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Tiny Hill Dancer Evelyn “Evy” Dubrow, the petite and effective union lobbyist for the International Ladies Garment Workers Union and its successor, the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE), died June 20 at George Washington University Hospital. She was 95. For more than 50 years, the 4-foot-11-inch Dubrow lobbied for the rights of garment workers. She was known as one of the first and best female lobbyists in a male-dominated profession, says Penny Farthing, a partner at Patton Boggs. “She has been a wonderful leader for women and a trailblazer,” says Farthing. “It’s hard to envision Capitol Hill without her.” Dubrow was a fierce liberal, known to work both sides of the aisle pushing for greater worker and civil rights. In 1999, she was awarded the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, by President Bill Clinton. She is survived by nieces and nephews. Longtime friend Liz Smith says Dubrow was cremated shortly after her death. The AFL-CIO is handling preparations for a memorial service in September, but Dubrow’s old union wants control over the matter, according to Smith. UNITE (now known as UNITE HERE due to a 2004 merger) is one of the unions that left the AFL-CIO last year to form the new labor federation Change to Win. The AFL-CIO did not return phone calls. Jerris Leonard, another Dubrow friend and chairman of the Leonard Group, first met Dubrow when he was President Richard Nixon’s assistant attorney general for civil rights. Leonard remembers her “tough but always decent” approach: “She’d come into my office, I’d tell her all the great things we were doing for civil rights, and she’d say, �You may be the assistant attorney general for civil rights, but I’m looking over your shoulder every minute.’ “ Friend Elaine Acevedo recalls Dubrow’s energy and involvement in the lobbying process and says she will be missed. “She broke all the barriers,” Acevedo says. — Joe Crea
Stompin for Bengali Vice President Dick Cheney received a warm welcome from a crowd of business leaders at the U.S.-India Business Council’s summit in Washington on June 22, where he pledged the United States’ commitment to a “new strategic partnership” with India. His speech was full of praise for the “world’s largest democracy” and its importance to the U.S. economy and national security. “As victims of terror, both our countries accept the duty to fight these enemies,” Cheney said. The timing of the invite was no coincidence and came at a critical juncture for the two nations as Congress furiously debates whether to approve a U.S. proposal to supply India with civilian nuclear technology. The man who introduced Cheney, Robert Blackwill, a former ambassador to India and policy adviser under the Bush administration, showered him with plaudits for his outlook toward India. Of course, Blackwill’s own position wasn’t entirely disclosed. Left out of the introduction, naturally, was the fact that Blackwill and his firm, Barbour Griffith & Rogers, have been one of the leaders urging Congress to pass the civilian nuclear deal. — Emma Schwartz
Just Say No! Drug manufacturer Perrigo, the largest producer of store-brand, over-the-counter medications, has signed on to support the Dextromethorphan Distribution Act with the help of Erik Winborn, of one-man lobbying operation Winborn Solutions. The legislation, introduced in May by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), proposes to restrict bulk sales of the drug dextromethorphan (DXM), an ingredient found in most over-the-counter cold remedies, to only medical professionals registered with the Food and Drug Administration. In 2005 the FDA issued a warning about DXM in response to increased recreational use of it among teens. Although the FDA report explains that, when taken at recommended dosages, “DXM is generally a safe and effective cough suppressant,” ingesting excessive amounts of the drug, particularly in its pure powder form, can be lethal. But why would a drug company support a law aiming to limit sales of an ingredient found in its own products? “It’s the right thing to do,” says Winborn, who calls his client “very ethical.” And since the bill pertains only to sales of the ingredient in its pure form and would not affect over-the-counter sales of cough syrups, tablets, and gel caplets containing DXM, it would not directly impact Perrigo’s products. Tom Hedrick, director and founding member of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, says, “Cough-medicine abuse has been around for . . . many years, and it was at best a very, very small and not very prevalent behavior.” Today, though, Internet sales of pure DXM have led to increased abuse of the drug, especially among adolescents, who use it to achieve a relatively cheap high. One Web site sells the pure ingredient for $195 for 100 grams. Although the law applies only to the ingredient in its pure form, Hedrick