By The Hill Staff - 07/02/13 10:36 PM EDT
• FINANCIAL SERVICES. Jay Velasquez, a former senior aide to ex-Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Texas), has joined a stable of lobbyists for the Electronic Payments Coalition. His firm, the Velasquez Group, will be lobbying for the coalition on “matters pertaining to interchange and payment card systems which may arise,” according to lobbying disclosure records. Several other firms, including Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck and Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford, already lobby for the coalition.
Ogilvy Government Relations has been hired by the Futures Industry Association to lobby on financial derivatives issues. Dee Buchanan, once chief of staff for the House Republican Conference, and Gordon Taylor, ex-chief of staff to former Rep. Chris John (D-La.), are lobbying for the trade group. Ogilvy has added some other high-profile clients recently, including Herbalife International of America and Lake Erie Power Corporation.
• TAX. Tax reform is bringing steady foot traffic to K Street, with new hires being made every week. One recent move was by American Express, which contracted with Washington Council Ernst & Young to lobby on “various issues related to tax reform proposals.” Nick Giordano, once chief tax counsel for the Senate Finance Committee, and Stephen Adam Francis, former deputy chief of staff to Rep. Patrick Tiberi (R-Ohio), are among the lobbyists on the account.
A former congressman and Securities and Exchange Commission chairman is wading into the battle over the online sales tax. Ex-Rep. Chris Cox (R-Calif.) of Bingham McCutchen has been hired by NetChoice to lobby on legislation “relating to federal and state roles in the taxation of Internet commerce,” specifically the Marketplace Fairness Act that has passed the Senate. NetChoice’s member companies include eBay, Overstock.com and PayPal.