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Too Early to Google

By Judy Sarasohn
Thursday, June 16, 2005

The blogosphere was agog and aghast in recent weeks about news that Dan Senor , former top spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq and senior adviser to then-presidential envoy L. Paul Bremer, was joining Google. Hard copy reports that Senor was the new vice president for global communications were confirmed by a Google spokesman.

But it was not to be.

Google spokesman Steve Langdon acknowledged that "we were a little bit early to confirm." The buzz is now that Senor, an analyst for Fox News programs, may be setting up his own shop and talking to Google about providing "strategic advice."

Stay tuned.

Judicial Lobbying

The liberal-leaning Alliance for Justice, one of the most outspoken opponents of President Bush's judicial nominations, is planning today to begin its Hispanic Judicial Advocacy Project "to engage the Hispanic community in the fight for a fair and independent judiciary."

"Hopefully, it will speak out on the judiciary at the Supreme Court level and the lower courts," said Nan Aron , alliance president. "We saw with the Estrada nomination how important the voice of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus was." She was referring to the caucus opposition to conservative lawyer Miguel A. Estrada, who was nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit but dropped out two years ago after being blocked by Democrats.

Ann Marie Tallman , president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said the project members want to educate the public about the "long lasting and far reaching" impact that the judiciary has on people's lives.

"This is not a lobbying exercise. This is about making sure the electorate is informed," she said in an interview. " . . . As an informed electorate, we should be able to weigh in with our opinions."

Republicans Added to Shop

Clark & Weinstock has brought on a couple of Republicans this week: Erik J. Hotmire from the White House communications shop and Julie Hershey Carr , legislative director for Rep. Joseph R. Pitts (R-Pa.). Jim Dyer , former clerk and staff director for the House Appropriations Committee, came to the firm earlier this year.

Vin Weber , managing partner of the D.C. office and a former Republican House member from Minnesota, said the firm isn't done hiring and hinted that there might be a Democrat to come.

Hotmire was a special assistant to President Bush and communications director for the White House office of USA Freedom Corps and helped lead the U.S. response to the tsunami in December. Hotmire also has a Senate background, earlier working as communications director for Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and as deputy press secretary for then-Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.).

Weber said Carr "has got just an excellent reputation and contacts in Congress," particularly with conservative Republicans and the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Tax Counsel Heads to Law Firm

Another big GOP Hill denizen is getting scooped up by Alston & Bird . Ed McClellan , tax counsel to the Senate Finance Committee is joining the law firm as a partner, practicing in its legislative and public policy group, home to former senators Robert J. Dole (R-Kan.) and Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.).

McClellan, who plans to start work at the firm by the end of summer, earlier was a senior manager for international tax services for the national tax office of KPMG .

He said he would recuse himself from any Alston & Bird matter, but there is nothing pending. He will have a one-year ethics ban on lobbying the finance committee or its staff.

A certified public accountant, McClellan said he does his own taxes: "Already filed and the refund is in the bank."

In Other Moves . . .

Cynthia Church , recently assistant secretary for public and intergovernmental affairs at the Department of Veterans Affairs, will join Fleishman-Hillard as a senior vice president. She will provide "strategic counsel and help[ing] manage the agency's stable of public affairs clients," says F-H. She was deputy press secretary for then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell.

Tom Coleman , a former GOP House member from Missouri, has signed on with the Livingston Group . He was vice president for government relations for BASF Corp., the U.S. operating unit of BASF AG, a chemical company based in Germany. Coleman founded the U.S. Congressional Study Group on Germany.

Veteran lobbyist Ruth Ravitz Smith will sign on July 1 with Brown Rudnick Berlack Israels as a principal in the government law and strategies practice group. Smith most recently was vice president of federal government relations for the St. Paul Travelers Cos., and earlier did government relations for Northeast Utilities and the Aerospace Industries Association. She also worked at the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Marlene E. English , previously federal government relations coordinator at St. Paul Travelers, also will be joining the firm as a government relations specialist.

Jane Fawcett-Hoover is retiring from Procter & Gamble Co. as vice president for national government relations, effective Sept. 1. She was at P&G for 30 years and headed the Washington office since 1995. Hoover will be succeeded by Carolyn Brehm , who joined P&G in 2000 and earlier worked for the Business Roundtable.

The National Association of Realtors has brought on Julia Gustafson as a lobbyist. Most recently she was legislative director for Rep. Dennis Rehberg (R-Mont.).

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