- Greenwire, October 7, 2011 - Industry launches lobbying group
- think:act, The global magazine for decision-makers, Issue 14, 2010 - Put away those fine plates! - Thoughts on Diplomacy from Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk, and CapitalKeys President Adam Falkoff
- The Hill, December 18, 2009 – Top 10 lobbying triumphs: Some firms won big despite difficult year in 2009
- The Hill, April 24, 2008 - Best in the business: Hired Guns
- Washington Life Magazine, May, 2007 - The Power 100
- Politico, June 7, 2007 - Giuliani's cache boasts [ twenty ] big names
- Politico, September 18, 2007 - Lobbyists have lots to do, little time
- National Journal, October 21, 2005 - Homeland Security mulls cyber czar nomination
- Roll Call, October 11, 2005 - Bankrupt Northwest Signs Up GOP Lobbying & [Going Global]
- Roll Call, April 18, 2005 - Packed House
- Roll Call, March 16, 2005 - Ex-Rep. Crane Joins Ben Gilman’s Lobbying Firm
- Palm Beach Post, March 10, 2005 - Presidents Buck Up, Tee Off For Tsunami Aid
- National Journal, September 3, 2004 -Administration Officials Tout Bush’s Trade Policies
“The rare earth elements industry has a new voice in
Washington, D.C., with the creation of a coalition to advocate for
RARE, The Association for Rare Earth, has tapped well-known K Street
powerhouse Adam Falkoff and his team to lead the coalition. Falkoff is
president of CapitalKeys LLC and co-founder of the Quinn Gillespie & Associates International Practice.
RARE has also recruited a team of well-known advisers: Roger
Ballentine, former chairman of the White House Climate Change Task Force under the Clinton administration; Ambassador Stuart Holliday,
president of Meridian International Center; and retired Vice Adm.
Conrad Lautenbacher, former NOAA administrator.
"I am pleased to be working with such an accomplished group of
people tackling an issue of this importance to the future of American
business, national security, and quality of life," Falkoff said in a
"...Establishing contacts in these important government outfits and the US Congress is not easy, especially for a newly arrived ambassador. Specialized firms in Washington's high-powered "K Street" help embassy staff to navigate that system. Adam Falkoff, president of CapitalKeys, a boutique firm specializing in strategic consulting and public affairs, says he is "continually asked for our counsel regarding direct foreign investment and strategies on how to grow international businesses by expanding 'homegrown' goods and services to the United States." The more complex set of foreign interests also means that new actors are traversing Washington's halls of power. "We have noticed a sharp rise in the growth and added importance of stand-alone, government-run, diplomatic business development organizations," explains Falkoff..."
For some lobbyists, 2009 was a year for huge wins.
K Street was supposed to be flat on its back. A deep recession meant corporate belt-tightening, and lobbyists were shamed month after month by an administration determined to limit their access. The White House stiff-armed lobbyists on the $787 billion stimulus package, then sought to block K Street from serving on influential federal advisory panels. But if some doors shut, others opened as Democrats pursued a sweeping legislative agenda. Healthcare, energy and financial regulation kept lobbyists working the halls. The efforts promised new challenges, but some companies and trade groups emerged as clear winners.
As a member of Congress, Billy Tauzin (R-La.) was a master dealmaker. As president and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), Tauzin has successfully steered a group often at odds with Democrats through the healthcare debate.
The insurance industry has played the bogeyman in the debate, not drug-makers. That was largely due to an early deal PhRMA and drug companies struck with the White House. Details are still vague, but drug companies limited their financial exposure under healthcare reform to $80 billion over 10 years. Details could still change, but the industry’s apparent willingness to come to the table seems to have borne fruit. An amendment pushed by some Democrats to allow for the importation of cheaper drugs, something the industry has long opposed, was defeated this week in the Senate. Even some former supporters voted no.
Independent Community Bankers of America
There may be no industry more despised at the moment than banks. But as the Obama administration and congressional Democrats plowed forward on major new regulations of the financial industry, community banks were able to distinguish themselves apart from the taint of Wall Street. In doing so, the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) racked up a series of major wins. ICBA helped secure a carve-out from examinations under the new Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) and an exemption from paying into a new industry fund to cover costs if the government takes over a failing financial firm.
“This year is probably the most successful year ICBA has had on the Hill in many, many, many years,” said Cam Fine, the group’s president. That has won him few friends in the big-bank lobby. “I would say they probably think I’m the son of Satan.”
