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Published — January 30, 2013 Updated — May 13, 2014 at 1:40 pm ET

Fix the Debt Coalition lobbies up

Government affairs professionals to press financial reform agenda


Fix the Debt Coalition, the political arm of the bipartisan and star-studded Campaign to Fix the Debt, has hired a trio of professional lobbyists to press its fiscal reform agenda with federal government, according to a new document filed this evening with the U.S. Senate.

This marks the first time Fix the Debt Coalition has formally registered lobbyists, the group’s Senior Finance and Operations Adviser Simone Frank confirmed to the Center for Public Integrity.

The group’s lobbying efforts wouldn’t focus on any one governmental branch or agency but would rather hit “across the board,” Frank said.

“Fixing U.S. long-term debt and deficits” and “educate on the need for a comprehensive plan to fix the U.S. long-term debt and deficits” are Fix the Debt Coalition’s lobbying goals as stated in its lobbying registration documents.

Fix the Debt Coalition’s lobbyists work directly for the group, not a hired lobbying firm.

The three lobbyists are Cynthia Brown, a former chief of staff to Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis.; Nathaniel Hoopes, former legislative director for ex-Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass.; and Elizabeth Wroe, a former health policy director and counsel to the Senate Budget Committee, filings indicate.

The group has already launched a nationawide advertising campaign urging long-term fiscal restraint and is led, in part, by lobbyists, those close to the lobbying industry and corporate chiefs who lead some of the strongest lobbying forces on Capitol Hill.

Former Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., and Erskine Bowles, President Bill Clinton’s chief of staff, are the co-founders and co-chairmen of Campaign to Fix the Debt. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an independent; former Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H.; and former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a Democrat, are additional co-chairman.

The group’s steering committee includes political personalities ranging from Democratic Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to former Rep. Jim Nussle, R-Iowa, who also served as President George W. Bush’s Office of Management and Budget director.

Its “Fiscal Leadership Council,” however, tilts decidedly Republican when it comes to political contributions: The Huffington Post reported that the 86 corporate chief executives populating the council together directed nearly 80 percent of their donations to GOP candidates and causes during the 2012 election cycle.

Why is 2013 an important year for campaign finance? Dave Levinthal and Michael Beckel will answer that, and many other questions about the money-in-politics world in a live chat on Monday, Feb. 4, at 1 p.m. ET.

Read more in Money and Democracy

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