In a series of television ads, a patient's X-ray disappears before his eyes, and then the cushion under him dissolves. A woman's alarm clock disappears from view, as do some of her prescription capsules. As does Jasper the dog's chewy.

The disappearing acts are part of the American Chemistry Council's new "essential2" campaign to make the public aware -- especially the public that works on Capitol Hill -- of the importance of chemistry to all aspects of peoples' lives.

The campaign "is a piece of our overall advocacy program," says Jack Gerard, who officially became chief executive of the ACC July 1.

Gerard wants the public to understand that chemicals is a $500 billion industry, directly employing 885,000 people. The lack of awareness of the industry's importance to people's health and welfare, he says, is partly responsible for its inadequate clout in Washington.

Besides the essential2 campaign -- which will cost $15 million through the end of the year and $20 million next year -- ACC needs to mobilize its rank and file to become more political, and the industry needs to play a larger role in raising campaign money, Gerard says.

"It's been clear to me that the American Chemistry Council has been punching below its weight," he said.

Over the next few months, he says, the ACC will review its lobby operations and relationships with outside lobbyists. Among its hired guns are Dutko Worldwide and the Holland & Knight law firm.

One of the chemistry council's top legislative issues is unfinished business from the energy bill, particularly measures that would bring down natural gas prices. The industry is hoping for the opening of oil and gas drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf.

The ACC has been in turmoil for several years. Having merged with the American Plastics Council in 2001, culture clashes roiled the group. The essential2 campaign supplants the "Plastics Makes It Possible" campaign. But council officials say the new advertising also features the importance of plastics.

Council members include such companies as Dow Chemical Co., BASF Corp., Bayer Corp., DuPont, Eli Lilly and Co., Honeywell Inc., and Occidental Chemical Corp.

Gerard joined ACC from the National Mining Association.

Colonel Changes Direction

Col. Steve McCain commanded an air expeditionary wing during Operation Enduring Freedom and flew combat missions into Afghanistan. Now he's embarking on another daring mission: lobbying Congress.

McCain, recently retired, has joined Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds as director of the law firm's defense and homeland security practice.

However, he's not a novice on the Hill. Most recently, he was chief of legislative affairs for the Pacific Command in Honolulu, and served as a legislative aide to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Although he was quite "comfortable with the lifestyle" in Hawaii, McCain said it was "time to get back in the thick of things."

A New Paper Path

Ann Wrobleski, a vice president of the American Forest & Paper Association, is moving to International Paper, where she'll be vice president of public affairs. She replaces Lyn Withey, who is retiring.

When she was at the State Department during the Reagan and Bush I eras, Wrobleski was an outspoken critic of the Burmese government for supporting the heroin trade. Later, she was at Jefferson Waterman International and worked on the shop's effort to help burnish Burma's reputation.

Korn/Ferry International conducted the search for International Paper.

Legal and Lobbyist Motions

Moving about town . . . the Ashcroft Group, the company started by former attorney general John D. Ashcroft, has brought on William Gaynor, finance director for the Bush inauguration in January, and Lori Sharp Day, former lobbyist for the U.S. Air Transport Association and earlier director of intergovernmental affairs for Ashcroft at the Justice Department.

Danna R. Jackson, formerly an aide to Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) on issues before the Senate Indian Affairs and Judiciary committees, has signed on with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld as a policy counsel in the law firm's Indian law and policy practice. Earlier, Jackson, who grew up on the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes reservation in Western Montana, was an attorney with the National Indian Gaming Commission.

Marino Marcich, who served on former secretary of state Colin L. Powell's policy planning staff and was a lobbyist for the National Association of Manufacturers, has moved to Dutko Global Advisors.

Ric Molen, most recently legislative director for Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), has moved over to the Lent Scrivner & Roth lobby shop. The "Lent" in the name is former House member Norman F. Lent, a Republican from New York.

Jason McKitrick has left the House Budget Committee, where he worked on health policy and social security, for King & Spalding.

Location Correction

The Polsinelli Shalton Welte Suelthaus law firm that is opening an office and acquiring Davidson & Co. in Washington is based in Missouri, not Ohio. We knew that.