Bottom Line

• 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.

• JUSTICE. The Brimley Group is lobbying for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest non-profit focused on mental health support, education and advocacy. The firm is working on issues related to criminal justice reform, including S. 993, the Comprehensive Justice and Mental Health Act of 2015, which passed the Senate at the end of 2015, and a similar House companion bill that passed through the Judiciary Committee earlier this month. Lobbyists include Jessica Nickel, a former legislative aide to then-Rep. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanTax rules will be subject to more OMB review under new memo Ending sex trafficking tomorrow requires preventing child abuse today Doctors bristle at push for opioid prescription limits MORE (R-Ohio), and Liliana Coronado, a former counsel to the House Judiciary Committee.

• 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.