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Special Interests: Judy Sarasohn

Playing a GOP Part for Hollywood

By Judy Sarasohn
Thursday, November 4, 2004; Page A23

The Motion Picture Association of America will be getting a new top lobbyist in January, one who will be a Republican counterweight to Dan Glickman, the new Democratic chief executive of the trade group.

Stacy Carlson, currently director of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's D.C. office and a Republican activist, signs on with MPAA as executive vice president of global government affairs, effective Jan. 3. She will not be available for comment until she officially gets on board, MPAA officials said.

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Before going to work for California, Carlson was a senior adviser for public policy at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, where she worked with Glickman, who also was at the law and lobby powerhouse firm before joining MPAA.

Carlson worked for the 2000 Bush presidential campaign, serving as western region political director and director of ballot access and delegate selection. She also worked on the Hill, including a stint as staff director of the Committee on House Administration, then chaired by Rep. Bill Thomas (R-Calif.), who is now chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. In the private sector, Carlson worked with venture capitalists and start-ups in Silicon Valley.

Carlson succeeds Democrat Jon Leibowitz, who was appointed by President Bush to the Federal Trade Commission.

Glickman, in an interview yesterday, said that Carlson met the group's needs for someone who is familiar with the different levels of government, "is not afraid to lobby," and has experience on the Hill.

"And quite frankly, since I am a so actively perceived Democrat, I wanted someone who is an actively perceived Republican in the organization," said Glickman, a former Democratic member of the House from Kansas and agriculture secretary in the Clinton administration.

Despite the need for some Republican credentials, with the administration, Senate and House under the control of the Republicans, Glickman said Carlson would have been qualified for the job anyway.

He also played down the threat that Republican lawmakers would not work with Democratic lobbyists or trade group officials.

Jack Valenti, Glickman's predecessor, "always ran a bipartisan shop and I intend to do the same. . . . That's my style anyway," Glickman said, noting that the Agriculture Department "is the reddest of the red-state departments."

The two finalists for the job as successor to Democrat Valenti were Glickman and former Defense Department spokeswoman Victoria Clarke, a Republican, said those who had seen the recommendations prepared by headhunting firm Spencer Stuart.

Washington Post business reporter Frank Ahrens reports that Hollywood preferred picking a Republican, according to three major studio heads he spoke to over the summer. But they apparently felt that Glickman was seen as more of an insider and more familiar to Hill power brokers than Clarke.

During a meeting with Post editors and reporters last week, Glickman acknowledged that his trade group would be aided by the addition of a Republican in the No. 2 slot and said he would hire one.

Glickman said he planned "significant structural changes" at the MPAA, which the studios have requested. The overhaul is not meant as a swipe at longtime chairman Valenti, many said, but a recognition that the trade group's primary mission is now one of preventing and aiding the prosecution of intellectual property piracy around the world. Valenti earned high marks for his work against piracy, but many in the industry believed the MPAA's anti-piracy wing felt grafted on to an organization built for lobbying.

Valenti will stay on at the MPAA for several months to oversee operation of the organization's movie ratings system, which he instituted.

"Dan's got enough to deal with without having to worry with ratings," Valenti said last week at a dinner honoring NBC chief Bob Wright.

Tapping a Resource

Sean A. Taylor, who handles natural resource issues in Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's D.C. office, is joining the Furman Group Dec. 1.

"Sean is an expert in water issues and is held in high esteem by the Florida congressional delegation. He is widely respected for his work on the Everglades Restoration Program and other issues of importance to Florida," Hal Furman said in a statement.

The Furman Group specializes in government relations work on water resources and environmental issues, and represents the U.S. Desalination Coalition, a group of 14 water utilities.

More Moves

Barbara Stansfield has signed up with the Jefferson Consulting Group as a director. She previously served as congressional affairs staff officer for the Army's surgeon general.

Jeffrey Marks, who previously was responsible for developing policy positions and lobbying on clean air and other environmental issues at the National Association of Manufacturers, has joined United Technologies Corp. as manager for energy and environmental policy. He earlier worked for then-Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell (D-Maine).

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