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Not Your Mom’s Feminists . . . Feminists for Life, a nonpartisan group founded on the pairing of feminism with the anti-abortion movement, registered with the Senate last week to lobby in favor of the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pregnant and Parenting Student Services Act. The bill calls for a pilot program to provide grants to eligible colleges for on-campus offices that would assist pregnant, parenting, or prospective parenting students. Among the proposed services are family housing, child care, flexible academic scheduling, parenting and marriage education, and postpartum counseling. Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.) first introduced the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Act in November 2005. In a statement, Dole explained: “We need to send a strong message that when an unwanted pregnancy occurs, there are alternatives to abortion. Having access to the resources provided by these grants will make the pursuit of education and a career a continued reality.” In March the House passed an amendment to the 2006 College Access and Opportunity Act based on the Elizabeth Cady Stanton bill, which Krista Carman, legislative representative for Feminists for Life, calls “a good step.” Serrin Foster, the organization’s president, agrees. “You get things in bits and pieces,” Foster says, adding, “We’ll see how much we can get through on the Senate side this year . . . but we know that things happen incrementally.” Carman is currently focusing her efforts on gaining bipartisan support for the legislation and “looking for a vehicle to move it with.” And though many find it difficult to reconcile a feminist mission with an anti-abortion one, Carman makes this connection: “The early feminists were pro-life, and that is exactly why the bill is named after Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Because like the philosophy of Feminists for Life, they felt if women were turning to abortion, there was a larger need that needed to be addressed.” An opposition lobby to the legislation has yet to mobilize. “I don’t want it to be an abortion fight,” Foster says. “Everybody agrees that pregnant women, if they want to have their child, or parents should be able to stay in school.” — Marisa McQuilken
Please, No More! If you’re tired of the fight over net neutrality, brace yourself. The following may cause an overdose. Yes, the battle over “Internet freedom” rages on with Robertson Monagle & Eastaugh registering with the Senate to lobby for the Net Neutrality Coalition, a loose corralling of techies including Amazon.com Inc., Google Inc., eBay Inc., Yahoo! Inc., Microsoft Corp., and IAC/InterActiveCorp. The technology community says broadband operators such as AT&T Inc. and BellSouth Corp. plan to turn the Internet into a cable system with operators deciding what additional fees they will charge content and service providers. Unusual for an Alaskan-based firm to seek to represent such a coalition? Maybe not. The Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2006, a pro-net neutrality measure introduced by Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), is currently being debated in the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, chaired by the venerable Alaskan Ted Stevens (R). Last week, Stevens scoffed at the idea of regulating broadband providers, telling pro-net neutrality backers, “We’re not going to do that,” according to news reports. D’oh! — Joe Crea
Lock �em Up . . . And throw away the key. For the Fur Commission USA, which represents 300-plus mink farms in 28 states, eco- and animal-rights terrorism against its members’ businesses have reached a zenith. “We aren’t talking about protests,” says Teresa Platt, the commission’s executive director. “These are bombs, threats, and arson.” Platt is urging that Congress pass the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, which would grant authority to the Justice Department “to apprehend, prosecute, and convict individuals committing animal enterprise terror.” Though many of the activities the “terrorists” engage in are already illegal, Platt says this brand of terrorism is a well-coordinated multistate crime spree. “This is the way they work these attacks,” she says. “Local police may just see a bit of it. One FBI agent told me it’s like trying to get a handle on JELL-O.” There are currently two versions of the bill. It is not known when the bills, which had hearings in the House and Senate, are expected to be released from their respective committees. — Joe Crea
Feelin’ Hot, Hot, Hot Clark & Weinstock has registered a bevy of new clients for a variety of issues, including nuclear energy, homeland security, agriculture appropriations, Medicare, Medicaid, and pharmaceutical research and development. Among the lucky ones are the Advanced Medical Technology Association, the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt, Bartlett Services Inc., Battelle Memorial Institute, Elbit Systems of America, Great River Energy, Pfizer Inc., the Semiconductor Industry Association, and USEC. Whew! — Joe Crea
Dukeless When Northpoint Strategies opened in 2002, the Alexandria, Va.-based defense lobby shop had a leg up on other newcomers: Its three co-founders are former chiefs of staff to ex-Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, then a seven-term member who sat on the House Appropriations Committee and Select Committee on Intelligence. The firm was on a roll. In just two years, Northpoint went from a mere $160,000 in lobbying revenues to more than $2.3 million in 2004, with top clients including United Defense Industries, Titan Corp., and Chevron Corp. But the firm’s congressional patron turned out to be less than a saint. In November 2005, Cunningham resigned from Congress after pleading guilty to taking bribes in exchange for doling out defense contracts. Although his plea was not connected to Northpoint Strategies, the probe hung heavy over the former chiefs of staff — Frank Collins III, Patrick McSwain, and Dewitt “Trey” Hardin III — who lawyered up during the probe. In the meantime, three of its lobbyists — half the staff — left, and the firm’s revenues appear to have dipped, as well. (Though the final count is not in yet, the firm’s $1.6 million in lobbying revenue for 2005 is not likely to meet its 2004 level.) Terry Turner, a lobbyist who left the firm earlier this year, says the departures were largely for economic reasons and that most of the client loss has been personal clients of these lobbyists. But the question remains: How will a small shop renew itself after the loss of its one-time patron? Turner, at least, believes the three have contacts and experience that go beyond Cunningham. “They are three very credible guys,” he says. The firm did not return phone calls. — Emma Schwartz

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