Raben Group to Lobby for FSC

WASHINGTON — The Free Speech Coalition has hired the Raben Group to take over its lobbying efforts in Washington D.C. after the departure of the FSC’s previous lobbyist, Aubrey King.

Founded by Robert Raben, one-time assistant attorney general in the office of legislative affairs during the Clinton years, the Raben Group comes well versed in human rights and free speech issues, according to Kat Sunlove, FSC’s legislative affairs director.

“King did a fine job for us in the six months he was with us,” Sunlove told XBiz. “[But] he was more a Southern gentleman type, if I can characterize him that way. He was a very nice man and well connected on the hill, but his background was not as clearly focused on First Amendment issues as we really wanted.”

Sunlove said that during King’s six-month lobbying contract with the FSC, both parties knew the partnership would be temporary. Nonetheless, she stressed that King was a valuable asset and that he was deeply involved in several successful meetings on the hill, as well as with bringing information to the FSC when they learned of the proposed porn tax bill in July.

But as Sen. Blanche Lincoln’s (D-Ark.) bill continues to find support and U.S.C. 18 § 2257 continues to make headlines, Sunlove said the FSC needed a new lobbying group that could move fast and expand the FSC’s support base.

“We are very excited with the Raben Group because they have jumped on with both feet,” Sunlove said. “They have already done some networking for us with other First Amendment groups and they are very well connected with ACLU. On top of that, they have also taken numbers for more potential allies.”

Sunlove said the FSC is currently working on a plan for some kind of joint lobbying activities similar to what the group has done in California, working in collaboration with other organizations that the Raben Group is looking to involve.

“That is just in the beginning stages, but we hope to pull it together by next year,” she said. u