By Theodoric Meyer | 05/18/2017 03:20 PM EDT
With David Beavers, Aubree Eliza Weaver and Daniel Lippman
NEW BUSINESS: Several firms picked up prominent new clients in the latest batch of filings. Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld will lobby for the American Bankers Association, which also employs a squadron of other lobbying firms. Bose Public Affairs Group has signed Ford. Capitol Hill Partners has signed LinkedIn, lobbying on the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and unemployment insurance reform, according to the filing. Monument Policy Group had been LinkedIn's only lobbying firm since 2012. And Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas signed Boeing.
- Cornerstone Government Affairs, meanwhile, has signed an intriguing client. The firm will lobby for Ferring, a Swiss pharmaceutical company, on "the merits of reindeer herding and seeking support for World Bank-funded projects to protect the livelihood of reindeer herders," according to the filing.
TWO BIG LOBBYING SPENDERS RESOLVE A QUARREL: For years, a pair of Arizona tribes, the Gila River Indian Community and the Tohono O'odham Nation, have had two of the largest lobbying contracts in Washington. The Gila River Indian Community spent $630,000 retaining Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in the first quarter, and has spent more than $31 million with the firm over the past two decades, according to figures compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics - more than any other client has spent with a single firm. And the Tohono O'odham Nation has spent millions retaining Dentons, including $320,000 in the first quarter.
- The two tribes lobby on a variety of issues, the most high-profile of which has been a long-running legal battle over a casino near Phoenix. But that fight is now over. "After nearly a decade of back-and-forth belligerence, a jumble of lawsuits and millions of dollars in attorneys' fees and construction, the Tohono O'odham Nation and the state of Arizona are poised to end all disputes over a West Valley casino," The Arizona Republic's Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Jessica Boehm report. "The settlement, announced Wednesday by Gov. Doug Ducey and the Tohono O'odham Nation, allows the Desert Diamond West Valley casino near Glendale to operate as a Las Vegas-style casino by expanding the types of games it can offer to include traditional slot machines and table games like blackjack." The Gila River tribe had strongly opposed the rival tribe's casino.
- Could the cessation of hostilities lead the tribes to scale back their lobbying? Not the Gila River tribe, says Don Pongrace , the head of the American Indian practice group at Akin Gump. "As we have noted many times before, the Gila River Community's issues in Washington cover a broad range of items, ranging from Indian health care to drought in the West," Pongrace said in a statement. "Recent activity in Washington with respect to the Tohono O'odham issue has been almost negligible. As a result, the settlement - in which the Community was actively involved at the state level - will have no impact on the Community's level of federal activities at this point." Dentons didn't respond to a request for comment.
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CORRECTION: PI misstated the name one of the firms that lobbies for Yelp on Wednesday. It is Bloom Strategic Counsel.
** A message from the National Confectioners Association - #AlwaysATreat: Leading global chocolate and candy companies are coming together to provide more information, options, and support as consumers enjoy their favorite treats. It's the first step on our journey to help people manage their sugar intake and ensure that they feel empowered to make informed choices. Learn more at AlwaysATreat.com. **
PENCE STANDS BY CLAIM HE DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT FLYNN LOBBYING INVESTIGATION: "Vice President Mike Pence is standing by his March claim that he learned about [former national security adviser] Michael Flynn's Turkish lobbying work through the media, even as a new report indicates Flynn informed the transition team in January that he was under federal investigation for not properly disclosing the paid work," POLITICO's Matthew Nussbaum reports. "Pence, who ran President Donald Trump's transition operation, had told Fox News on March 9 that 'hearing that story today was the first I heard of it.'" Full story.
LOBBYISTS MIGHT NOT MIND A PRESIDENT PENCE: Republicans still doubt that President Donald Trump's troubles have grown dire enough to force him out of office, but it's hard not to wonder whether the party might have an easier time moving its agenda forward under a President Mike Pence, POLITICO's Matthew Nussbaum and Theodoric Meyer report. "'I find it unlikely that Trump is going anywhere,' one GOP lobbyist, who spoke on condition of anonymity, wrote in an email. 'That being said, Pence is well-liked on the Hill, fairly predictable, and doesn't stir up much unnecessary drama.'"
