The Republican retaking of the Senate is sure to improve the cache of lobbyists who have long-standing ties to soon-to-be majority leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.).
There are the lions of the Republican lobbying community, many of whom have worked in GOP administrations, including Haley Barbour and Lanny Griffith -- both members of the Mississippi mafia here -- and their partner Ed Rogers, as well as William E. Timmons Jr., Tom Korologos and Larry Harlow, all of Timmons & Co.
Gary Sisco, of Manatt Phelps & Phillips and his own consulting company, was secretary of the Senate under Lott. There's also Henry Gandy of the Duberstein Group, who dates to Lott's House days when he worked for the minority whip.
"I've always tried to help him," said Sisco, who became friends with Lott at the University of Mississippi. "I'm very proud of him. The majority leader gets to set the agenda."
Sisco noted that "the more you know the system and the people, the more able you are to get a point considered."
Also on the list of Lott links is Carl Biersack of Barbour Griffith & Rogers, who worked for Lott for nine years, starting as an Army civilian fellow on a one-year assignment. "He was just a junior senator in the minority from Mississippi. I just asked for a job and got it; I was just lucky."
Biersack noted that people such as Barbour, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, can talk to any one that he could. Biersack's job is not to open doors but to deal with strategy.
"I know the mechanics of changing a law," he said, adding, "All client issues are not settled at the member level. Not all things end up at Senator Lott's door."
Biersack said some lobbyists and clients may think that the only important senators are the two leaders -- in this case, Lott and current Majority Leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) -- but "the other 98 are for real. I treat them that way."
Another name that comes up among Lott aficionados is Alison McSlarrow, a former deputy chief of staff, who now runs her own lobby shop, McSlarrow Consulting. Her husband, Kyle, was a deputy chief of staff to former majority leader Robert J. Dole (R-Kan.) and stayed on a while for Lott. Kyle McSlarrow's nomination by President Bush to be deputy secretary of the Department of Energy is pending in the Senate.
"I'm just a one-man shop," Allison McSlarrow said. "I don't do a lot of press."
Lott also has many colleagues who have since left the Senate or House. Former senator Slade Gorton (R-Wash.), the counsel to Lott when he was first majority leader, is now at Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds, dividing his time between his home state and the District. He said he sees Lott when he comes to town, but their time "is not related to asking him for favors" but discussing GOP policy and political strategy.
And there's lobbyist Chester T. Lott Jr., of Lott & Associates and Lott & Hopkins. His offices are in Lexington, Ky., and clients have included BellSouth Corp. and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. He did not return a call for comment.
Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper, quoted Trent Lott in June as saying he and his son do not discuss legislation in which either is involved.
Election Wins at Arent Fox
The D.C. law firm of Arent Fox Kintner Plotkin & Kahn had a good election night: Two of its lawyers -- one Republican, one Democrat -- won their campaigns.
Former GOP House member Jim Talent, a lobbyist who had left the firm to campaign, won his bid for Senate from Missouri. On the Democratic side, Christopher Van Hollen Jr., a partner and litigator at Arent Fox, upset Rep. Constance A. Morella (R-Md.).
"We had a good night," said Arent Fox managing partner Marc L. Fleischaker.
Will having former colleagues in high places help business? "We don't know yet," he said, adding, "It helps us to be bipartisan."
Jack Krumholtz, director of federal government affairs and associate general counsel of Microsoft Corp., succeeds lobbyist and former House member Vic Fazio of Clark & Weinstock as co-chair of CapNet, a bipartisan tech group representing semiconductor, software and Internet companies. He joins co-chair Lisa B. Nelson of AOL Time Warner.
Members of CapNet also include Accenture, AT&T, Cisco Systems Inc., Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Sabre-Travelocity.com, among others.
Rick Tarplin, who joined Timmons and Co. last year, and earlier worked on the Hill and in the Clinton administration, has been elected chairman of the board of directors of the lobby shop. He succeeds Timothy Keating, who is leaving for Honeywell.
Hill and Knowlton, the public affairs and PR company, is expanding its corporate practice in Washington. Kelli Parsons is moving from its Houston office and Michael W. Robinson comes over from the Securities and Exchange Commission, where he was spokesman. Parsons, a former NBC television reporter, is practice director and Robinson is deputy practice director.
Health care lobbying veterans Stephen Cooper and Amy Forshew have joined Preston Gates as government affairs counselor and government affairs analyst, respectively. Cooper and Forshew came from the FH/GPC lobby shop. Cooper earlier served as director of congressional relations for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and was vice president for the Hospital Association of New York State.