“As Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) prepares to become President-elect Obama’s chief of staff, he won’t just be taking his Rolodex of Capitol hill contacts.
He will also have number of K Street allies who expect to have a leg up lobbying a White House that has signaled it will keep influence peddlers at arm’s length.
Emanuel has also been known to consult with, … David Castagnetti of Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti …Only two aides, Jonathan Hoganson and Robert Getzoff, have turned to lobbying. Hoganson, former legislative director and policy director at the House Democratic Caucus, is now at Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti.”
“We’re now in a period where at least everyone is a little bit at risk,” said Dean Rosen, a lobbyist who was health aide for former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn.
Rosen, now a partner at the lobby shop Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti, said providers generally avoid outright trash-talking about others to head off cuts in their own backyards. “Everyone has got to make their case based on the merits,” he said.”
“As part of the team responsible for shepherding President Bush’s Supreme Court nominees through the confirmation process, Jamie Brown had to know where senators stood on weighty constitutional issues like privacy rights and habeas corpus.
Brown was key element of the White House’s legislative team that helped earn the confirmation for both Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito.
Having been tested by Supreme Court nomination process, Brown has taken those skills and contacts to K Street for a variety of clients at her firm.
That crucible proved good training for K Street, Brown believes. She met several times with more than 80 Senators, and earned a degree of trust she can rely on when heading to the Hill. In addition, the strategies associated with passing legislation are not that different than those involved with convincing lawmakers to sign off on a court nominee, Brown said.
“Not everyone in Washington, when you deal with them, is above board and plays it straight,’ said Preet Bharara, Sen. Charles Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) chief counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“She was a huge asset to the administration,” Bharara said. “Charm helps, and she has it.”
“[In] what was at timed an incredibly difficult period, she helped Google put a footprint down here and did it in the right way,” said Bob Boorstin, a former national security speechwriter for President Bill Clinton and current director of policy and communication at Google. “Jamie understands the way Washington works.”
In such case, lobbyist Dean Rosen, who runs the health care practice at Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti, said he found a receptive audience. His client, Medicare Cost Contractor Alliance, felt the data the CBO used to score a program was outdated. The group hired an actuary firm and made its case to the CBO.
“It’s very difficult to try to spin stuff with the CBO,” Rosen said. “We went in and met with the CBO to talk to them about the methodology. I’m not saying they bought everything we had, but I think we filled a gap by modernizing the study methodology.” The final score came out this year lower than the original estimate, Rosen said.”
David Castagnetti is a partner in bipartisan firm, Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti and has expertise in telecommunication, energy, trade, and other issues from his days as an aide in the House to Norman Y. Mineta of California and Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts and in the Senate to Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus of Montana.
Grown-Ups. The group Majority Under 40, started by several under-age-40 Democratic lobbyists earlier this year as a way to get to know their party’s freshman class, is turning 21 – sort of.
David Thomas, a founder of the network and a lobbyist with Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti, said Majority Under 40 has held 20 meet- and – greet breakfasts with Members…“ What I’m excited about is we got halfway through the class in less than halfway through the Congress,” Thomas said.
Lobby Shops: Republican lobbysit Jamie Brown is leaving Google to join Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti. Brown, 37, was the No. 2 hire at Google’s Washington office just over a year ago. She found the company its spiffy new digs at 1101 New York Ave., launched Google’s first political action committee. So why the move to Mehlman Vogel? “ They’re the New York Yankees of Lobbying firms.”
Workers Needed: With the immigration debate heating up again, tech industry honchos are hoping they can finally convince lawmakers to lift the cap on visas for the high-skilled workers they say their companies desperately need… As the lobbying push gets focused, the sector is turning to David Castagnetti and his team of hired top guns at Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti to take the lead. The firm is now heading up Compete America, the industry coalition for the issue formerly housed at the National Association of Manufacturers.
Opportunity burns and other tech lobbyists point to the improvements made by tech companies in recent years. Bruce Mehlman, former assistant secretary for tech policy at the Commerce Department and founder of Mehlman, Vogel, Castagnetti, whose clients include IBM, Intel and the Internet Innovation Alliance, said despite being in town for less than a decade, such firms have been able to “hold their own against the large battalions” of older industries … “The biggest challenge to the sector is [that] a legacy of limited regulation has lulled fast-moving companies into the sense they can each have their own trade association and play partially,” Mehlman said. “They’re going to need to continue investing for the long term to sustain their success.”