Following the trail of other former chairmen of the House Appropriations energy and water development subcommittee, retired representative Sonny Callahan (R-Ala.) has joined Dawson & Associates.

The lobby shop boasts three former chairmen of the spending panel -- Callahan, Tom Bevill (D-Ala.) and John Myers (R-Ind.) -- a fourth, Ron Packard (R-Calif.), has set up his own firm. Dawson & Associates also includes five former leaders of the Army Corps of Engineers, as well as ex-officials of the Interior Department, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Office of Management and Budget. Robert K. Dawson served as associate director for natural resources, energy and science at OMB during the Reagan administration and earlier was the civilian head of the Corps.

"They're work horses as well as show horses," Dawson said of the former lawmakers.

Callahan said he'll split his time between Alabama and Washington. "I've known Bob Dawson for 20 years. He has a tremendous reputation in Washington," Callahan said. The retired lawmaker is barred by ethics rules from lobbying his House colleagues for a year, but he said he expects to get involved in legislative issues: "I'm sure my experience will be of help to someone."

Dawson & Associates has represented Florida agriculture interests on Everglades restoration issues.

Speaking of former lawmakers finding work . . . Former House Republican Conference chairman J.C. Watts Jr. (Okla.), who didn't run for reelection, has established J.C. Watts Cos., which will include issue advocacy, coalition-building and consulting. He also is forming Watts-Luntz Communications with GOP strategist Frank Luntz.

Watts aides Jon Vandenheuvel and Elroy Sailor are joining him.

"Some day I might register to lobby, but now I'll help with strategic communications, government relations strategies," said Watts, who has also joined the Mercatus Center as a distinguished senior fellow.

Former senator Tim Hutchinson (R-Ark.), who lost his bid for reelection, signed on with Dickstein Shapiro Morin & Oshinsky as a senior adviser with the law firm's legislative group.

From Welfare to GOP Circles

Douglas MacKinnon's name is often seen in connection with former Senate majority leader Robert J. Dole (R-Kan.). But now MacKinnon, Dole's former spokesman, also a lobbyist at Piper Rudnick, is working on his memoirs as a white man who grew up on welfare, homeless at times. It makes him, MacKinnon says, a member of a very small minority within the GOP.

"We could have meetings in a phone booth and still have room for a grand piano," he said.

Harper Collins has bought his book, reportedly for an advance slightly north of six figures. The book is due at the publisher in mid-March and is scheduled to come out this fall.

Comings and Goings

At the White House legislative shop:

Amy Jensen, a lobbyist at PodestaMattoon and a former aide to House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), has moved over to the White House as a special assistant to the president for legislative affairs on the House side.

Dirksen Lehman has left his post as a special assistant to the president for legislative affairs for Clark & Weinstock.

Moving on Over

Craig Veith, a Republican communications operative who had been head of the U.S. media practice at Burson-Marsteller, has moved over to become chief executive of the PR giant's grass-roots campaign subsidiary, Direct Impact. DI's founders, John Brady and Tom Herrity, are stepping back, becoming co-chairmen.

Veith has served as communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee and the House Republican Policy Committee. He also provided strategic and crisis communications help to the majority shareholders of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International in 1991 after regulators started probing BCCI for fraud.

New Work for Gephardt Aides

Aides to former House minority leader Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.), who's now just another Democratic lawmaker with his eye on the presidency, are landing new jobs.

Bill Frymoyer, who had been a senior policy adviser to Gephardt since 1991, has joined the National Environmental Trust. Frymoyer was responsible for environment, energy, international trade, science and technology issues for Gephardt's leadership office, and he organized the House Democratic response to the Bush administration's environmental policies.

Moses Mercado, who was Gephardt's deputy chief of staff, has left the Hill for the American Insurance Association, where he's vice president for federal affairs. The trade group represents major insurance companies that provide all lines of property and casualty insurance.

Also on the Democratic side of the aisle . . . Michael Evans, former chief counsel of the Senate Finance Committee, is rejoining Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds as a partner in the federal policy practice.

Furthermore . . .

James C. May, executive vice president of the National Association of Broadcasters since 1988, is taking to the skies. He has been named chief executive of the Air Transport Association of America, effective Feb. 3. He succeeds Carol B. Hallett, who is retiring.