The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) both scored a slew of wins this year on financial reform. With thousands of grassroots members, the credit unions mobilized throughout the year to press lawmakers against new restrictions on the industry. They also played a central role, alongside financial firms large and small, in stopping a proposal to give bankruptcy judges greater power to rewrite the terms of primary home mortgages. The House in March had passed the proposal, derided in the industry as “cramdown,” but it failed in the Senate. Then it failed again in the House, with members citing small banks and credit unions as presenting persuasive arguments against the legislation.
Edison Electric Institute
With a reputation for leaning Republican, EEI took a big step toward mending fences with Democrats when it hired Brian Wolff to lead its lobbying efforts. Wolff served as a political adviser to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and was the executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). Change was afoot even before Wolff’s arrival. EEI had for years fought climate legislation, but recently the trade group was at work on a compromise among its members on the touchy topic. The formula they worked out for the distribution of emissions allowances under a cap-and-trade system has served as the basis for climate legislation thus far. EEI also convinced House Democrats to give away most of the allowances during an initial phase of the program, instead of auctioning them off, as the administration had proposed. Utilities said a full auction would have raised the costs of compliance too high.
The long-running debate over who, if anyone, should be allowed to direct Internet traffic is clearly playing out in favor of one of the first net neutrality champions. Google and its public interest group partners have for three years lobbied Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to codify rules that would prohibit Internet service providers from giving preferential treatment to any traffic. New FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski sees eye to eye with Google. And that bodes well for companies like Skype, Amazon and Apple, which all sell products and services over the Internet.
The Obama administration put a target on a number of defense programs, including an alternate engine for the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). That led to one of the fiercest fights in Washington, between Pratt & Whitney, maker of the main JSF engine that would stand to benefit from its competitor’s demise, and the GE-Rolls-Royce team that built the second engine.
The Senate left out funding for the GE-Rolls-Royce engine from both the defense authorization and appropriations bill. But with strong support in the House, the funding was restored, to the tune of $465 million.
Healthcare reform has split the AARP, with some seniors nervous about how the changes would affect coverage. But the powerful lobby has largely backed the effort and is on the verge of scoring a big win: getting the Medicare Part D doughnut-hole closed. The hole refers to a gap in coverage for prescription drugs that strains many seniors’ budgets. AARP is also about to accomplish other priorities, such as limits to how much extra insurance companies can charge the elderly and the sick for insurance. (It had, however, sought tougher controls.) AARP recently urged quick passage of the Senate bill. It also supported the measure passed by the House.
All parts of the auto industry took a drubbing over the past year. But automobile dealers have found ways to win in Congress. The “Cash for Clunkers” program was a boost for dealers, while the lobby also won an exemption from the new Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA).
Just this month, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) and Committee to Restore Dealers Rights successfully pushed Congress to pass a new arbitration system over how carmakers decide to close dealerships. The dealers had a yearlong battle with General Motors and Chrysler, which received tens of billions of dollars in bailout money and planned to close more than 2,000 dealerships across the country in their restructuring.
Climate legislation splits Congress, but supporters and critics often meet in the middle on clean-tech, a broad category that includes solar and wind power and the so-called “smart grid” technologies designed to cut energy use.The stimulus provided $80 billion in clean-tech support. According to the vice president’s office, that represents the “largest single investment in clean energy in American history.” Winners include the American Wind Energy Association, the Solar Energy Industries Association and high-tech companies that design the components and software for an improved power grid. A $2.3 billion tax credit for clean energy manufacturing is so popular the administration wants another $5 billion.
Boeing may not remember 2009 fondly, what with the delays to its Dreamliner commercial aircraft program. But the company had a good year on Capitol Hill. It succeeded in keeping production of the C-17 cargo aircraft going with a $2.5 billion appropriation. That’s enough for 10 more planes. Boeing also got more money for 18 F/A 18 E/F Super Hornets, nine more than the Pentagon requested. The good news may eventually spill over to its commercial division. The Dreamliner finally took flight this week.
