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Record Sum Spent on Lobbying

ยท The law firm Patton Boggs was the leader among lobbying firms, with 366 registered clients and $17.7 million in lobbying fees, up from $15.6 million for the second six months of 2004. Cassidy & Associates reported $13.9 million in lobbying fees, while Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld reported $13.3 million.

PoliticalMoneyLine noted that lobby shops are often paid for grass-roots programs, strategic planning and other services that are not required by law to be disclosed.

A Lobbyist Lands on His Feet

At least one of the lobbyists at the defunct Alexander Strategy Group has landed well. Terry L. Haines , formerly chief counsel and staff director of the House Financial Services Committee under Chairman Michael G. Oxley (R-Ohio), has joined Buchanan Ingersoll PC as a member of the law firm's growing government relations group.

ASG closed down at the end of last month because of its ties to lobbyist Jack Abramoff , who pleaded guilty last month to fraud and conspiracy charges, and to Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), who was indicted in Texas last year on money laundering and other charges and is under scrutiny in the Abramoff case.

At one point, Haines and some of the others were thinking of setting up their own lobby operation, but those plans apparently are "not happening," Haines said.

"I decided it would be a lot better for me to find a new situation," Haines said, and Buchanan Ingersoll, headquartered in Pittsburgh, is "a lot bigger opportunity."

Besides his Hill work, Haines served a stint as chief of staff to the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission during the George H.W. Bush administration.

Where are the other ASG refugees going to pop up? Let us know at .

American Indian Group Hires New Advocate

With so much attention in Washington being paid to lobbyist Abramoff and his hefty bills to his Indian clients, as well as to what sometimes appears to be a gold rush for wealthy Indian casinos, the National Congress of American Indians has hired a new lobbyist to remind Congress about Indian Country's "bread-and-butter issues."

Heather Dawn Thompson , most recently deputy director of Appleseed, a public policy and civil rights group, has signed on with the NCAI as director of governmental affairs to "get the conversation back" to such matters as tribal sovereignty, health care and education.

Of the 550 tribes, only about 20 have "really big casinos," Thompson said. The rest are still hurting and need adequate housing and clean water.

"The tribes really need a strong voice to represent them on the Hill," said Thompson, a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.

Thompson, a former associate at Patton Boggs, was also an adviser on Indian affairs and the judiciary to then-Sen. Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) and the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, as well as a volunteer in the presidential bid of GOP Sen. John McCain (Ariz.).

"I'm a big campaign finance person. I'm a big Indian affairs person. I'm not so much partisan as issue-based," Thompson said.

Here and There

On the move . . . C. Manly Molpus said yesterday that he will leave his job as chief executive of the Grocery Manufacturers Association at the end of the year, after 16 years at the trade group.

The recruitment firm Spencer Stuart is helping with the search for a new CEO.

Harry W. Clark , formerly managing partner at Clark & Weinstock and more recently at Stanwich Group , has joined the Brunswick Group , a strategic communications firm, where he will specialize in public policy, mergers and acquisitions, as well as issues management.

Neil Hare , formerly vice president of corporate communications for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has set up his own PR shop, Global Vision Communications . Clients include the chamber, the Direct Marketing Association and the Investment Company Institute.

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