- "A number of Republican lobbyists already view Pence as a source of stability in an otherwise tumultuous White House. Many of Pence's top staffers - including his chief of staff, Josh Pitcock - worked for Pence during his years in the House and are deeply familiar with the legislative process. ... While Pence may not be as commanding a figure in Trump's White House as Dick Cheney was in George W. Bush 's, Trump has leaned on him heavily. Lobbyists who set up meetings between Pence and their clients must warn them that the vice president may be an hour and a half late or have to leave after 10 minutes because Trump is constantly calling him into the Oval Office to confer with him, according to one Republican lobbyist." Full story.
KOCHS WILL CHAMPION TRUMP'S TAX PLAN: "In a potential boost for President Donald Trump's largely stagnant tax reform effort, the Koch brothers' advocacy operation is planning to spend millions of dollars advocating for changes to the tax code that mirror the ones proposed by the White House," POLITICO's Kenneth P. Vogel and Brian Faler report. The effort "is being funded by the Koch-backed nonprofit groups Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce and Americans for Prosperity, and it will include digital advertising, direct mail and grass-roots mobilization [in targeted congressional districts], according to James Davis , a spokesman for Freedom Partners." Full story.
DEMOCRATS WON'T MAKE LIFE EASY FOR BERNHARDT: Democrats on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee plan to grill David Bernhardt, President Donald Trump's pick for the No. 2 spot at the Interior Department, at his hearing today over his past as a lobbyist for Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, POLITICO's Ben Lefebvre and Esther Whieldon report. (Bernhardt deregistered to work on the transition late last year.) "Ranking member Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) both said they had concerns about Bernhardt's former job. Cantwell said she would push Bernhardt on how he planned to juggle those potential conflicts of interests, and whether he should keep himself out of key issues for longer than one year. 'Conflict of interest, a lot of issues related to that,' Cantwell said, listing her concerns. 'A lot of things he'll have to recuse himself on.'" Full story.
FIVE THINGS TO LOOK FOR IN TRUMP'S FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE: POLITICO's Darren Samuelsohn has a rundown of what to watch out for in President Donald Trump's financial disclosure forms, which could be released as early as this week. The big question: How's the Trump brand doing in the limelight? "Not only is Trump positioned to give a new net worth figure, he'll also reveal revenue generated at Mar-a-Lago, the South Florida private club he visited frequently during the campaign and where he recently increased membership fees to $200,000; the Bedminster, N.J., club that's been dubbed the 'summer' White House; and the Trump National course in northern Virginia that he frequently visits when he's spending weekends at the White House."
- Other questions we'll be looking for answers to in the report: Is Trump still in charge of his companies? Did Trump actually sell all his stocks last year as he claimed? Who does Trump owe money to? And what do the first lady's finances look like? Full story.
IF YOU MISSED IT: "The government of Georgia hired a lobbyist with ties to President Trump to help it boost its financial and security investments from the United States, according to forms filed with the Justice Department," The Hill's Megan Wilson reports. "David Tamasi, of Rasky Partners, signed the disclosure documents on May 12. Tamasi served as the finance chair for the Trump Victory fund, a joint fundraising committee between Trump's campaign and the Republican Party that allows donors to write large checks. The contract, which lasts from May to August, is worth $30,000 per month." Full story.
- Danielle Turnipseed has joined Solera Health, heading up its Washington office as vice president of government affairs and policy. She was previously a vice president at America's Health Insurance Plans.
- Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has hired Charles Small as the city's federal affairs liaison. Small was previously associate director of federal affairs for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
- Rachel Wolbers is headed to Engine as policy director. She was previously a director at TwinLogic Strategies and before that worked for Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas).
- Kyle House Group has added David Coffield as a policy associate. He was previously a legislative assistant in House Majority Whip Steve Scalise's office.
SPOTTED: At ITI's Tech Show last night at the Carnegie Library: Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.); Reps. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), Bill Flores (R-Texas), Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.); Paul Teller of the White House legislative affairs team; Dave Quinalty of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee; Yuri Beckelman of Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.)'s office; Stacey Leavandoski and Z.J. Hull of Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.)'s office; Ricky Le of Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.)'s office; Melissa Froelich of the House Energy and Commerce Committee; Jonathan Nabavi of the Senate Judiciary Committee; Kelley Hudak of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise's office; and Tyler Grimm of Rep. Darrell Issa (D-Calif.)'s office.
