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Tisch group lobbies hard for tax cuts

By Eric Rosenberg

February 14, 2008 at 11:00am

Veteran politicians and former government staffers have been lobbying Washington for clients seeking tax cuts as part of the economic stimulus package.

During recent weeks, a coalition of hotel, financial services, energy companies and manufacturers pressed lawmakers to include in the package a reduction in the capital gains tax rate.

One of the coalition members, America Gains, hired Ed McClellan, a lobbyist for PricewaterhouseCoopers who previously served as the Republican tax counsel for the Senate Finance Committee.

America Gains is headed by James Tisch, the president and CEO of Loews Corp.

Retired Rep. Bill Archer, R-Texas, who used to be chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, now works for PricewaterhouseCoopers on the America Gains account, The Hill reports.

Also working the account, according to lobbying records:

* Sam Geduldig, formerly a senior adviser to Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., the House Republican whip, now a lobbyist with Clark & Associates.

* Andrew Lyon of PricewaterhouseCoopers, formerly deputy assistant secretary for tax analysis at the Treasury Department, a staff member of the Council of Economic Advisers and staff member of the Joint Committee on Taxation.

* Paul Martino, partner at the law firm of Alston and Bird, and formerly counsel to the Senate Commerce Committee when it was chaired by Sen. John McCain.

American Gains is teamed with the National Association of Manufacturers, which is headed by former Michigan Gov. John Engler.

Engler has extensive connections to the Bush administration, having served on key federal advisory committees on trade and export controls. His appointments have included membership on the State Department’s Advisory Committee on Transformational Diplomacy, vice chairman of the President’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations, and membership on the Deemed Export Advisory Committee, which reviews U.S. technology transfer policies.

Engler is seeking a reduction in the capital gains tax rate of 35 percent to 15 percent. “Reducing the capital gains tax on business will allow corporations to take what are often stale assets and move them into the hands of other businesses who will put them to more efficient use,” he said.

The Tax Relief Coalition, another group that lobbied Congress for tax breaks for businesses, is led by Jade West, a senior vice president at the National Association of Wholesalers-Distributors. West formerly was staff director for the Senate Republican Policy Committee and executive director of the Senate Steering Committee.

Contact: eric@muckety.com

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