By The Hill Staff - 07/07/14 08:42 PM EDT
•Three families are pushing back against strict regulations that prohibit the import and export of ivory from elephant tusks. A self-described “informal coalition” made up of the Gerstenfeld, Van Auken and Bruehl families, which all have antique ivory collections, forms say, hired Bockorny Group to lobby on the Obama administration’s proposed updates to the rules. Martina Bradford, the lobbyist on the account for the Families Conserving Antiques coalition, is a former deputy sergeant at arms of the Senate and served as an aide to Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
• Navient Solutions hired Mercury, its first outside lobbying firm, only months after registering its own in-house advocacy team. The company spun off from the student loan company Sallie Mae, taking over its loan servicing and collections business. Sallie Mae has become a bank. Navient is vying for a multimillion-dollar contract with the Department of Education, and is employing former Reps. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) and Vin Weber (R-Minn.) as lobbyists, among others. The company already has about $300 million in contracts with the department, but is in the running for another deal worth $880 million.
• Two former policy aides to Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) when he was a senator, Joseph Kuklis and Alexis Strothman, are registered to lobby at Duane Morris Government Strategies for a nonprofit that provides “social services to residents in affordable housing communities.” Their work on behalf of Better Tomorrows will focus on “programs in public housing sites,” according to forms filed with the Senate.
• America’s Blood Centers, the trade group for nonprofit community blood centers, registered CEO Christine Zambricki as its first in-house lobbyist. She intends to talk with the federal government about “universal product label for component plasma [and] quality control requirements for blood centers,” among other topics. She joined the organization last year, and before that worked as the senior director of federal affairs strategy for the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists.