Dutko Worldwide

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Dutko Worldwide (DW) (formerly The Dutko Group, TDG or TDG Companies) is a Washington, DC based bipartisan lobbying firm that offers "comprehensive public policy management." DW's services include "Issues and opportunities assessment, Strategy Development, Crisis Management, Execution of sound public policy management programs." It identifies as its core issue areas "Appropriations, Technology, Telecommunications, Health Care, Energy, Financial Services, International Trade, Environmental Regulation, Corporate and Global Tax Policy, Sustainable Development." [1] [1]

Dutko Worldwide was founded by Dan Dutko, as the lobbying firm Dutko and Associates, in 1981. DW later expanded to become The Dutko Group Companies. Dan Dutko stressed the importance of relationship-building to lobbying: "Even those who oppose our initiatives today may eventually become allies who will support our initiatives tomorrow. The extended hand of mutual respect, even among adversaries, opens more doors than an iron fist." [2]

Campaigns and clients

Industry-supported "consumer" groups

Dutko Worldwide was involved with the AIDS Responsibility Project (ARP), an industry-supported effort "to educate key policy makers and the general public to the unique needs of traditionally underserved HIV/AIDS-affected populations, and to develop strategies and solutions to overcome barriers to treatment." [3] A member of the HIV/AIDS policy activist group Health GAP called ARP a "drug industry-funded front group." During the the 15th International AIDS Conference, held in Bangkok in July 2004, ARP took out a full-page ad attacking generic drugs in the Bangkok Post. [4]

DW played a key role in developing the Consumers Alliance for Affordable Natural Gas, an effort launched by major chemical companies and industry associations seeking "to increase their political influence by reaching out to groups outside of the industry, such as consumer and environmental organization." The coalition was formed by companies and industries concerned at the rising price of natural gas, including the American Chemistry Council, Dow Chemical, American Forest and Paper Association, DuPont, Rohm and Haas, and the Society of Plastic Industries. Dutko Worldwide said such groups as the Consumer Federation of America, the AFL-CIO and the 60 Plus Association "will become increasingly involved in the coalition." The coalition's immediate goal "to produce a stand-alone natural-gas bill," with measures designed to "stabilize the market for natural gas," is expected to facilitate drilling for natural gas, by "reducing drilling restrictions" and "speeding the environmental reviews required." [5]

Election-related activity

According to the Center for Public Integrity, DW has also received payment from some 527 groups, including the Democratic Attorneys General Association, Inc. and the National Conference of Democratic Mayors. [6] [7] DW, in turn, donated to several 527s, including the Republican Governors Association, the Democratic Governors' Association, DASHPAC - Nonfederal Account, and the Rely On Your Beliefs Fund. [8] Individuals associated with DW donated more than $267,000 to federal candidates and parties during the 2004 elections; the firm does not have an associated political action committee. [9]

Industry clients

Top Dutko Worldwide clients include many telecom and media companies, like AT&T Wireless, Level 3 Communications Inc., Sprint, Satellite Broadcasting & Communication Association, Comptel/ASCENT, Cumulus Media and Time Warner. [10] DW's Roger Fleming was reported to be "lobbying for Internet retailer Amazon.com on spam and Internet tax legislation," in December 2003. [11]

Other DW clients listed on the Lobbyist.info database include Accenture, American Chemistry Council, American International Group, Biotechnology Research & Development Center, Bristol-Myers Squibb, CITGO Petroleum, the Coalition for Auto Repair Equality, the Coalition for Highway 36, the Coalition for the Advancement of Housing Research, Correctional Services Corporation, Democratic Leadership Council, Fisher Scientific Company, the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network, Genentech, Eli Lilly, Kmart Corporation, Microsoft, the National Petrochemical Refiners Association, Ogilvy PR, Personal Watercraft Industry Association, Prudential Financial, PSEG Services, Senior Care Pharmacy Alliance, Target, and the U.S. Small Manufacturing Coalition. In November 2004, The Hill reported that DW "is the latest shop to represent the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America." [12] In December 2007, Duke Energy was listed among Dutko's clients. [13]

According to the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, DW also lobbied against the federal Superfund toxic clean-up site program, on behalf of its client, the Alpine Group. U.S. PIRG reported that the anti-Superfund lobbying was part of a coordinated industry attempt to persuade "Congress to roll back the polluter pays principle and weaken cleanup standards at the nation's worst toxic waste sites." [14]

In the last 1990s, DW lobbied against a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposal to more strictly regulate the herbal supplement ephedra, in response to mounting concerns about its safety. Metabolife, along with other supplement companies, had hired DW. "Dutko convinced Reps. George Brown, D-Calif., and James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., to request a General Accounting Office (GAO) study examining the FDA's rule. GAO's July 1999 report said that while the FDA had reviewed several hundred reports of health problems related to ephedra, the thrust of its rule - the dosage limits - was actually 'based on information associated with only 13 adverse event reports.' GAO recommended that the agency do additional research to support its rule." [15]

In 2005, Republicans pushed their agenda over several business-oriented legislative victories recently — including bankruptcy legislation and a measure limiting class-action lawsuits — in which the House cleared a Senate-approved version of the bill, averting a conference committee and the possibility that House members would end up taking tough votes on legislation that would never be enacted. A former House leadership aide credited the Blunt-McConnell alliance with ensuring enactment. They have been aided by the Dutko Group. Greg Crist, a lobbyist at the Dutko Group was an aide to House Republican Conference Chairwoman Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio) and former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas).[16]

International clients

Dutko Worldwide is registered as a lobbyist for the Government of Romania, under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. [17] According to The Hill, DW also lobbied "on behalf of Sun Chemical," one of many companies positioning for lucrative reconstruction contracts in Iraq. [18] The Washington Post reported in July 2004 that the Embassy of Latvia hired DW "to help persuade the NATO allies to choose the former Soviet republic, a new NATO member, to host the 2006 summit." [19]

Staff

DW's managing principals include: [20]

Contact details

412 First Street, SE
Suite 100
Washington, DC 20003
Phone: 202-484-4884
Fax: 202-484-0109
Web: http://www.dutkoworldwide.com

Resources and articles

Related SourceWatch articles

References

  1. "Dutko in the News", Dutko Worldwide, accessed September 2007.

External articles