When Citicorp chairman and chief executive John S. Reed endorsed financial reform legislation this month, he was pledging the support of the nation's 10th-largest lobbying organization.
Citicorp spent $4.1 million on lobbying in the first half of 1997, ranking it No. 10 among the 106 organizations that spent more than $1 million on lobbying during that period, according to a study by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.
"We have a larger Washington office than some," said Gregory J. Koczanski, Citicorp's new chief lobbyist. The banking company reports everything in its disclosure filings, from the salaries of its 11-member lobbying team to the cost of paper clips, he noted.
And its operation keeps growing. Abe L. Frank, 38, formerly director of the Washington office of the Council of State Governments, will become Citicorp's state government relations director, the job Mr. Koczanski held before moving up to succeed longtime chief lobbyist Stephen A. Hopkins, who retires Thursday.
Chase Manhattan Corp., which was ranked No. 41, with $2.3 million of spending, was the only other banking organization on the list.
Fannie Mae spent $2.5 million, finishing at No. 36. Financial industry trade groups that spent more than $2 million included the American Council of Life Insurance and the Securities Industry Association. The American Bankers Association reported $1.7 million of expenditures.
The insurance industry is mourning the decision of Rules Committee Chairman Gerald B.H. Solomon to retire at yearend. A former insurance and investment broker, the New York Republican said Monday that he would not seek reelection after 20 years in Congress in order to spend more time with his wife and start "a new career" to build an inheritance for his family.
"There's nobody I would rather have on my side of an issue than Jerry Solomon," said Dean Sackett, vice president of government affairs at the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents. "There is perhaps no greater advocate for America's insurance agents."
If the insurance industry and its allies cannot get lawmakers to pass a financial reform bill this year, the Rules Committee - which determines which bills go to the floor and under what conditions - could become less friendly territory.
Rep. David Dreier, the committee's vice chairman, is in line to succeed Rep. Solomon. A California Republican, Rep. Dreier is a former House Banking Committee member and sponsor of an alternative financial reform bill endorsed by the thrift industry.
House Majority Whip Tom DeLay has hired Frank Maguire, the former No. 2 man in the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, as a senior policy adviser for banking, budget, and tax issues.
Mr. Maguire was former Comptroller Robert L. Clarke's right-hand man until Eugene A. Ludwig took over the agency in 1993. Mr. Ludwig stripped Mr. Maguire of his congressional and public affairs duties, but he hung on as senior deputy comptroller and then senior adviser for three years. Mr. Maguire has spent the last two years as a consultant.
It is 10 down and two to go for the fledgling Council of Federal Home Loan Banks.
The board of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas voted unanimously April 18 to join the council, a trade group that was formed in January to represent members of the Home Loan Bank System on policy and legislative issues. The holdouts among the 12 Home Loan banks are Chicago and New York.