“..Even as Democratic congressional leaders sought to break the bond between lobbyists and lawmakers, some advocates took the plunge and opened new shops. By year’s end, several had built books of business worth millions of dollars. The Hill’s annual list of top lobbyists reflects the greater importance Democratic lobbyists play, while not forgetting the Republicans in town who maintain a major role in crafting legislation, particularly in the Senate, where voting margins are so close. Today’s list names the best "hired guns" and corporate lobbyists. To compile our list, we talked to key congressional aides and lobbyists themselves…”
“Some men, and some women, are born with power, to paraphrase the old adage, while others have it thrust upon them. This seldom is the case these days. The majority of people on Washington Life's Power 100 have earned their status the hard way. They would be fi rst to admit that a sense of power is in the eyes of the beholder - that projection often is the key to how power is best applied… Ed Gillespie, Partner
Quinn & Gillespie: Anyone who's considering a GOP bid for '08 has consulted this former RNC chairman and Republican power lobbyist. Word is that Fred Thompson and Newt Gingrich have both recently sought Gillespie's support and counsel. With his Democratic cofounding partner Jack Quinn, they mentored such rising K Street stars as Adam Falkoff, who heads their international practice…”
“Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani may be running for the GOP presidential nomination as a Washington outsider, but you'd never know it from the list of lobbyist insiders raising money for him…. [ 7.] Adam Falkoff: As a member of Quinn Gillespie's senior staff, Falkoff heads up the firm's international practice. Quinn Gillespie brought in $16.8 million last year, representing clients including Microsoft, Bank of America and Sony, according to CRP.”
“…Beyond the budget and Iraq, big questions remain about what legislation Democrats will champion during the final months of their first year back in the majority. Democratic leaders in the House are seeking a massive expansion of a popular children’s health care program…At the same time, many lobbyists and industry groups remain uneasy about the Democratic majority and are playing defense against legislation such as a massive tax overhaul or a lending crackdown in the wake of the mounting subprime mortgage fiasco.
[ On ] Patents: When the House passed patent reform this summer, the debate seemed to be picking up steam, but it is unclear whether that momentum will translate to the Senate. Not surprisingly, supporters believe the bill could keep moving while opponents think it’s on ice, at least for the next month.
The legislation creates a new process for challenging patents and could ease the penalties faced by those who infringe on them.
Adam Falkoff, a Quinn Gillespie lobbyist who is not currently representing anybody in the fight, said, “At this point, I don’t have high hopes for the much-needed legislation to get done by the end of the year.”
Players on both sides support reform but differ on the details.
“The Homeland Security Department on Oct. 1 created a new post for a cyber-security czar -- a post that the technology industry and Congress repeatedly have urged for two years -- but has yet to nominate a candidate for the job.An announcement in the coming days would coincide with the House and the department recognizing October as National Cyber Security Awareness month. Lawmakers on Monday approved a House resolution making that designation.House Homeland Security Economic Security, Infrastructure Protection and Cybersecurity Subcommittee Chairman Dan Lungren, R-Calif., said in a hearing Tuesday that the vote the day before indicated the government's efforts on cyber security. He said officials voting mid-month on the resolution showed how the government is trying to play catch-up on protecting the country from a cyber attack."In an age where hackers and terrorists are using advanced technologies to attack our cyber infrastructure at an alarming rate," said Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., "the Department of Homeland Security is moving at dial-up speed in naming an assistant secretary for cyber security."The department announced late last month that it would work with key industry partners to "spread the word" throughout October about online safety by providing tips and resources for protecting computers.
While industry groups are pleased with the government's efforts this month, several representatives and lawmakers are anxious for the appointment of the cyber-security assistant secretary that Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff first proposed in July."Anytime the term 'acting' is in your title, you lose the weight and authority necessary to truly do a job right," Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., said of Andy Purdy, the acting director of the National Cyber Security Division. "The fact that there is still no full-time entity within the department shows a glaring lack of foresight from this administration…. Now that lawmakers have given Chertoff their blessing, Information Technology Association of America President Harris Miller said he hopes the secretary "has some people waiting in the wings." Government Affairs Executive Adam Falkoff, said Purdy "has the skills to navigate through the bureaucracy of the department."
“…Going Global. Adam Falkoff, who specializes in international lobbying and was most recently with the Gilman Group, has joined Quinn Gillespie & Associates as a partner.
Earlier this year, 5-year-old Quinn Gillespie signed on its first foreign government client, the African nation of Cote d’Ivoire. But with the addition of Falkoff and former ambassador Stuart Holliday, who also recently joined the firm after serving as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations for special political affairs, the firm is making a greater push in the area, Falkoff said.
