By The Hill Staff - 07/14/14 08:28 PM EDT
•HEALTHCARE. Akin Gump recently signed about 18 new clients, most of them brought in by former Patton Boggs healthcare lobbyist John Jonas. The clients — including the American Ambulance Association, Kidney Care Partners and the American College of Gastroenterology — are worth more than $5.3 million per year in lobbying revenue. The influx could give Akin Gump the boost it needs to become Washington’s highest-earning lobby shop. Akin only trails Patton — now called Squire Patton Boggs following a merger — by approximately $6 million per year. Jonas previously led Patton’s healthcare policy team, and brought several lobbyists with him when he switched firms in May.
•TAXES. Heineken USA has registered its own in-house lobbyist, former Democratic aide Justin Kissinger, who has served as the head of the beer company’s government relations team since 2012. Kissinger will be working on issues that largely revolve around alcohol regulation and taxes, including ensuring that the Alcohol, Tax and Trade Bureau — an office within the Treasury Department — is fully funded and supporting The Beer Act, which deals with excise taxes. In addition to the in-house lobbying effort, the beer company has the Podesta Group on retainer.
•EX-IM. Former Rep. Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.) is helping the National Association of Manufacturers with the group’s push to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank before its charter expires on Sept. 30. The trade association hired Gephardt Group Government Affairs and has a team of three other lobbyists working on the account. Advocates for the bank are squaring off against conservative critics who equate the lending activities to crony capitalism.