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Influence, the Legal Times‘ sister publication about the business of lobbying, recently set out to identify Washington’s top lobbying efforts of 2001. This is not a list of winners and losers. Great lobbying campaigns can have any of a number of outcomes, many often shaded in gray. What matters is how the game is played. That’s what the reporters and editors of Influence had in mind in compiling this article. In some cases the criteria included the collective stature of the people involved. In other cases, it was quantity — the number of lobbyists working on the issue or the amount of resources expended. The stakes mattered, of course, and public attention was also a consideration, although some standout campaigns were not particularly high-profile. ERGONOMICS Business lobbyists won what might have been their most clear-cut victory of the year when Congress exercised powers under a never-before-used law to reverse workplace safety regulations. In early March, the House and the Senate — with backing from the White House — voted to kill the ergonomics rules, which the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued just days before President Bill Clinton left office. Opponents said the OSHA standards, designed to prevent on-the-job injuries, would have forced businesses to make costly upgrades to factory and office workstations. Among lobbyists, the heavy lifting was done by a coalition of 360 trade associations housed at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber’s top lobbyist, R. Bruce Josten, called the issue “a rampant red-glare issue to the business community.” Josten says the Chamber spent nearly $900,000 and the coalition another $1 million in legal fees for attorneys to appear and testify at public hearings on the rule. The main coalition members spearheading the effort included Josten and Randel Johnson at the Chamber; Jenny Krese, Michael Baroody and Patrick Cleary at the National Association of Manufacturers; Lee Culpepper and Rob Green at the National Restaurant Association; Robb Mackie II at the American Bakers Association; and Edwin Gilroy and James “Whit” Whittinghill of the American Trucking Associations. Their main opponents were labor unions, which had seen the policy through a 10-year rule-making process before it was passed and then quashed. TAUZIN-DINGELL In terms of sheer heft, the efforts surrounding the Internet Freedom and Broadband Deployment Act — better known as Tauzin-Dingell — might be the lobbying campaign of the year. Both sides have spent tens of million of dollars making their cases on the airwaves and in print, and through grassroots efforts, coalitions and high-priced lobbyists. When it comes to the big names involved on either side of Tauzin-Dingell — a bill that would make it easier for the Baby Bells to enter the broadband market — it might be easier to list the people who aren’t working the issue than to name those who are. The companies pushing it were, of course, the four Bells: Verizon Communications, the BellSouth Corp., SBC Communications and Qwest Communications. Along with their in-house advocates, they relied on their trade group, the U.S. Telecom Association; the SBC-backed Connect USA; a team from Griffin, Johnson, Dover & Stewart; Los Angeles-based Manatt, Phelps & Phillips; Susan Molinari from the Washington Group; solo lobbyist Kevin Curtin; San Antonio-based Loeffler, Jonas & Tuggey; D.C.-based Barbour Griffith & Rogers; Dan Mattoon of PodestaMattoon; and D.C.-based Tongour Simpson Holsclaw Green, among others. “This certainly has been the major priority for us,” says a Verizon spokeswoman, putting it mildly. Ditto for the bill’s opponents, which included the three major long-distance carriers — the AT&T Corp., the Sprint Communications Co. and WorldCom Inc. — cable providers, and a number of small local phone companies. On their side were Voices for Choices, a coalition run by Steve Ricchetti of Ricchetti Inc.; CompTel, which represents long-distance and Internet service providers; and the Association for Local Telecommunication Services. Also involved were Timmons and Co.; Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld; and Patrick Williams and J.D. Derderian of the Cormac Group, to name a few. From the time the bill was introduced in the late spring, the bombardment from both sides of the Tauzin-Dingell debate was almost constant. Lawmakers seemed as divided as the telecom industry on the issue, with the House Energy and Commerce Committee endorsing the bill and the Judiciary Committee rejecting it. The issue faded briefly after Sept. 11, but the pressure resumed as the possibility of a full House vote loomed in December. PATIENTS’ RIGHTS Long before anthrax, the health issue that dominated the Capitol Hill agenda was the Patients’ Bill of Rights. Health insurers lined up lobbyists to try to ensure that any legislation passed would limit lawsuits against them. The Kennedy-Edwards-McCain bill that cleared the Senate provided insurance companies with few protections, but an Aug. 1 deal between President George W. Bush and Rep. Charles Norwood, R-Ga., led to a more HMO-friendly outcome in the House. The stage was set for a compromise. Then came the August recess, and Sept. 11. Neither the House nor the Senate had appointed conferees to settle differences between the two bills, as the session drew to a close. “It went from a tornado to just a feather floating around,” says Victor Schwartz, a Washington, D.C.