Residents of Greenwood Village, Colo., don't like the noise of commercial airlines any more than the residents of Georgetown or Old Town Alexandria. But unlike those two area neighborhoods, the affluent Denver suburb (pop: 9,000) is hoping to get Congress on its side in a long-running fight with the Federal Aviation Administration.
The Colorado community has hired Washington lobbying and law firm Patton Boggs to push for passage of legislation that would maintain Centennial Airport's eligibility for federal aid. The FAA wants to declare Centennial ineligible because it has banned all scheduled airline flights.
"Some small airports want to stay small," says Patton Boggs lawyer Gregory S. Walden, a former FAA chief counsel. "The city doesn't want Centennial to become DIA [Denver International Airport] South."
The House has approved legislation adopting Greenwood Village's position. Constance Brooks, president of C.E. Brooks & Associates, a Denver law firm that is also working for Greenwood Village, says the community is tired of fighting with the FAA over Centennial. If approved by the Senate, the legislation will restore "a state of grace" over the airport once and for all, she says.
New Lobby for the Chains
The National Council of Chain Restaurants, a trade group that includes McDonald's, Pizza Hut and 33 other national eatery groups, has changed lobbyists. The organization, formerly known as the Food Service and Lodging Institute, has hired Boland & Madigan to lobby on its behalf.
Mark S. Gorman, president of Gorman Consulting and once an aide to former senator (now lobbyist) Bob Packwood (R-Ore.), had represented the group on tax issues until the organization decided on a wider agenda. Among the issues that council president Terrie Dort passed to Michael Boland, Peter Madigan and vice president Kathy Ireland are opposition to any increase in the minimum wage and support for an extension to the work opportunity tax credit.
Looking for help on tax issues, the National Indian Gaming Association, which represents Native American tribes with gambling operations, has added the newly formed Janus-Merritt Strategies to its stable of outside lobbyists. The association was confronted by numerous efforts to tax Indian casinos and wanted the tax expertise of Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform and a principal in the Merritt Group of Alexandria. Merritt recently merged with Janus Partners of Washington.
Construction Unions Hire Packwood
Speaking of Packwood, the Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO has turned to the former Senate Finance Committee chairman to help persuade Congress to revise pension laws to allow more generous benefits for early retirees. The 1974 Employee Retirement Income Security Act limits the size of pension payments and has penalties for early retirements, a burden that Packwood says falls heavily on construction workers who often quit work before age 65.
Packwood says the union also wants to ease caps that limit the size of pensions payable to the union's lower-salaried workers. Some of the pension proposals on the union's wish list are included in Senate and House bills. Packwood, who runs Sunrise Research Corp., said his assignment is to help shepherd the changes through a House-Senate conference.
The Good Ferry
It may not be rocket science, but the idea of cruising to work has given Dyer Ellis & Joseph, a maritime law firm, four new lobbying clients. The four operate passenger boats and want federal aid for their fleets, which was authorized under the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century. The new clients are Wendella Sightseeing Boats of Chicago, Gateway Clipper Fleet of Pittsburgh, Put-in-Bay Boat Line Co. of Port Clinton, Ohio, and Crosstown Ferry of New London, Conn.
How Do You Cancel an Electronic Stamp?
Stamps.com, the California company that soon will win U.S. Postal Service approval to use personal computers to print postage, has hired Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld to represent it on postal issues. C. Stevens Seale, former chief counsel to Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.), is helping the company.
Gerson Bumped Up
Matthew Gerson, who was vice president for policy for Universal Studios, a unit of Seagram Co., moves up to vice president, entertainment public policy, for Joseph E. Seagram & Sons Inc. He is responsible for overseeing and coordinating all public policy issues relating to the entertainment business side of Seagram's. Gerson previously was a lobbyist at the Motion Picture Association of America and an attorney with the Senate Judiciary Committee, specializing in copyright, communications and technology issues.
A Bridge Too Near
Fairfax developer Milton V. Peterson has added his muscle to those arguing for upgrading the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. Peterson has a good reason to be worried about the Capital Beltway span over the Potomac River. His firm, the Peterson Cos., is planning a large resort and entertainment complex called National Harbor on the Maryland side of the bridge. Access from the Beltway (I-495) is vital to the project's success. As Andre J. Gingles, a lawyer at O'Malley, Miles, Nylen & Gilmore, who is lobbying on behalf of Peterson, puts it: "Don't think of it as a bridge; think of it as access from 495."
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