Music publishers have reached inside the Bush administration to tap one of the most influential advocates on Capitol Hill for their team.

NEW YORK -- Music publishers have reached inside the Bush administration to tap one of the most influential advocates on Capitol Hill for their team.

David Israelite, deputy chief of staff and counselor to the U.S. Attorney General, will become president/CEO of the National Music Publishers' Assn. on Feb. 7, ELW has learned.

Israelite and NMPA chairman Irwin Robinson, who also serves as chairman/CEO of Famous Music, were not available for comment.

Israelite not only acted as personal adviser to John Ashcroft on legal, strategic and public affairs issues during the last four years, he also chaired the Department of Justice's Intellectual Property Task Force.

In this position, he led some of the country's top investigators during a six-month period last year, examining the effectiveness of intellectual property enforcement and exploring ways to further protect copyrights, trademarks, patents and trade secrets (Billboard, Oct. 30, 2004).

Recognizing that music was most likely the industry hardest hit by Internet theft, Israelite met with a variety of creators and copyright owners to learn about their experiences firsthand. This surely makes him one of the most knowledgeable Washington insiders when it comes to the rights and concerns of publishers, songwriters, labels and artists.

The NMPA, with more than 800 American publisher members, will need a strong representative in Washington this year to fulfill its role as the music publishing industry's advocate. Congressional committees are expected to take up several bills that will affect copyrights and various streams of revenue derived from copyrights.

Israelite seems well-qualified for this task. Prior to his work with the DOJ, he was senior adviser to the National Republican Party chairman, responsible for campaign operations, government affairs and research. He also served as chief strategist, overseeing the committee's candidate support programs, and as liaison to the presidential campaign.

Israelite will be based in Washington, D.C., sources say, reporting to the NMPA board, which comprises 18 executives from major and independent publishers.

Former NMPA president/CEO Ed Murphy, who served the trade group for 20 years, retired Dec. 31, 2004, when his contract expired.