“The practice is poised to expand rapidly,” he said. In addition to representing foreign government clients, Falkoff and the practice also will focus on free-trade agreements, international clients looking to do business in the United States and American companies with business abroad.
“It is an honor to work with the highly skilled and collaborative team that Jack and Ed have assembled,” Falkoff said, referring to firm founders Jack Quinn and Ed Gillespie. “I also could not pass up the opportunity to work with Ambassador Holliday.”
Some of QGA’s current multinational clients include Coca-Cola, Sony, Microsoft, HP, Barclay’s, CEMEX, DaimlerChrysler and EADS. Falkoff, who is working on client development, said he will likely bring on new clients soon.”
“GOP lobbyists crammed into Room HC-5 of the Capitol last Thursday for a joint briefing by House and Senate leaders. The point: to show K Street that Senate and House Whips have coordinated their efforts — and that they continue to need lobbyists’ help if they are to pass major items on the business agenda, such as the Central American Free Trade Agreement.
Participants also discussed legislative fallout if the Senate should “blow up” over judicial nominations.
“It was an extremely worthwhile interaction with the leadership of both the House and Senate,” said Adam Falkoff, a vice president at the Gilman Group who attended the meeting.
Also reportedly at the closed-door meeting were Bruce Mehlman, a partner at Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti; Williams and Jensen’s J. Steven Hart; Lisa Nelson, an in-house lobbyist with Visa USA; David Lugar of Quinn Gillespie and Associates; Dutko Worldwide’s Gary Andres; and Bob Okun of General Electric-owned NBC Universal.
According to one K Street attendee, House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) told the audience: “Gathered in this room is where policy meets politics, where the rubber meets the road. Thank you to all of you for all that you’ve done to help us. We couldn’t have gotten this far without your assistance...”
“Former Rep. Phil Crane (R-Ill.) has joined the Gilman Group, a lobbying firm founded by former Rep. Benjamin Gilman (R-N.Y.) that focuses on international affairs, trade and technology matters.
Crane, who spent 35 years in Congress before being defeated last year by Democrat Melissa Bean, is a former chairman of the Ways and Means subcommittee on trade. He inked a deal with the Gilman Group last week.
Gilman is a one-time chairman of the House International Relations Committee who left Congress in 2003. Gilman “asked me, and I said I’d be happy to join because I want to stay involved in trade issues,” said Crane, who will work at the firm part-time.
Among other recent projects, the firm has turned its attention to help raise money and awareness for victims of the December tsunami in Asia and Africa, said Adam Falkoff, vice president of government affairs at the Gilman Group.
Falkoff participated in a $30,000-a-person golf tournament with former Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush in Florida last week. The event raised $1.2 million…”
“HOBE SOUND, Fla. -- The group of wealthy executives and CEOs knew spending the day with former Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush would be memorable.
And then fellow ex-President Gerald Ford phoned.
"Hi Jerry," Bush said, taking Clinton's cellphone.
The moment took place during a charity event at the Medalist Golf Club on Wednesday that, despite a consistent, daylong rain, left many donors feeling as if they got their money's worth. The event, which attracted 54 golfers, cost $30,000 a head.
"It was a moment in history," Adam Falkoff said of the phone call.
Falkoff, a Washington lobbyist and one of the event's participants, was near the ex-presidents when Ford called. He figured it was to wish Clinton good luck with his operation, scheduled for today.
Clinton will undergo a procedure this morning to remove scar tissue in his chest that developed after quadruple-bypass surgery in September.
The most recent ex-president joked Wednesday that, unlike his first attempt at playing the Medalist, this time he would be going to the hospital after he played golf. The last time he tried it, in 1997, he slipped and injured his knee while visiting professional golfer Greg Norman's estate on nearby Jupiter Island hours before tee time…”
“…Top Bush administration officials took advantage of being near the Nasdaq stock market office in New York, where several leading tech companies have their stocks listed, to highlight the president's policies on free trade at a gathering hosted by the Republican Technology Council (RTC). "The president is totally committed -- an unwavering commitment -- to free and open trade,", said Commerce Secretary Donald Evans.
Adam Falkoff said the group gathered technology, oil and other companies to mark the differences between this year's presidential candidates. They offered specifics on increasing U.S. job growth through technology and trade, strengthening the economy, and improving educational possibilities, he said. The economic implications of trade are a top issue in this year's presidential campaign, with the candidates debating the politically charged issue of U.S. jobs moving overseas...”