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K Street’s lobbying elite may remember 2007 as “the year of the block.” Democrats — in charge on the Hill for the first time in a dozen years — targeted everything from private equity titans to Turkey’s historical misdeeds. But a bipartisan array of D.C. lobbyists engineered a legislative traffic jam that halted (at least for now) many of those initiatives. As a result, each of the four efforts that we’ve identified in our annual special report, Lobbying Campaigns of the Year, involved fending off change. Three of the campaigns were centered on the Hill. A resolution to recognize the massacre of Armenians during World War I as genocide ran into a big-ticket lobbying buzz saw led by former Louisiana Republican Congressman Bob Livingston. Plans to impose higher taxes on the dizzying wealth of private equity barons was beaten down — thanks in no small part to the ability of private equity firms to use their cash to buy instant credibility on K Street. This was also supposed to be the year that the farm bill’s subsidies for Big Ag were slimmed down, yet the bill still has more fat in it than a double quarter pounder with cheese. We selected one other lobbying battle, this one focused on the executive branch. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin has been a Darth Vader-like figure to executives in the cable industry. They and their D.C. advocates pushed back — hard — on Martin’s plans to reform the industry and largely won. Martin hasn’t completely given up. As we close in on the end of the year, he is still aiming to get a new round of regulation passed by the commission. Like any good epic, this one’s going to have a sequel. Legal Times editors and reporters identified the campaigns through our own reporting and analysis and by interviewing lobbyists at several of the nation’s top lobbying firms. The four campaigns were selected based on their size, cost, and, most importantly, impact — whether or not in-house or outside lobbyists achieved a successful result. We think this year’s list of campaigns is a strong one, but we know that some of you may disagree with our choices. We’d like to hear from you about it. Please e-mail us at [email protected] or contact me directly at [email protected]. In the next year, we hope to continue aggressively pursuing lobbying coverage. Our Web site at influence.biz has the latest news and data on the lobbying world, and our blog, the BLT, posts lobbying items several times a day. In the coming year, we’ll be rolling out even more online features to keep you on top of lobbying news. — David Brown

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