Sticking up for lobbyists

By Amanda Becker
Monday, December 6, 2010

The American League of Lobbyists is tired of playing defense when it comes to the public's perception of the influence industry.

At its annual meeting last week, the industry group showed off a scripted promotional video titled "Lobbying: Your Constitutional Right." During two- and six-minute versions of the video, which is set to the visual backdrop of the Constitution, the American flag and the Capitol, a narrator explains that "while most people think of lobbyists only as paid professionals, there are many independent volunteer lobbyists" who include organization representatives attending agency meetings, constituents meeting with government representatives and concerned citizens attending school board meetings.

Current league President Dave Wenhold of Miller/Wenhold Capitol Strategies said he wanted to "put the real face of lobbying out there," given recent rhetoric about the profession. "Most people are represented by lobbyists, they just don't know they're represented by lobbyists," he added.

The video, which will be given to schools and universities as an educational tool, is the first step in a media campaign the league intends to continue when incoming president Howard Marlowe of Marlowe & Co. takes the helm at the beginning of 2011.


Wenhold's tenure as head of the American League of Lobbyists is drawing to a close, but his firm's growth should be keeping him busy. Miller/Wenhold announced Dec. 1 that it has merged with Capital Partnerships (VA) Inc., a transportation-focused lobbying shop headed by Kenneth W. Butler in Fairfax.

Butler will be a principal at the combined group, which will operate under the Miller/Wenhold Capitol Strategies shingle. "We're very fortunate to have Ken joining our team," Wenhold said. "It will give us a whole new area to expand into."


The Philadelphia firm Fox Rothschild announced last week that it is opening an office at One Franklin Square at 1301 K St. NW, the 100-year-old firm's first office in the District.

The first hires for the newly established office are partner Margaret M. Gatti, an export control and customs law expert, and of counsel Louis K. Rothberg, who focuses his practice on aerospace and national security matters. Both joined the firm from Dilworth Paxson. The attorneys in the District office will handle clients' international and regulatory matters.

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