By The Hill staff - 01/26/16 05:16 PM EST
• TRANSPORTATION. California Strategies is working for the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco to “collect and analyze information concerning high-speed rail activity in California,” in addition to providing ways for Japanese companies to become involved. According to contract documents, California Strategies will also “facilitate … visits to Japan between leaders of the California high speed rail effort and leaders of the high speed rail effort in Japan.” The contract is scheduled to last from Jan. 15 to March 31, according to disclosure forms, and is worth a total of $37,500.
• Gulf airline carrier Etihad Airways added another lobbyist to its advocacy fleet, former Democratic aide Chris McCannell. The United Arab Emirates-based airline also has public affairs giant APCO Worldwide on retainer and its own in-house lobbyists. The company is in a battle with large American carriers, which charges that Etihad and other Middle Eastern carriers — including Qatar Airways and Emirates Airline — are competing unfairly in the U.S. because they receive support from their home governments. The foreign carriers deny the accusations and say that U.S. carriers can’t compete with the service they provide.
• TAXES. Corporate tax reform is on the minds of three new clients for McGuireWoods Consulting — Southern Co., Hunt Power and Altria. At the firm, lobbyists include former Democratic Senate Finance Committee staff director Russ Sullivan and Rosemary Becchi, who has worked at large law and lobby firms, in the government relations offices of Fidelity Investments and CitiGroup and at the Internal Revenue Service and the Senate Finance Committee.