Top Lobbyists: Associations

Members don’t necessarily like to be lobbied. That is, they don’t like it when someone lobbies against something they support. Which helps explain the prevalence of trade associations in Washington. In addition to putting on conferences, setting industry standards or publishing an industry magazine, trade groups are often the most public voices in a lobbying campaign, as individual member companies recede into the background out of fear of antagonizing members whose help they may need on another day. Complicating the effort for trade group CEOs, however, is that not all of their members see eye to eye on things. One has to constantly preach the benefits of sticking together to companies that may be competitors on another playing field. Here are a few people who are good at finding consensus among their members and then communicating their message on Capitol Hill.  

 

Richard Baker, Managed Funds Association. The former Louisiana Republican member is expanding the MFA and hitting the Hill just as hedge funds peer into a world of new regulations.

Steve Bartlett, Scott Talbott, Financial Services Roundtable. The roundtable played a key role in winning support for the financial rescue package last fall.

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Dan Berger, National Association of Federal Credit Unions. Berger and Brad Thaler keep federal credit unions plugged into all financial matters.

Marion Blakey, Aerospace Industries Association. The former FAA administrator is front and center fighting for the interests of her industry.

Denise Bode, Greg Wetstone, American Wind Energy Institute. Still a relatively small slice of the country’s energy mix, wind energy is a big power player on Capitol Hill.

Phil Boyer, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. AOPA has battled efforts by the airlines to raise the user fees on pilots and aircraft owners to pay for a new radar control system.

Tom Buis, Growth Energy. Once a senior aide to then-Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), Buis is a respected voice for the start-up ethanol producers group.

John Castellani, Business Roundtable. Blue-chip America always has a voice at the table.

Dan Danner, National Federation of Independent Business. Danner sticks up for small businesses inside the Beltway.

Rich Deem, American Medical Association. There are countless groups representing doctors in Washington but the AMA is still the biggest dog in the pack. Deem leads its lobbying team.

Scott DeFife, Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. DeFife keeps SIFMA plugged in, even as the association faces a shakeup and has lost several big-name lobbyists.

Bob Dinneen, Renewable Fuels Association. Corn-based ethanol seems like everyone’s favorite punching bag these days, but Dinneen helps the industry fight back on Capitol Hill.

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Tom Donohue and Bruce Josten, U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The business group gave a critical endorsement of the White House’s stimulus package but has fought other administration priorities, from the budget proposal to the Employee Free Choice Act.

Cal Dooley, American Chemistry Council. Dooley left the Grocery Manufacturers Association to take over the chemistry group last year and helped the industry win big in the stimulus bill.

Kim Dorgan, American Council of Life Insurers. The quest for bailouts and other financial recovery measures has meant a trying year so far for the insurers and Dorgan, their chief lobbyist and the wife of Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.).

Charles Drevna, National Petrochemical and Refiners Association. Drevna doesn’t pull any punches as he fights for his industry in Congress.

Martin Edwards, Interstate Natural Gas Association of America. Edwards is a trusted source on energy matters for centrist Democrats.

John Engler, National Association of Manufacturers. The ex-Michigan Republican governor is in charge of a massive lobbying ground game.

Glenn English, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. English runs a group with broad grassroots power.

Frank Fahrenkopf, American Gaming Association. Fahrenkopf, once chairman of the Republican National Committee, will be a key figure in the debate over the online gaming bill.

Camden Fine, Independent Community Bankers of America. With thousands of bank members across the country, ICBA and Fine are a powerful force.

Alex Flint, Nuclear Energy Institute. The “nuclear renaissance” may depend in part on Flint’s ability to win continued support for nuclear power in Congress.

Jack Gerard, American Petroleum Institute. The oil lobby isn’t exactly beloved these days, but Gerard isn’t shy about making sure it’s heard.

Jerry Giovaniello, National Association of Realtors. The realtors spend big on both lobbying and political campaigns and are a force to be reckoned with on Capitol Hill.

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Dan Glickman, Motion Picture Association. The self-deprecating, down-to-earth former Agriculture secretary does his business a lot of good, drilling down on wonky issues such as intellectual property protection.

Jim Greenwood, Biotechnology Industry Organization. Greenwood’s vaunted deal-making talents will face twin challenges this year as BIO seeks to find its place in health reform while fending off bills that threaten its companies’ patent protections.