-based partner at Shook, Hardy and Bacon who lobbied on the lawsuit provisions for the American Association of Health Plans and the Cigna Corp. His colleague Mark Behrens represents the Health Insurance Association of America on the same issue. The AAHP, the HIAA and individual insurers had teamed up to form the Health Benefits Coalition, whose primary lobbyists were Doug Badger and Bruce Gates of Washington Council Ernst & Young. Porter Novelli handled the group’s PR. “The coalition helps coordinate and direct efforts,” says Badger, “but the individual organizations and associations really ran their own lobbying efforts.” Lauraine Sullivan, a former aide to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., who’s now a health care lobbyist at D.C.-based PodestaMattoon, worked the issue for Aetna Inc. and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, among others. AAHP President Karen Ignagni played a major role, with added help from Scott Styles at Bergner, Bockorny, Castagnetti, Hawkins & Brain. Also involved were Dan Danner at the National Federation of Independent Business, and Linda Tarplin of the OB-C Group, who represented the Biotechnology Industry Association. They were up against some unusual bedfellows: the American Medical Association and the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, both of which favored giving patients the right to sue health insurers. ALASKA OIL DRILLING Republicans tried all year to pass a measure that would open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration. And thanks to a broad base of lobbying support — from energy companies seeking new revenue sources to labor unions seeking new jobs to Alaskans seeking economic development — the issue held lawmakers’ attention for much of the 2001 session. Summer brought a partial victory as the House passed the provision, and Sept. 11 gave supporters of ANWR drilling an opening in the Senate. The airplane attacks “brought us to the state of war,” when energy issues take center stage, explains Roger Herrera, who heads the D.C. office of Arctic Power, a coalition that lobbies for the drilling. That momentum was largely lost, however, when an anthrax-tainted letter shut down Senate offices in October. “All of a sudden our most important playing field was closed to us,” says Herrera. The Senate voted Dec. 4 not to include the measure in the railroad pension bill — one of many legislative vehicles to which supporters had tried to attach ANWR language — and to shelve the matter until 2002. Despite the setback, Herrera says his group made progress, thanks in part to a multimillion-dollar lobbying war chest that included a $4 million contribution from the state of Alaska. Arctic Power used $1 million to hire the public relations firm Qorvis Communications, which steered about half that amount into an advertising campaign. For lobbying, the group hired D.C.-based Patton Boggs’ Thomas Boggs Jr. and Darryl Nirenberg. Other major supporters included the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and a U.S. Chamber of Commerce-led coalition called the Alliance for Energy and Economic Growth. On the other side were a variety of environmental groups, including the Sierra Club. They used grassroots networks and some advertising to pressure lawmakers, but spent little on outside lobbying. AIRLINE BAILOUT Airlines were already feeling the pinch of a slowing economy, but until Sept. 11 no one was talking about a federal handout. When the Federal Aviation Administration grounded all planes for two days, the companies found a compelling argument: You shut us down; now help us out. Unlike issues that simmer over time, the Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act was introduced, debated, passed and signed into law within 11 days — helped by the fact that it had no natural opponents. It contained a $5 billion cash payout, plus $10 billion in loan guarantees, not to mention a victim compensation fund also worth millions. With little time to spare, the airlines relied mostly on the teams they had in place before the 11th. For Continental Airlines, that was Rebecca Cox, its chief in-house lobbyist and wife of Rep. Christopher Cox, R-Calif., and J. Steven Hart of D.C.-based Williams & Jensen. Northwest Airlines had Andrea Fischer Newman in-house and its regular outside firm, Bergner, Bockorny, Castagnetti, Hawkins & Brain. At American Airlines, it was William Ris Jr., who heads the carrier’s D.C. office; former FAA Deputy Administrator Linda Daschle, a lobbyist at Memphis, Tenn.