Building on the earlier work of the Conservative Leadership Political Action Committee, Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), is developing a broad list of major lobbyists and lawyers and identifying them by political party and campaign contribution.
The list will give GOP lawmakers--frustrated by the apparent Republican minority on K Street and having to face Democratic lobbyists who contribute to their opponents--"a sense" of who's lobbying them, Norquist says.
He contends that companies have been ill-served on Capitol Hill by Democratic congressional staffers-turned-lobbyists who don't recognize that their clients' interests lie with the Republican majority in Congress.
"If you have a Democratic staffer working for a company, you end up with suggestions like 'Let's ask for a subsidy.' If you have a Republican, you end up with suggestions like, 'Let's cut taxes and regulations,' " he said.
The report culls political contributions from Federal Election Commission filings and adds up lobbyists' and lawyers' contributions to candidates, parties, other political entities and political action committees that are decidedly partisan, says Michael Kamburowski, vice president for legislative affairs at ATR. The report lists political contributions for the 1997-98 election cycle and separately for January to July 16 of this year, which were much smaller amounts.
Norquist's group is circulating the list to congressional staffers, lawmakers and friendly K-Streeters to help identify the lobbyists and lawyers. The group chose 40 of the largest lobby shops and law firms in town, as judged by the amount of money they take in for trying to influence Congress or the administration.
There are still a lot of as-yet untagged lobbyists and lawyers, even some who might have seemed to be easily identifiable, such as Donald Alexander, Republican, former IRS commissioner under Nixon, Ford and some of Carter and a partner at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld.
There don't seem to be a whole lot of surprises in the findings so far, although folks at Akin, Gump, widely known for its senior partners--Democratic veteran Robert S. Strauss and Clinton pal Vernon E. Jordan--actually gave more money to Republicans than Democrats in the last cycle, $268,069 to $222,338, according to the report. Alexander, for instance, donated $28,280 to Republicans and $3,700 to Democrats, while partner Smith Davis, former special counsel to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, gave $14,653 to Republicans and $1,000 to Democrats. Jordan was listed at only $3,000 to Democrats and Strauss, $1,000. One of the bigger Democratic benefactors at the firm, according to the report, was Joel Jankowsky, who donated $15,750 to Democrats. Jankowsky was an aide to former House speaker Carl Albert (D).
"The place understands that Republicans are people too," Alexander said of his law firm. And he notes that he contributes to Democrats with whom he's friendly, such as Rep. Charles B. Rangel (N.Y.).
Another powerhouse in the report is the law firm of Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand, which gave $288,939 to Democrats and $140,934 to Republicans. Although the firm has gotten a lot of notice for bringing on board former GOP presidential nominee Robert J. Dole, who gave $13,500 to Republicans during the last cycle, the firm's roots are Democratic.
1000 Percent Republican
Speaking of campaign giving . . . Haley Barbour, former head of the Republican National Committee, wants it known that despite a mistake in the FEC records that got picked up by the Center for Responsive Politics and then by The Washington Post on Monday, his lobby shop does not give money to Democrats.
The FEC report apparently hadn't accounted for George Wallace Jr.'s switch to the GOP, so a contribution from Barbour's partner Ed Rogers to Wallace, who won a seat last year on the Alabama Public Service Commission, went down on the Democratic side of the ledger. Wallace is the son of the late governor.
"Our firm doesn't give money to Democrats," Barbour said of his all-Republican lobby shop, Barbour, Griffith & Rogers.
Hook, Line and Canines
As G.J. Thomas Sadler Jr. notes, his shop, Two Dogs Trading Co. of The Plains, Va., "is not your typical Sadler & Associates." Sadler, 45 and a semiretired lobbyist, runs his lobbying and fishing guide business out of Two Dogs.
Yes, he's a fishing guide most days. But he recently registered to lobby for the World Wildlife Fund on forest policy.
"As an angler, the issue of protecting watersheds is important to me," he said.
CAPTION: A lobbyist and fishing guide resides at the Two Dogs Trading Co.