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Horne Heads lobbyists.

Former Insurance Commissioner Represents 66 Clients

A PERSON COULD GET EXHAUSTED just reading over the list of 66 clients Allen "Dick" Horne lobbies for at the Arkansas Legislature.

All 66 clients rely on Horne, a former state insurance commissioner, to focus on insurance issues. Fifty-nine of the clients are insurance companies or organizations; the other seven clients use Horne for insurance issues that affect their businesses.

Horne is No. 1 in Arkansas Business' ranking of lobbyists with the most clients. There are 524 lobbyists who registered at the Secretary of State's office for the recently completed legislative session.

In the 88-day session that adjourned April 8, Horne says he actually spent time lobbying for only a few of his 66 clients. But regulations require a lobbyist to list any firm or organization he may represent or have contact with in any capacity, including time spent before a state board or agency.

"I was a member of the ad hoc committee studying workers compensation," Horne says. "We had 11 or 12 meetings, all three hours-plus, and I think we met even into the first week of the session."

So Horne says he felt he needed to list any firm or organization he had contact with during that time as a client for the session, even though he did no direct work for most of them at the Capitol.

"I think if you look at the lobbyist disclosure law, you'll see that anyone who pays you to go out there, you have to list them as a client," says Joe D. Bell, a lawyer for the Friday Eldredge & Clark firm. Bell's clients include First Commercial Bank of Little Rock and two railroad organizations.

Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. listed the most lobbyists at the session, 22. Most of the 521 companies, organizations or individuals who had lobbyists are based in Arkansas.

The company outside the state listing the most lobbyists is Ash Grove Cement Co. of Overland Park, Kan. Ash Grove has had a cement plant in Foreman since 1967 and has truck terminals in North Little Rock and Van Buren.

Don Young, an executive with Ash Grove in Overland Park, says most of the lobbyists the company lists spend time representing Ash Grove before the state Department of Pollution Control & Ecology.

Horne is one of at least four former insurance commissioners who lobby at the Legislature. Others are Robert Eubanks, Ark Monroe and W.H.L. Woodyard III. Ron Harrod of Prescott, who lobbies for eight clients at the Legislature, is a former chairman of the state Highway Commission.

Eubanks, Monroe and Woodyard are members of the Little Rock law firm Mitchell Williams Selig Gates & Woodyard, which represents several insurance companies in Arkansas, including Merrill Lynch Life Insurance Co. of Plainsboro, N.J.

Monroe recently announced he will spend most of his time at the firm's Washington, D.C., office that opened in 1991. Gov. Jim Guy Tucker is a former senior partner at the Mitchell firm.

Two Categories of Lobbyists

There are two categories of lobbyists: independent lobbyists and corporate lobbyists. The independent lobbyists, considered to be self-employed, are under contract with each of their clients. The corporate lobbyists are full-time employees of the company they represent.

According to several lobbyists and insiders contacted, some of the better lobbyists at the Capitol include Cecil Alexander, Don Allen, Joe Bell, Stewart Bell, Paul Berry, Bill Brady, Preston Bynum, Martha Miller Harriman, Harrod, Earl Jones, Dennis Jungmeyer, Maurice Lewis, William Phillips, J.B. Smith and Lynn Zeno.

Of those who did not make Arkansas Business' list, Alexander and Smith represent Arkansas Power & Light Co.; Allen represents Arkansas Poultry Consultants Inc.; Stewart Bell's clients include the Arkansas Ophthalmological Society; Bynum represents Stephens Inc.; Harriman's clients include the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville; Jungmeyer represents the Arkansas Automobile Dealers Association; Lewis represents the Arkansas Hospitality Association; Phillips represents Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield; and Zeno represents the Arkansas Medical Society.

The lobbyists aren't required to release information about their salaries.

"The good lobbyists, with the companies that really need the help, are paid just like any other business executive they have on the staff," Joe Bell says.
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Title Annotation:Allen Horne
Author:Smith, David (American novelist)
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Apr 26, 1993
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