLVER IN WASHINGTON

–Former Rep. John Tanner has signed up with the lobbying firm Prime Policy Group: “Tanner will have to wait one year before he can officially lobby, but will be able to consult and provide lobbying advice and connections to the team at Prime Policy, which holds big name clients like Wal-Mart and AT&T.”

HEALTH INSURERS SPLIT OFF FROM AHIP

Bloomberg: “Top executives from UnitedHealth Group Inc. and WellPoint Inc. are meeting almost monthly with their counterparts from Aetna Inc., Cigna Corp. and Humana Inc. in an informal lobbying alliance aimed at blunting parts of the health-care law, say people with knowledge of the sessions. … The arrangement began about six months ago, growing out of unrest over decisions by America’s Health Insurance Plans, or AHIP, the Washington-based lobbyist that also serves hundreds of small plans and nonprofit insurers, said the people who requested anonymity because they aren’t authorized to speak publicly. The effort started with meetings between the companies’ Washington lobbyists, and now includes at least three committees that get together weekly, the people said.”

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