Venable has started lobbying for a California drug company and an Oklahoma organization that manages American Indian casinos, putting a former member of Congress on the accounts.
The firm this week notified Congress that former Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), who left the House in January 2011 after nine terms, is advocating for Amphastar Pharmaceuticals Inc. and the Apache Gaming Board. The notices came after Stupak finished his one-year "cooling off" period, during which ex-members of Congress are prohibited from lobbying their former colleagues on Capitol Hill.
During the first three months of this year, Stupak, a partner at Venable, lobbied the U.S. House, Senate, Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration on the sunset date for an over-the-counter epinephrine asthma inhaler, according to a report that Venable filed with Congress. The U.S. government banned the sale and production of the inhaler, known as Primatene Mist, after Dec. 31 to meet its obligations under an international treaty intended to save the ozone layer. The inhaler uses chlorofluorocarbons that, according to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, are harmful to the atmosphere.
Amphastar paid Venable $20,000 for the firm’s government advocacy efforts during the first three months of 2012. The company hadn’t used a federal lobbyist since 2010, according to congressional records.
For the Apache Gaming Board, Stupak focused his lobbying during the past few months on the National Indian Gaming Commission, according to a report that Venable filed with Congress. The paperwork doesn’t provide details on the exact nature of Stupak’s advocacy work.
The Apache Gaming Board gave Venable less than $5,000 for the firm’s lobbying efforts during the first quarter of this year. The organization had never utilized a federal lobbyist before this year, according to congressional records that date to 1999.
In an e-mail, Stupak declined to comment on his lobbying for Amphastar and the Apache Gaming Board, citing attorney-client confidentially.
Venable also this month reported to Congress that Stupak helped some of his colleagues at the firm during the past few months advocate for the Beverly Hills Unified School District in California, Composite (Wood) Panel Association and Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc., whose lobbying relationships with the firm began before 2012.
A lobbying report from last year shows that Stupak advocated for Waimana Enterprises Inc., a Honolulu telecommunications company. But Stupak wrote in the e-mail that he didn’t lobby for Waimana in 2011.
“A partner of the firm improperly listed me and it was corrected,” he wrote.