Former Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) of Alston & Bird officially has entered the world of Washington lobbyists, picking up her home state's biggest company as her first client.
Lincoln, who joined Alston in 2011 as a special policy adviser after leaving Congress, is working with Alston senior policy adviser Robert Holifield to advocate for Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc., according to lobbying registration paperwork filed with Congress on Thursday. Under federal law, former senators must complete a two-year "cooling-off" period before they can traverse Capitol Hill as lobbyists.
The duo is representing Wal-Mart on "[m]atters of importance to the retail industry," the registration filing says. The registration paperwork doesn't provide any other details about the work.
Wal-Mart spent $6.1 million on federal lobbying in 2012, according to congressional records. For its advocacy work, the retailer used its own staffers, as well as lobbyists from more than a half-dozen firms, including Patton Boggs and Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg.
The company most recently lobbied on international trade, federal nutrition programs and health care reform, among many other issues.