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The financial-services industry hired top lobbyists to derail the direct government-lending program.

A partial list:

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* Williams & Jensen: Law-lobbying firm, works for the Student Loan Marketing Association (Sallie Mae). Lead lobbyist is David Starr, ex-staff member of Sen. Howard Metzenbaum (D) of Ohio.

* Walker/Free Associates Inc.: Lobbying firm, works for USA Group, a student-loan guarantee company. Principals are GOP lobbyist Charles Walker and former Carter White House official James Free.

* Patton, Boggs & Blow: One-time home of Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, works for New England Student Loan Marketing Association (Nellie Mae).

* Powell Tate: Public relations firm, works for Ohio Student Loan Servicing Corp. Principals are President Carter's former press secretary, Jody Powell, and Nancy Reagan's former press secretary, Sheila Tate.