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A Dunn Deal on Lobbying

By Judy Sarasohn
Thursday, March 24, 2005; Page A17

It's awfully refreshing when a former lawmaker simply owns up to becoming a lobbyist.

Take former House member Jennifer Dunn (R-Wash.), who retired in January and started work this week for DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US. The law firm's news release says she'll be a senior adviser in its government affairs practice group. When asked if she'll be lobbying, she answered simply, "Yes -- starting in 10 months," when she will legally be allowed to begin lobbying the Hill.

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Dunn said she'll also be working with the firm's political action committee, helping to bolster its coffers. The firm's release noted that "in her career, Dunn has raised tens of millions of dollars for fellow Republican candidates for Congress and for President Bush's campaign." She brought along Lisa LaBrache, who helped her PAC work.

"I've always enjoyed fundraising, strangely," Dunn acknowledged, adding that "it's very important to raise their [DLA Piper] presence" in Washington.

Dunn, a former member of the House Ways and Means Committee, the Joint Economic Committee and the Select Committee on Homeland Security, said she will be focusing on international trade issues. She'll be splitting her time between the firm's D.C. and Seattle offices.

She is preceded at the firm by former Senate majority leader George J. Mitchell (D-Maine) and Richard K. Armey (R-Tex.), who defeated her for House majority leader. Armey apparently advised Dunn on the practical issues of making the transition from Congress to the private sector.

Said Dunn: "I ran against him for majority leader, but everybody knows we're good buddies."

Mining Chief to Take Over Chemistry Council

After forcing out its CEO last year, the American Chemistry Council announced this week that Jack N. Gerard, head of the National Mining Association, will be its new chief executive.

Effective July 1, Gerard will succeed interim President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Reilly, the retired chairman of Reilly Industries, who stepped in last year after then-CEO Greg Lebedev fell victim to warring factions and members' unhappiness with the industry's economic woes.

The ACC, which had merged with the American Plastics Council in 2001, had not been a particularly happy place as the two groups' different cultures clashed. But Gerard, in an interview yesterday, expressed optimism about the future -- his and the ACC's.

"It's a great opportunity. It's also a challenge. It's a great industry," Gerard said. "There's good cohesion."

He noted that the ACC with 135 members and a $110 million annual budget is a bigger operation than the mining trade association. The council represents the "leading companies in the business of chemistry."

The ACC's priorities, Gerard said, are to bolster the industry's advocacy efforts and deal with key issues, such as energy legislation, the price of natural gas and tax policy.

"We have a lot of issues on our plate: the security of our industry, runaway energy prices, attacks on many of our products, to name a few," Mike Campbell, chairman of the ACC's board of directors and chief executive of Arch Chemicals Inc., said in a statement. "Jack is uniquely qualified to spearhead the ACC's efforts to combine top-notch advocacy, a powerful communications campaign and responsible industry performance and research."

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