-based Baker, Donelson, Bearman & Caldwell and wife of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D.; and former Transportation Secretary James Burnley IV of Winston & Strawn. Delta used John Blount of the National Group, and America West Airlines retained the Cormac Group’s J.D. Derderian, a former chief of staff to the House Commerce Committee, and John Timmons, a former chief of staff to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. United Airlines’ Mark Anderson was also a major player. EDUCATION REFORM It was the No. 1 legislative issue of the year — literally. As the first bill sent to the 107th Congress by the new administration, President George W. Bush’s education package became H.R. 1 and S. 1. With the top billing came a lot of attention from K Street. After the White House relented on a controversial private school voucher initiative, the lobbying focus was on two elements of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001: special education funds and mandatory federal testing of public school students. As Congress prepared to recess in December, a conference committee was still trying to hammer out differences in the legislation. Leading the charge for increased special-ed funding were the National School Boards Association, the National Education Association, the American Association of School Administrators, and the Council for Exceptional Children. “It was not just traditional grassroots and lobbyists on the Hill,” says NSBA lobbyist Daniel Fuller. “It was pulling in the governors and the [National] Conference of State Legislatures. There were newspaper ads. There were radio ads.” One private interest that played an active role in the education reform debate was the Educational Testing Service, which produces college entrance exams and other standardized tests. The ETS pushed for passage of an annual testing requirement for grades three through eight, hiring lobbyists Cleta Mitchell of D.C.-based Foley & Lardner and Van Scoyoc Associates’ Victor Klatt III, who also represented several large public school systems and charter school companies. Other players involved in the issue included Adams and Reese lobbyist Jeffrey Brooks, who represented several school districts, and Susan Traiman of the Business Roundtable, who worked with the BRT’s outside lobbyists at Bergner, Bockorny, Castagnetti, Hawkins & Brain and the Duberstein Group to support Bush’s proposal. AVIATION SECURITY Any bill that had the word “security” attached to it had an easy time getting lawmakers’ attention in the aftermath of Sept. 11. The Aviation and Transportation Security Act, which federalized airport screening systems, is a perfect example. Once the airlines got their bailout, just about everyone else in the travel industry wanted something to make consumers and employees feel safer returning to the skies. But footing the bill for increased security became a point of contention. “It was very frenetic and intense,” says Kenneth Quinn, D.C.-based head of Pillsbury Winthrop’s aviation group, who represented the Aviation Security Association, a coalition of private security companies that screen passengers for the airlines. Quinn’s clients, which included Argenbright Security Inc., wanted to forge a public-private sector partnership rather than turn over screening duties to a government security force. “We were certainly disappointed with the end,” he says. Also working the issue with Quinn was the C2 Group’s John Cline, an associate administrator for the Federal Transit Administration in the first Bush administration. Although the screening issue got the most attention, lobbyists for other aviation industry players used the bill as an opportunity to promote their interests — from arming pilots to subsidizing airport expenses. Among those who got involved were the Association of Flight Attendants, led by government affairs director Jo Deutsch; the Air Line Pilots Association; the Air Transport Association; and the transportation trades department of the AFL-CIO. The airports themselves sought reimbursements to offset the increased costs of, among other things, hiring additional patrol officers, says Todd Hauptli, chief lobbyist for the American Association of Airport Executives-Airports Council International. Congress authorized $1.5 billion for the airports, but the money has yet to be appropriated. “The bill was a win insofar as we got Congress to deal with pieces of our agenda,” Hauptli says. “We still have some unfinished work to do.” SUBPART F It goes by the rather dull name “Subpart F,” and it is a piece of the U.S. tax code that treats income from overseas operations of financial service companies as taxable, while income from overseas operations of manufacturers, for example, is not. Congress has corrected this discrepancy over the past few years, but always on a provisional basis. “It’s not about the propriety of the exception — it’s resistance to making it permanent,” says Washington Council Ernst & Young partner Nick Giordano, a former chief Democratic tax counsel to the Senate Finance Committee, and one of the provision’s major proponents. “This affects every aspect of the financial services industry, from Citigroup to Goldman Sachs to GE and Ford with their credit arms.” A permanent extension is