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Nuevo Lobby African-American lobbyists have the Washington Government Relations Group, but Latino K Streeters haven’t had any association representing their interests — until now. Estuardo Rodriguez Jr., counsel on media and communications at the Raben Group, a Latino government relations firm, recently launched the Hispanic Lobbyists Association Inc. Rodriguez, a former media relations manager for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, says the association will serve as a mentor to Hispanics interested in government advocacy. “The myth behind lobbying serves as almost a red herring to a young attorney or Hill staffer to get into this line of work,” says Rodriguez. “They assume it’s all about who you know. A lot of it [the work] is substantive and goes beyond who you know.” Rodriguez says 70 Hispanic lobbyists are members of the association, and the group is preparing to elect a board. — Joe Crea
Stuck in Neutral Someone at the Glover Park Group, a Democratic lobby shop, is not drinking the progressive Kool-Aid, according to MoveOn.org, a liberal advocacy organization. Glover’s verboten move? Signing up Verizon Services Corp. as a client to “monitor legislative developments relating to” the telecom bill introduced in the Senate. Progressives say broadband operators, such as Verizon, have plans to turn the Internet into a cable system with operators deciding what fees, in addition to normal access rates, can be tacked on to content and service providers. MoveOn and the tech community have been urging lawmakers to support legislative efforts to enshrine the principle of Internet freedom in law. MoveOn has criticized Glover Park for working with Verizon and partnering with Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican firm, to highlight a poll that shows little public support for so-called net neutrality. MoveOn says the poll is false, and in a Sept. 21 e-blast, it urged supporters to contact Glover Park partners Amy Phee or Joe Lockhart, ex-President Bill Clinton’s former press secretary, to criticize the firm for “pushing a corporate agenda that hurts the public.” Adam Green, civic communications director at MoveOn.org Civic Action, says his organization wanted to put Glover on notice: “It’s wrong to use their credibility as Democratic consultants to make a very bogus Verizon poll look legitimate.” Green says MoveOn has not discussed the matter with other Glover Park clients, including Nextel Communications Inc., the Major League Baseball Players Association, and Warner Music Group Corp., though the e-mail was sent to a handful of Glover clients, which Green declined to identify. Calls to Lockhart and Joel Johnson, another Glover Park partner, went unreturned. Verizon spokesman David Fish says the noise generated by MoveOn is a “diversion from the real issue.” — Joe Crea
Just Blog It How much money do you make? Too modest to tell? Well, if you’re a congressional staffer, it’s not too much of a secret anymore. A lighthearted blog about movers, shakers, and moneymaking in the D.C. public affairs arena is up and running, thanks to Adam Kovacevich, assistant vice president at Dittus Communications, a D.C. public affairs and communications firm. Potomac Flacks is Kovacevich’s first run at joining the blogosphere, and he’s already hip to what people really want to know: Why does a White House press secretary wear that white shirt and maroon-colored tie one day and a bubbly pink shirt and light-blue tie another? Is it Tony Snow’s mood that’s reflected in his colorful attire or his boss’s? Kovacevich’s cheery highlights are a step away from some of the more serious sites, he says. His link to the salaries of all Senate press secretaries got a whopping 1,200 hits when he first posted it. (He gets an average of 200 hits a day to his site.) Though joining the blogosphere has proved to be an enjoyable venture for Kovacevich, it’s all part of an effort to get Dittus Communications folks more familiar with the type of work they perform for their clients. “We’ve helped numbers of clients with blogging strategies and have created an in-house team dedicated to helping clients create their blogs. It was an effort to better understand the blogosphere.” — Osita Iroegbu

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