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Healthy Living Concerned about the lack of federal funding for public health, the Food and Drug Administration Alliance has employed lobby shop Patton Boggs to assist in its mission to increase government funding for the FDA. Steven Grossman, executive director of the 76-member alliance, stated in a press release that “without a significantly higher level of funding, the FDA cannot fulfill its increasing responsibilities and meet the public health needs of the American people.” The FDA Alliance is a private, nonprofit whose members include mostly law firms, trade associations, and nonprofits. Patton Boggs’ efforts will be led by Stuart Pape, an international expert on food and drug law, and Ed Newberry, an appropriations expert. — Osita Iroegbu
Any More, Uncle Sam? The National Republican Senatorial Committee has spent $1 million-plus on media ads targeting Virginia Sen. George Allen’s Democratic challenger Jim Webb, according to PoliticalMoneyLine, an independent Web site that details campaign information. Earlier in the year, pols and insiders projected the race to be a cakewalk for Allen. Yet in recent months, Allen has been criticized for being hostile to minorities and even his own Jewish heritage, which was recently disclosed. The controversies have allowed Webb to make inroads — and take the lead in recent polls. Meanwhile, money from Washington power brokers has been pouring in for both candidates. According to Federal Election Commission records, Allen has received help from Frank Carlucci of the Carlyle Group, who has given $3,200 since early 2005 to Friends of George Allen, the incumbent’s political action committee. Additionally, Michael Adcock with Van Scoyoc Associates and Republican lobbyist Robert Aiken with Pinnacle West Capital Corp. both gave $1,000. As of Oct. 18, the incumbent had $2.3 million on hand, according to FEC records. Although Webb trails Allen in cash on hand ($1.8 million as of Oct. 18), he is not short on K Street support. From July 1 to Sept. 30, Webb received $3.3 million in contributions. Lobbyists Kai Anderson of Cassidy & Associates, James Woolsey at Booz Allen Hamilton and Jeffrey Peck of Johnson Madigan Peck Boland & Stewart Inc. each donated $1,000. — Joe Crea
AFTER DARK Taxi! To some he is known as the “King of Cabs.” One local newspaper referred to him as Capitol Hill’s most trusted cabbie. Whatever his label, Mohinder Singh is arguably the District’s most famous taxicab driver, and he has enough political contacts in his BlackBerry to rival some of the K Street lobbyists who cycle through their own address books from the back seat of his cab. Riding in a not-so-spectacular 1996 black Lincoln Town Car, with a Bluetooth hanging from his ear and a worn brown tweed jacket covering his shoulders, Singh seems like your typical Washington cabbie — that is, until you ride with him. With 30 years of experience, Singh exhibits a humility and a dedication to service not found in many people, let alone cab drivers. After a couple of chance encounters, his reputation as an invaluable cab driver began to spread, escalating to his being the preferred on-call cabbie for some of Washington’s political elite, such as Rep. Rub�n Hinojosa (D-Texas), Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.), and even Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, whom Singh refers to as a personal friend. Singh says it’s the limousine-like service that draws high-end regulars and brings new referrals for his independently owned cab. “They don’t care about money, they care about service,” says Singh, noting the genuine respect he receives from the members of Congress who call and e-mail his BlackBerry daily. “In India, important people such as these never treat you with this much respect. The congressmen treat me like family,” he says. Singh estimates that he fields about 10 to 12 calls a day from customers, who can also be everyday citizens. Occasionally he will pick up a fare on the street. “I prefer clients to random customers because I know them.” And his regular clients provide him with great tips, he said. Having driven around the area for so long, Singh knows Capitol Hill and downtown hot spots where political power players hang and make deals over meals. But confidentiality is his middle name, and any more questions will yield silence. — Michael Martin
HEARD ON THE STREET • “But voters want their representative to stand up for them, not defend big-money, campaign-contributing lobbyists. And, apology or no apology, they certainly don’t want their sole representative in the House to physically threaten someone who dared to call attention to her special interest fund-raising.” — David Donnelly of Campaign Money Watch, on Rep. Barbara Cubin (R-Wyo.) threatening to slap her opponent (U.S. Newswire) • “I had good Democratic battery life back in Illinois and here, but I soon knew I couldn’t be a Democrat-slanted firm. [Democratic firms] are forced to zero in on the Democratic base, labor unions, teachers unions . . .” — Democratic lobbyist Gary LaPaille of mCapitol Management • “His 12th-hour good government policy pronouncement is no more than electioneering hypocrisy. During the course of his being mayor, I met with him on several occasions on behalf of lobbying clients . . .” — Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) on Baltimore Mayor Martin O’Malley’s (D) attack on his relationship with some lobbyists (Baltimore Sun)

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