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Kay HaganAccording to the D.C. news insider The Hill, former Senator Kay Hagan is following the well-worn path blazed by countless other former members of Congress to become a K Street lobbyist.

Among the “prominent” clients of Hagan’s new firm — an establishment law firm known as Akin Gump — listed in the article: “AT&T, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform, Phillip Morris International, Chevron, WageWorks, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, Honeywell International, Moody’s Corporation, the U.S. India Security Council, TripAdvisor and Amazon, among many others.”

This is from the website Open Secrets:

“With a substantial client base in the growing technology and communications sector, Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld has increased its lobbying revenues by an annual average of 14.3 percent since 1997. With 69 lobbyists registered, Akin Gump was able to pull in over $13 million in lobbying revenue in 1999. Nearly a quarter of Akin Gump’s lobbying income comes from its top five clients, while communications and electronics firms account for 22 percent of Akin Gump’s lobbying revenue. Surprisingly, Akin Gump received no money for defense lobbying in 1999 and just $80,000 from agribusiness interests.”

Pretty notably absent from the list: civil rights, human rights, economic justice and good government watchdog organizations. Just sayin’.

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Harold BrubakerAs anyone who happened to glance at the front page of this past Sunday’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer probably noticed, former North Carolina House Speaker and Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Brubaker has gotten through the almost meaningless six-month “cooling off period” during which former legislators are barred from lobbying their old chums. He now appears ready to make a big splash as a high-powered lobbyist.

Already, Brubaker has signed up nine separate clients for Brubaker and Associates for the 2013 legislative session that begins in earnest tomorrow. Some lobbyists represent more “principals” than this, however, so it wouldn’t be surprising if this number grew in the days to come.

Most of the nine are about who you would expect: insurance companies, doctor groups, the beer and wine lobby and, as is frequently the case for big shot “lobsters,” the requisite nonprofit client. One client that many would not have predicted, however, is this one: Read More

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Ah, the revolving door revolves again. This is from Yahoo! Finance:

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Duke Energy has named Heath Shuler as senior vice president of federal affairs, effective Jan. 4, 2013.

Shuler currently serves as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He has represented North Carolina’s 11thDistrict since 2007. His term expires Jan. 3, 2013. He announced his intention to retire from Congress Feb. 2, 2012…. Read More

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The Fayetteville Observer gets it right this morning with this editorial about the recent resignations of powerful state legislators Harold Brubaker and Richard Stevens who quickly moved to cash in the world of political consulting and lobbying.

“Nobody’s doing anything illegal or, technically, anything wrong. They’re playing it by the book. Trouble is, the book still allows legislators to easily cash in on their power, and also allows lobbying firms to dangle the promise of big jobs to get their way with legislation.

The six-month cooling-off period is more a joke than real reform. We hope the General Assembly will try again.”

The only thing they forgot to add at the end that would have made the editorial completely accurate was the following:

“…but we’re not holding our breath.”

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Good to see that reforms have really slammed that doggone revolving door shut at the General Assembly. A few weeks ago it was former Speaker Harold Brubaker resigning mid-term and announcing plans to cash in by becoming a consultant and lobbyist. Now, this week’s it’s a powerful state Senator.

According to WRAL’s Mark Binker, Senator Richard Stevens, a Republican and one of the Senate’s most influential members, resigned from the state Senate on Friday. It’s all happened so fast that it’s not yet been noted on the General Assembly’s website.

Today he was at work at a big downtown law firm with a large portfolio of high-profile corporate lobbying clients.

Or at least it sure looked like he was already at work when he was having lunch today in a public restaurant in downtown Raleigh with his new colleague, one of the firm’s top lobbyists. Read More