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Tennessee Waltz After the 2005 FBI sting operation that led to the arrest of five Tennessee state lawmakers on bribery charges, the state moved to create new requirements for lobbyists. The Ethics Reform Act of 2006 imposed new restrictions on lobbyists and employers of lobbyists by establishing the Tennessee Ethics Commission, a body of six members charged with regulating lobbying activities and ethical conduct. As of Oct. 1, lobbyists and their employers began registering with the commission, which boasts that 373 lobbyists and more than 300 employers of lobbyists had registered as of Oct. 11. Commission Chairman Thomas Garland served in the Tennessee Senate for more than two decades. The commission recently named an executive director, Bruce Androphy, the former general counsel of the New York State Ethics Commission. But not all is running smoothly, notes Tracy Woodard, chairwoman of the Tennessee Lobbyists Association and lobbyist for Nissan. “There are kinks that have to be worked out, and the learning curve is definitely great,” says Woodard. For one thing, she says, “None of the members are former lobbyists.” — Joe Crea
Deliver Us to Eva “Desperate Housewives” co-star and Latina beauty Eva Longoria will grace the streets of Washington next month as guest speaker at the Latino Leaders Luncheon Series, hosted by lobby shop Mickey Ibarra & Associates Inc. The event is a networking effort for Latino leaders to build relationships and for speakers to share personal stories of their path to success. The focus is arts and entertainment and will include a discussion of the strides that Latinos are making both in front of and behind the camera. The National Hispanic Media Coalition, a nonprofit organization that will be highlighted at the event, is scheduled to discuss its goal of increasing Hispanic representation in the arts, says Norelie Garcia, an associate at the firm. Garcia says Longoria was chosen for the event because of her “trendsetting beauty” and trailblazing success. “Eva Longoria is the most recognizable Latina in entertainment today,” Garcia says. “She is breaking down barriers for Latinos in the industry.” — Osita Iroegbu
Show Me the Money It’s no surprise that some ex-state lawmakers’ exit strategies would entail following the golden money trail of lobbying. According to an analysis performed by the Center for Public Integrity, more than 1,300 former state lawmakers across the country made a move to lobby their state government last year instead of continuing to be a part of it. The center recently released a list of former legislators from each state who have gone through the revolving door. The list shows that 70 went through the revolving door in Texas, 60 in Florida, 50 in Minnesota, and 22 in Maryland . . . and the list goes on. Glenn Croshaw, former member of the Virginia House of Delegates, is one of six Virginia former state legislators turned lobbyists. The analysis also profiles a few individuals who took the rare leap from lobbyist to lawmaker. — Osita Iroegbu
AFTER DARK Medium Rare Our red-meat town is about to get redder. Move over Bobby Van’s Steakhouse and Capital Grille. Yet another steakhouse is on the way. BLT Steak, executive chef Laurent Tourondel’s swank digs on East 57th Street in New York City, will open a new location in the nation’s capital in mid-November at 1625 I St. N.W., and will include 115 seats in the main dining room along with a private dining space seating up to 22. And how does yet another steakhouse expect to stand out in a town dominated by plenty of pillars to the cattle industry? “It’s really what’s made BLT different even here in New York,” says Jennifer Baum, who handles publicity for the restaurant. “The use of softer materials. It’s a very female environment and the menu doesn’t treat fish as an afterthought.” Female? Fish? Afterthought? Finally a place for the swanky power woman. And Baum reassures longtime BLT diners that the restaurant’s famous warm and pillowy Gruy�re popovers will be on every table. — Joe Crea
HEARD ON THE STREET • “I’ve never helped my daughter get anything. My kids are qualified on their own.” — Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.) • “The more lobbyists there are, the more gridlock you’re going to have because everyone has a lobbyist and it makes it that much more difficult to get anything done.” — Blair Horner of New York Public Interest Research Group, on the number of lobbyists in New York City. (New York Post) • “I allowed myself to get too comfortable with the way things have been done in Washington, D.C., for too long. I accepted things I shouldn’t have, with the result that Jack Abramoff used my name to advance his own secret schemes of fraud and theft in ways I could never have imagined.” — Rep. Robert Ney (R-Ohio)

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