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New lobbyists in Virginia for Ripley's, liquor interests

Rosalind Helderman

Look who's hired a lobbyist in Virginia, believe it or not.

Ripley's Believe It Or Not, which specializes in "weird, odd and unbelievable stuff" has hired representation in Richmond.

Ken Hutcheson, the former campaign manager for gubernatorial candidate Jerry Kilgore who now works with the Williams Mullen lawfirm, registered to lobby for the company on Tuesday. His listing is among 26 new lobbyist-client relationships listed this month by the Virginia Public Access Project.

Hutcheson laughed when asked about the relationship, noting the work has been drawing some chuckles around town. He pointed out Ripley's has had a museum in the Williamsburg area for years and wanted a lobbyist to help boost its efforts on behalf of Virginia tourism.

Other new relationships reported by VPAP point to the intense lobbying being conducted by industries with interest in Gov. Bob McDonnell's proposal to privatize state-run liquor stores.

The ABC Privatization Coalition, made up of big retail chains that support the idea, has formally hired Tom Lisk of Eckert Seamans.

The Virginia Wine Wholesalers Association, meanwhile, has hired three new lobbyists to help on the issue. And Sheetz Corporation, which owns gas stations and markets that could bid for a liquor license if privatization goes through, has hired a McGuire Woods lobbyist to handle its ABC interests.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  |  September 16, 2010; 9:53 AM ET
Categories:  Liquor privatization , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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