Sunrise (2/22/11)

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SHIFTING BUDGET LANDSCAPE LEADS TO CHANGE IN RESUME SOUGHT ON K ST

NYT: “In the past, lobbyists who could secure big earmarks often ranked as top dogs. Many were lobbyists who previously worked on Capitol Hill and have relationships with former colleagues to help gain earmarks for corporate clients. … But those relationships might be less influential, several people said, as lawmakers feel pressure to steer away from spending. … Now getting a meeting with an Appropriations Committee chairman might not be as valuable as knowing the right people in federal agencies like DOE, several people said. … “There are a bunch of people who are trying to cast themselves as a new breed,” said Steve Ellis, vice president for the nonprofit Taxpayers for Common Sense. “There are some entities that are probably going to fail, and some lobbyists who are going to have to find a new gig.” … Companies and their lobbyists who “understand what the agency is trying to achieve” are in a good position, the lobbyist said. … Lobbyists who know agencies and how they write their programs now potentially are best positioned to help clients.”

AIRCRAFT COMPANIES CLASH IN LOBBYING BATTLE ROYALE

AP: “In a matter of weeks – if not days – the Pentagon will announce whether Chicago-based Boeing Co. or European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) will build 179 new tankers to replace the Air Force’s Eisenhower-era KC-135 planes. … The competition is far more complex than a case of the U.S. against Europe. If Boeing wins, the air tanker would be built in Everett, Wash., Wichita, Kan., and several other states. If EADS wins, the tanker would be assembled in Mobile, Ala., at the former Brookley military base that was shuttered in the 1960s. … The contract has touched off some of the fiercest and costliest lobbying that Washington has ever seen. The companies have spent millions on advertising and hired dozens of lobbyists to do their bidding. Lawmakers are relentlessly pressing Defense Department officials. … In the past year, Boeing has spent $5 million on print advertising to promote its version of the tanker and EADS has shelled out $1.7 million to boost its prototype, according to Evan Tracey, president of the Campaign Media Analysis Group, which typically monitors advertising for political campaigns. … Among the dozens of lobbyists for the two companies are former lawmakers, one-time senior Defense Department officials and former congressional staffers who labored behind the scenes for the committees that oversaw the military and its budgets.”

FORMER LAWMAKERS TURNED LOBBYISTS TO ACT AS “PUPPETEERS”

USA Today: “I’m like the puppeteer,” said Charles Melancon, a former Louisiana congressman who started work this month as senior vice president of government relations for the International Franchise Association. “I sit down with the staff I have and the consultants, and we discuss where we need to go, who we need to see, what the issues are. Then, they will go to the Hill,” said Melancon, a Democrat who left Congress last month after an unsuccessful U.S. Senate bid.”

SEC HIRES CORPORATE LAWYER TO HEAD WHISTLEBLOWER OFFICE

WSJ: “Sean McKessy, former corporate secretary at AOL Inc. and Altria Group Inc., will head the Securities and Exchange Commission’s new whistleblower office, the agency said Friday. … The SEC’s selection of an veteran in-house lawyer is likely to be well-received in the corporate community, which has expressed fears that the SEC’s new program will undermine company compliance because whistleblowers now have huge incentive to take their grievances directly to regulators.”

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