Sometimes you can win a lawsuit against the federal government to, say, save an endangered species or two, but still lose the war when Congress passes legislation to circumvent the court action.
That's what Meyer & Glitzenstein, a small D.C. public interest law firm, has learned as it has developed a specialty in defending wildlife and their habitats. (The firm has secured Endangered Species Act protection for grizzly bears, Canada lynx and the Queen Charlotte goshawk, among others, and is in litigation on behalf of the Atlantic salmon, the Florida black bear and the pygmy owl.)
So Katherine Meyer and Eric Glitzenstein have established a new organization--the Wildlife Advocacy Project--to supplement the legal battles with grass-roots organizing, public education and media campaigns.
"We're coming to the realization that winning lawsuits is not enough if you want to protect animals and wildlife. You've got to be able to fight in all arenas," Glitzenstein said.
One example that still smarts is Meyer & Glitzenstein's win in 1996, when a federal appeals court stopped the University of Arizona's construction of a telescope on Mount Graham, on land vital to the endangered red squirrel and sacred to the San Carlos Apache. But then Congress attached a measure to an appropriations bill to allow the construction, and though President Clinton said he regretted the "objectionable" rider, he signed the legislation.
The rider "nullified years of work we had done," Glitzenstein said. "You can't count even on your Democratic administrations to do the right thing."
The intention is for the Wildlife Advocacy Project to help grass-roots groups organize and make a big enough public stink so lawmakers and administration officials won't be swayed by other lobbyists to negate environmentalists' legal victories.
Glitzenstein noted that he and Meyer, his wife, formerly worked for Ralph Nader's Public Citizen and are "fervent believers" in shedding light on government business. The project won't do direct lobbying.
The new organization is a modest operation, with a budget of about $100,000 funded by Meyer & Glitzenstein and foundation grants. The project's director is D'Arcy Kemnitz, formerly Midwest regional coordinator for GREEN, the GrassRoots Environmental Effectiveness Network.
Two Answer the Call
Peter G. Jacoby, an in-house lobbyist responsible for representing AT&T before Congress, moves up to be vice president and director of congressional relations, responsible for leading and coordinating the company's team of legislative advocates.
Jacoby joined AT&T a year ago from the White House, where he was special assistant to the president and senior counsel for legislative affairs. Before that, he was a lawyer at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld and legislative director for the late Rep. Mike Synar (D-Okla.). Jacoby "brings a range of important experience to the job," said AT&T Executive Vice President and General Counsel James Cicconi, also a former Akin, Gump lawyer, who worked in the Bush White House.
SBC Communications has named Timothy McKone vice president for congressional affairs. McKone had been executive director for federal relations for SBC from 1993 to 1997 before joining Davis, Manafort as a partner, where he worked until August of this year. He served as congressional liaison for Robert J. Dole's presidential campaign and for the Republican National Convention.
The Reel NATO, Not the Real One
A news release was dropped off announcing "John Fithian Named Next NATO President." Who knew that Fithian, a partner at the D.C. law and lobbying powerhouse Patton Boggs, was a foreign policy wise man? Oh . . . that's NATO as in the National Association of Theatre Owners. Fithian takes office Jan. 1, succeeding the retiring William F. Kartozian.
Finding New Work
Former House member Susan Molinari (R-N.Y.) recently signed on with Fleishman-Hillard's Washington office as a senior public affairs consultant. She still has her own company, lobbying on behalf of the Association of American Railroads, Freddie Mac and iAdvance, the coalition of Bell operating companies.
Lucy A. Dalglish, a lawyer with Minneapolis's Dorsey & Whitney and a former reporter and editor for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, joins the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in January as executive director. She follows Jane E. Kirtley, who left in August for the University of Minnesota.
Sheila Nix has left Podesta.com for Wallman Strategic Consulting, where she is a vice president, specializing in technology policy and electronic commerce. Previously, she worked for Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.) and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
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