currently in the House economic stimulus package; the Senate Finance Committee decided simply to extend the reform another year. Prognosticators are betting that a compromise version, extending the exception for five years, will be included in the final package. While the entire financial services industry has pressed hard on the issue, among outside firms there were three major players: Kenneth Kies at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Robert Leonard of Capitol Tax Partners, and Washington Council’s Giordano, LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson and Bruce Gates. In-house lobbyists included Jeffrey Levey at Citigroup Inc., John Samuels at the General Electric Co., Patricia McClanahan at the Securities Industry Association, and Phil Anderson and Doug Bates at the American Council of Life Insurers. MEXICAN TRUCKS Granting Mexican trucks the right to cross with relative freedom into the United States was part of a pledge by President George W. Bush to his Mexican counterpart, Vicente Fox. The opening of borders to truckers was one goal of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement, and Bush made it clear he would veto any attempt by Congress to make trucking restrictions too onerous. The personal nature of the issue, says the American Trucking Associations’ top lobbyist, James “Whit” Whittinghill, put lobbyists somewhat in the back seat. “It was a personal agreement between two people who consider themselves good friends — the president of the United States and the president of Mexico,” says Whittinghill. “Everyone else was a bit player in this.” Perhaps. But as the proposal moved through the appropriations process as part of the transportation spending bill, the lobbying was fast and furious. At one point, the House actually voted to ban all Mexican trucks from U.S. roads. “This could have been the president’s first big veto fight,” says Whittinghill. His group represents trucking company owners, who supported the Mexican carriers. Working alongside Whittinghill were two ATA colleagues, Joe Hart, a one-time chief of staff in the Senate Democratic whip’s office, and John Murphy, who had been an aide on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee under former Chairman Bud Shuster, R-Pa. Outside lobbyists for the truckers included Alison McSlarrow, who has her own shop, McSlarrow Consulting, and Keith Kennedy of Baker, Donelson, Bearman & Caldwell. Working to impose more restrictions were the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, led by Jennifer Esposito, John “Jay” Powers at the AFL-CIO, and Jacqueline Gillan at the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. Ultimately, the transportation appropriations bill included language that would allow the trucks in, subject to electronic license checks at the border and on-site inspections. And while these restrictions are stronger than President Bush originally desired, he was expected to sign the bill into law this month. TRADE PROMOTION AUTHORITY If you’re a trade lobbyist, you probably spent most of 2001 dealing with trade promotion authority. “TPA has definitely been the biggest trade issue of the year,” says John Schachter, a spokesman for the Business Roundtable, which considers trade issues a top priority. The TPA legislation, sometimes called “fast track,” would prevent Congress from making changes to trade agreements that the president’s negotiators have made with other countries, although Hill approval would still be required. “Having strong negotiators is a dramatic boost to both the U.S. and world economies,” says R. Scott Miller, director of national government relations at the Procter & Gamble Co. and co-chair of U.S. Trade, a coalition of businesses formed to push for fast track. The other co-chair is Ted Austell of the Boeing Co., the country’s single largest exporter. Sectors including manufacturing, technology, retail and agriculture have pushed for fast track — including last-minute campaigning the week of Dec. 6, when the matter passed the House by one vote. (A Senate vote is expected early next year.) Having a strong president and the nation’s eyes focused on foreign affairs since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks gave the effort a boost, lobbyists say. “Foreign economic policy is part of foreign policy,” says Miller. Leading the attack for the Business Roundtable was Brigitte Gwyn. But, as with last year’s debate over permanent normal trade relations with China, the effort included several outside firms, grassroots efforts, issue advertising and public relations. The Roundtable’s for-hire talent on the matter included Steven Champlin of the Duberstein Group; Bergner, Bockorny, Castagnetti, Hawkins & Brain; and Griffin, Johnson, Dover & Stewart. Miller says fast track’s lobbying price tag is in the multimillion-dollar range. “Our records show that advertising ran in about 100 congressional districts,” he says. Editor’s Note: More about the business of lobbying can be found on the Influence Web site at www.influenceonline.net.

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