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Longtime California lobbyist Mike Kahl, who founded the firm that became Sacramento powerhouse KP Public Affairs, died Sunday of Parkinson's disease. He was 71.

Journalist Greg Lucas chronicled Kahl's career in an obituary posted to his California's Capitol blog:

Principled, strategic and tenacious, Kahl and his partner Fred Pownall, built one of the most respected and one of the biggest grossing lobbying firms in Sacramento, representing the oil industry, water districts, and timber concerns, among many other clients.

Kahl pioneered a lobbying style grounded more in the policy of an issue than in political contacts. He was successful at it because, in most cases, he had studied the homework twice while his opponents were skimming the Cliff Notes.

"He preached to all of us that you had to deal with good public policy. This wasn't going to be about whether you were a good guy or if people liked you," said K.C. Bishop, a long-time Chevron lobbyist who worked closely with Kahl. "Good, solid public policy would win in the end but you needed to do the work to get there."

Services will be held Saturday in El Cajon, where he lived at the time of his death with his wife Judy, according to Capitol Morning Report. Click here to read Lucas' full obituary.

Editor's note: This post was updated at 11:30 a.m. with Kahl's age.


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