Edward Hamberger, Association of American Railroads. A longtime lobbying power, railroads maintain an edge with Hamberger in charge.

Ralph Hellmann, Information Technology Industry Council. Big supporters of the stimulus, Hellmann and the tech trade association are now getting involved in the tax fight.

Jerry Howard, National Association of Home Builders. The association has fallen on hard times and rifts have opened with some of the industry’s biggest members, but Howard is trying to navigate a tricky political landscape.

Karen Igagni, America’s Health Insurance Plans. If there’s anyone in healthcare navigating the choppy waters of health reform more adroitly than Ignagni, it’d be hard to say who.

Chip Kahn, Federation of American Hospitals. One of the shrewdest opponents of Clinton health reform in the 1990s, Kahn is now one of those at the table trying to hash out a deal with the Democrats.

Tom Kuhn, Brian Wolff, Edison Electric Institute. What’s a Bush pioneer do when the town goes Democratic? Kuhn and EEI rebounded by hiring Wolff. Speaker Pelosi called Wolff a “dear friend, trusted adviser, and partner in helping to move America in a new direction.”

Steve Largent, CTIA-The Wireless Association. Largent makes sure cell phone companies are heard on Capitol Hill.

Linda Lipsen, American Association for Justice. With Democrats in power across Washington, the trial bar association and Lipsen have plenty of energy.

James May, Air Transport Association of America. The cagey Washington veteran keeps the airlines on course as they fight for their priorities on Capitol Hill.

Walter McCormick, U.S. Telecom Association. McCormick will make sure that a commitment to expanding broadband doesn’t lapse in Washington.

Dave McCurdy, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. The auto industry is struggling in Detroit and around the world, but this former Oklahoma Democratic rep is doing his best to maintain the industry’s Washington presence.

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Ben McKay, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America. McKay has a deep knowledge of politics and insurance policy.

Kyle McSlarrow, National Cable & Telecommunications Association. The cable industry stays plugged in thanks to McSlarrow, a former top official in the Energy Department.

Mark Merritt, Pharmaceutical Care Management Association. Merritt and his group will have plenty to say as health reform legislation progresses.

Dan Mica, Credit Union National Association. Mica is a former member who has been pushing credit union interests effectively for more than a decade.

Rob Nichols, Financial Services Forum. A vet of the Bush administration Treasury Department, Nichols still knows the lay of the land in Washington for one of the smaller financial industry associations.

Steve Pfister, National Retail Federation. The longtime retail lobbyist has his hands full looking out for his industry during tough economic times.

Leigh Ann Pusey, American Insurance Association. Pusey took over as head of AIA in February but has been at the insurance game for years.

Bob Rusbuldt, Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America. As the president of the “Big I,” Rusbuldt is a big-time insurance player.

Norb Ryan Jr., Military Officers Association of America. With so much attention given to military families and veterans, Ryan and retired Col. Steve Strobridge ensure that their critical issues stay at the forefront.

Stephen Sandherr, The Associated General Contractors of America. AGC played a big role in crafting the economic stimulus package earlier this year.

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Gary Shapiro, Consumer Electronics Association. Shapiro’s hard-charging style has made him a forceful, unapologetic advocate for tech.

Rick Shelby, American Gas Association. Shelby is an active participant in energy debates on Capitol Hill.

Billy Tauzin, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. This GOP former House member may have achieved the seemingly impossible: Rebuilding Big Pharma’s relationship with Democrats. Good timing, too, as the industry stands to lose big or win big under healthcare reform.

Mary Kay Thatcher, American Farm Bureau Federation. Thatcher will look to protect farming interests from proposed subsidy cuts by the Obama administration.

Steve Ubl, Advanced Medical Technology Association. Ubl has a steady hand on the tiller guiding the medical device industry’s main trade group.

Rich Umbdenstock, Rick Pollack, American Hospital Association. Hospitals have footprints in every congressional district, giving them a virtually unparalleled political advantage. It’s up to top dog Umdenstock and top lobbyist Pollack to channel those disparate interests into a unified voice.

Ed Yingling, Floyd Stoner, American Bankers Association. Yingling and Stoner keep ABA plugged into the wide range of banking issues.