Who's the top dog in American business these days? Washington, says the Washington Post:
That's one of the main themes of this week's Capital Connection conference put on by the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association. . . . This time, policy wonks and government insiders will also be there. Reed E. Hundt, former Federal Communications Commission chairman, and Tommy G. Thompson, former Health and Human Services secretary, will be speaking, as will VentureBeat blog author Matt Marshall and GigaOm author Om Malik, two well-known technology bloggers. Washington hasn't been a frequent stop for them in the past. It's just one more sign of the region's growing clout in the business and technology world. This is where stimulus dollars are doled out, where the economic recovery is taking shape, and where regulations — many of which directly affect businesses — are being crafted and rewritten. Of course, lawyers and lobbyists are getting a great deal of business helping folks find ways to tap into stimulus money. . . . Companies familiar with the Beltway culture are well-positioned to benefit from the government's increased role in nearly every sector. . . . The conference, which is open to the public for the first time, demonstrates the growing nexus between the business community and the government, said Julia Spicer, MAVA's executive director. "The spread between the two worlds has tightened a bit," she said. "The economy is the real focal point" of the conference, "and the government has a definite role in that."