A former farm lobbyist will become California's top pesticide regulator, despite complaints from environmentalists. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Mary-Ann Warmerdam, who worked for the California Farm Bureau Federation from 1981 to 2001, to head the state's Department of Pesticide. Warmerdam currently is a lobbyist for Pacific Gas & Electric.
Firms on Washington DC's lobbying row, K Street, are "aggressively courting GOP lawmakers who have announced their retirements, suggesting that the business community is confident the GOP will retain the Speaker's gavel in January." The trend "is stoking talk on Capitol Hill that the 'K Street Project'" - an effort launched by Grover Norquist and
"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's ambitious plan to reorganize almost every aspect of state government was influenced significantly by oil and gas giant ChevronTexaco," including "streamlining the permit process for the construction of new oil refineries" and "reorganizing the regulatory process for ... energy facilities," reports Associated Press.
Eritrea "signed Alexander Strategy Group, a firm with strong Republican ties, to a contract worth more than $300K a year to improve its ties with the United States." According to Amnesty International, "torture, arbitrary detention, 'disappearances' and ill-treatment of political prisoners" are common in the Horn of Africa
As if it hadn't gotten enough bad press lately, PR firm Fleishman-Hillard "is taking a media hit for its failed campaign on behalf of Enterprise Rent-A-Car to defeat a ... car rental tax to help pay for ... a $250 million arena in downtown Kansas City." A mayoral aide suggested the firm "stay out of issue campaigning ...
Toby Moffett is a well-connected Washington lobbyist employed at the Livingston Group, a powerful lobby firm begun by former Republican representative Robert Livingston.
Candidates, delegates, protesters and media aren't the only folks attending the Democratic and Republican conventions this summer. Lobbyists, by the thousands, are doing "what amounts to the only real work going on at the convention - the nonstop currying of favor of elected officials by the most powerful interests in the country," the Washington Post writes.
The Iraqi Kurdish region's "leaders try to project a united front in Baghdad and abroad, but few Kurds in the north or Arabs in the south have forgotten that" the Kurdish Democratic Party and the rival Patriotic Union of Kurdistan "spent four of their Saddam-free years fighting a civil war." Now, the KDP "has retained Barbour Griffith & Rogers as its lobbyist to ensure that Iraqi Kurdistan maintains its autonomy" and to push for "the return of oil-rich Kirkuk,"