says research done by his organization shows one in 10 teenagers reports abusing over-the-counter cough medicines containing DXM. The Consumer Health Products Association, which represents over-the-counter drug makers, including Perrigo, has worked with the Partnership for a Drug-Free America to support the bill. As for the lobby effort, Winborn says he’s “talked to countless people on the Hill” and is currently seeking additional co-sponsors for the legislation. “It’s been a very positive response, and everybody’s very supportive,” he explains, “but people need to take that extra step of putting their name on the bill.” The bill’s two main proponents, Upton and Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), have distinctive ties to the issue: Perrigo is based in Upton’s district, and two teens in Larsen’s district died last year after ingesting pure DXM. — Marisa McQuilken
Security Guard Dickstein Shapiro isn’t a name that’s usually associated with homeland security work. But the firm hopes to change that with its recent hire of Brian Finch from McKenna Long & Aldridge. “Our clients have been expanding in that area, and, frankly, it’s an area that is going to be around for a long time,” says Andrew Zausner, chair of Dickstein’s public policy practice. After spending seven years at McKenna lobbying to get homeland security earmarks and pushing for bioshield clients such as Applied Systems Intelligence Inc. and EMD Pharmaceuticals, Finch joins the firm as counsel and will head its homeland security practice group. Two weeks in, Finch says he has already secured eight clients, including homeland security giant L-3 Communication Systems and defense contractor Triple Canopy. “My mission is to really grow the practice,” he says. “I view myself as the catalyst that can really get things moving forward.” — Anna Palmer
Centsless Amid rumors that Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.) plans to reintroduce legislation to ban the penny, the lucky but lowly coin has garnered some unusual publicity. Kevin Federline, aka K-Fed and better known as Britney Spears’ husband, attended Virgin Mobile’s June 21 “Save the Penny” drive, where he announced his affection for the penny and signed a petition in support of its continued use. Though Virgin Mobile is using the cause to promote its new penny-texting feature, by which subscribers can send a text message for 1 cent, the activist group Americans for Common Cents is leading the effort to foster support for the penny publicly and on Capitol Hill. Mark Weller, executive director of the organization, says Americans overwhelmingly want to keep the penny. “We’ve done significant polling . . . consistently you find that two-thirds [to] three-fourths of the public want to have a circulating penny,” he explains. Others point out, though, that the rising price of zinc (the main ingredient in pennies) has driven the cost of producing a single penny beyond 1 cent. Weller attributes this to “cyclical” metal markets and says the cost should fall soon. Kolbe, who introduced the Legal Tender Modernization Act in 2001 to establish a system of rounding cash transactions, consequently discouraging the use of pennies, says he will reintroduce similar legislation because of rising metal prices. Based on the lack of support for Kolbe’s 2001 effort, Weller doubts the new bill will get far but still maintains there’s a need for his organization. “You can’t have one side out there talking about their position on the issue without responding,” he says. Weller plans to continue pushing the matter with the Banking and Financial Services committees in Congress, as well as step up efforts to inform the public and “members in general.” — Marisa McQuilken
The Cryptkeeper Bronx-raised. Ex-seminarian. Conservative Catholic. Wall Street trader. Chicken farmer and lobbyist for the Association of Commercial Cryptographers? Wha-wha-what? James Nesfield, a man of varied interests, has spearheaded a new association composed of financial cryptographers — those who take cryptological solutions and use them for everyday electronic transactions and digital-rights-management payments. Nesfield, who calls cryptology a “sleeper issue,” has become a Chicken Little of sorts, raising the low profiles of various electronic threats, including the “man-in-the-middle attack,” a cryptological term for a third-party interference in the electronic communications between two parties. “Some banks in Europe are augmenting their online transaction process with a follow-up phone call,” he says. Nesfield, who owns a small farm in Engelhard, N.C., with chickens, cows, and horses, says only academics and intelligence agencies are concerned with cryptology. But the 47-year-old says he’s engaged in “shoe-leather and education” lobbying. “I’m not the most sophisticated human,” says Nesfield, with chickens clucking in the background. — Joe Crea

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