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Land Man He’s back from Iraq and is returning to K Street. Michael Hardiman, who has owned Hardiman Consulting since 1999, is lobbying on behalf of the American Land Rights Association. The ALRA focuses on issues concerning private-property owners’ access to public lands. Historically, it has represented individuals who own property on or near federal land holdings. But Hardiman, who has previously been a consultant for the American Conservative Union, the American Trucking Associations, and Grasslyn Inc., just returned from Iraq after a two-year stint working for the Baghdad City Government, for which he set up an inspector general’s office and implemented public-disclosure regulations for agency budgets. He also was an adviser to the Commission on Public Integrity, a federal government agency created by the Iraqi Governing Council under the Coalition Provisional Authority. The agency, which has auditing, arrest, and detaining powers, has focused on documenting white-collar crime in Iraq. Hardiman, who worked from 1993 to 1999 for Rep. Richard Pombo (R-Calif.), is cagey about how he came to work in Iraq and how his career path aroused the interest of the Department of Defense. He merely offers that he received an unexpected call from the Pentagon in late 2003. ” �We are familiar with your work and we’d like you to come in,’ ” Hardiman recalls of the phone conversation. Since he’s been back in the United States, the 46-year-old has also worked for the National Federation of Independent Business, in a nonlobbying role, and for the BlueRibbon Coalition, which advocates for motorized recreational vehicle owners’ access to public lands. — Joe Crea
Tin Ear With the help of Foley & Lardner, Encore, Etc. Inc. is spreading a message on the Hill that isn’t such sweet music to people’s ears. The five-year-old company manufactures the MaestroMD, a system that sterilizes wind instruments, and is seeking to educate lawmakers about a problem it says will likely become a new public health issue. Kenneth Owens, president and chief executive of Encore, Etc., says “laboratory studies have proven that pathogenic bacteria [including the bacteria causing staph and strep infections, sore throats, meningitis, and tuberculosis] can survive for weeks inside a musical wind instrument.” Owens says that until the MaestroMD came along, sufficient sterilization technology was not available. “The public understands the importance of not sharing personal items that we put in our mouths. However, every day, musicians — including millions of school-aged children — take a similar risk each time they pick up their wind instrument,” he explains. The American Academy of Pediatrics had no comment on the issue. The Massachusetts-based Encore, Etc. sends its customers specialized packing materials in which to seal their instruments. Customers then mail their instruments to the company, which cleans them with a sterilization gas and returns them within 10 business days. Owens says that Encore, Etc. has had preliminary meetings with Massachusetts lawmakers Sens. John Kerry and Edward Kennedy and Rep. Edward Markey in addition to the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services. — Marisa McQuilken
What’s in a Name? The Association of Trial Lawyers of America can’t quite seem to settle on a name. The 60-year-old association underwent its sixth name change July 19 when it became the American Association for Justice. Last year the 65,000-member powerful lobby spent almost $10 million paying lobbyists to push its legislative interests. But Americans for Tort Reform says the tactic is a lot of smoke and mirrors. “The name change was prompted by our concern as an advocate of justice about the civil justice system,” says AAJ spokesman Chris Mather. “This is just one step in a larger communications campaign that ATLA is engaged in to protect and defend the civil justice system.” — Anna Palmer

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