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Shoring Up Dutko Worldwide’s stated goal is to be the first lobby shop with a global reach. To that end, the shop has opened outposts across America and in Europe, but its latest growth gambit, the addition of three Maryland lobbyists and an office in Annapolis, is barely a long-distance call away from its Capitol Hill headquarters. Dutko essentially swallowed three-year-old Annapolis lobby firm Chesapeake Government Relations, acquiring all of its lobbyists, including founder and managing partner Lee Cowen, but not buying the business. The three lobbyists making the move — or staying put — are Cowen, a Republican who worked in multiple Hill offices in the 1990s and in recent years has been close with Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich (R), and Todd Lamb and Cathy Andrade, both of whom worked at the Department of Education, then worked on education policy for the Maryland government before joining Chesapeake. The lobbyists will split their time between Annapolis and Washington, where they’ll expand their work beyond the Maryland capital. “It’s important for all of Dutko to be integrated, so we’re asking them to spend most of their time in D.C.,” says Dutko President Craig Pattee, adding that establishing a physical presence in Annapolis was one of the key parts of the deal. In addition to their Annapolis beats, the three new lobbyists will jump into Dutko’s other practice areas. Lamb and Andrade will spend time in Dutko’s education practice, and Cowen will service some of Dutko’s federal lobbying clients. As part of the deal, Dutko netted Chesapeake’s 14 lobby clients, which include Americhoice, UnitedHealth Group Inc.’s managed-care subsidiary; education lender USA Funds Inc.; Lyondell Chemical Co.; and Affiliated Computer Services Inc. “One of the things that attracts me to Dutko is that they’re very lean,” says Cowen, who won’t hold an ownership stake in Dutko. “I was impressed with their entrepreneurial spirit and also their cost containment, which was one of the things I was trying to do as a small-business man.” The Annapolis office is Dutko’s sixth stateside outpost. Earlier this month the firm announced a strategic partnership with Pittsburgh-based lobby shop Hanna & Associates, in a bid to penetrate the Pennsylvania lobby scene. — Andy Metzger
Fresh Water Just in time for hurricane season, Troutman Sanders Public Affairs Group swallowed boutique lobby shop Freshman Kast last month. Now, Troutman finds itself flooded with water clients. The merger brought on board veteran environmental lobbyist John Freshman, who brought along 10 clients and a $600,000 book of business. For Troutman, the timing was fortuitous. Last week the House passed the energy and water development appropriations bill, which contained earmarks for several of Freshman’s clients. The clients include Sacramento’s Department of Utilities and the Monterey County Water Resources Agency, which are slated to receive federal funding to assess their flood-control capabilities, and South Dakota-based Lewis & Clark Rural Water System, which will receive money for a water-treatment system covering parts of South Dakota, Iowa, and Minnesota. With water wars heating up in the Southwest and increased attention being paid to natural disasters, Troutman says it’s looking to expand its water practice. A big part of that effort was the addition of Freshman, says Troutman president for federal affairs Rob Leebern. “John has an extraordinary amount of expertise in the environmental arena,” he says. “We’re looking forward to having him bring some expertise and, specifically, expand our footprint into the Western states.” Freshman’s roster of clients includes Anheuser Busch and municipal water authorities in California, Texas, and South Dakota. Their addition swells Troutman’s water practice to about 15 clients. -Before the merger, Troutman’s water practice counted Coca-Cola, General Electric, and the city of Atlanta among its clients. — Gabe Nelson
There’s the Beef Tear down those walls! Josh Winegarner, director of government relations for the Texas Cattle Feeders Association (representing the industry that feeds cattle before slaughter), is focused on resuming the beef trade with Japan, the United States’ largest importer. Trade was cut off late last year after a U.S. facility shipped meat with bones to the Pacific nation, in violation, Japan says, of a bilateral agreement to keep bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease) off its islands. Winegarner, who worked for Texas Republican Sens. Phil Gramm and John Cornyn, is also working to pass a country-of-origin labeling bill, one that he helped draft before he joined the association in January. The measure mandates that labeling should be voluntary; the current law as it’s written is expensive and burdensome to the whole beef industry, Winegarner says. The association is also monitoring the 2007 farm bill, eminent domain, appropriations, and immigration issues. Texas Cattle Feeders, like Winegarner himself, is based in Amarillo, Texas. For Winegarner, avoiding the agriculture business has proved near impossible. Even his father was a John Deere salesman. — Joe Crea

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