- At a rooftop reception last night at BerlinRosen's offices hosted by Valerie Berlin, Jonathan Rosen and Stephanie Mueller, the firm's executive vice president, according to a PI tipster: Deirdre Schifeling of Planned Parenthood; Carolyn DeWitt of Rock the Vote; Katie Whelan of the Voter Participation Center; Mark Beatty of 270 Strategies; Damon Silvers of the AFL-CIO; and David Mack of Lyft.
ON THE CALENDAR:
- Nearly 100 insurance executives are on the Hill today for a fly-in organized by the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.
- The Food Marketing Institute handed out halves of doughnuts this morning at the Capitol South Metro station to protest the proposed rollback of Dodd-Frank's "swipe fee" regulations that limit how much banks can charge retailers, including doughnut shops, in debit-card fees.
- Former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is being inducted into the Order of the Rising Sun by Japanese Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae at the ambassador's residence.
- Members of the Specialty Equipment Market Association hit the Hill on Wednesday to push the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act, which the association says would "make it clear that it is legal to modify a street vehicle into a racecar used exclusively at the track now and into the future."
NEW JOINT FUNDRAISERS:
Red River Valley Victory Fund (Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, Rep. Collin Peterson)
Americans For A Better Today, Today (Unknown)
Total Perspective Vortex For Change (Unknown)
Great America Committee (Leadership PAC: Vice President Mike Pence)
Voice For America (PAC)
NEW LOBBYING REGISTRATIONS:
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld: American Bankers Association
American Continental Group: Clermont, LLC
American Continental Group: Foundation Medicine, Inc.
American Continental Group: Lendlease Americas
Avenue Strategies: The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
B+S Strategies: OneJet
Bose Public Affairs Group: Express Scripts Holding Company
Bose Public Affairs Group: Ford Motor Company
California Strategies & Advocacy, LLC: Lytle Development Company
Capitol Hill Partners: LinkedIn
Capitol Hill Partners: National Assn. of Stte Workforce Agencies [sic]
Cloakroom Advisors LLC: Kevin Kayes LLC on behalf of The Broadway League
Cornerstone Government Affairs, LLC: Dougherty County Commission
Cornerstone Government Affairs, LLC: Ferring International Center SA
Cornerstone Government Affairs, LLC: Nelson Energy
Cozen O'Connor PC (f/k/a Cozen O' Connor Public Startegies): Louisiana Oil Marketers & Convenience Store Association [sic]
Cozen O'Connor Public Strategies: 314 Action
Davis & Harman LLP: Millennium Trust Company
Douglass E. Bobbitt: The Ingram Group LLC on behalf of Clean Line Energy
DXC Technology Co.: DXC Technology Co.
Dykema Gossett PLLC: Equifax
Dykema Gossett PLLC: Smart Growth America
EFB Advocacy, LLC: National Association of Broadcasters
EFB Advocacy, LLC: QGA Public Affairs
EFB Advocacy, LLC: Sprint
Farragut Partners LLP: Biotechnology Innovation Organization
Fierce Government Relations: Stanford University
FrogueClark, LLC: Cancer Treatment Centers of America Global, Inc.
GPSLLC: Golden Key Grouo LLC [sic]
Groom Law Group, Chartered: Save our Savings
Hannegan Landau Poersch & Rosenbaum Advocacy, LLC: Elliott Management Corporation
Holland & Knight LLP: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
HR Strategies LLC: Reynolds American, Inc.
Jeffrey J. Kimbell & Associates, Inc.: Eagle Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Kelley Drye & Warren LLP: Assist Wireless, LLC
Kountoupes Denham LLC: Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, Inc., USA
Kountoupes Denham LLC: Mozilla Corporation
Kountoupes Denham LLC: National Job Corps Associaton [sic]
Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas, Inc.: DXC Technology Company
Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas, Inc.: The Boeing Company
Meltsner Strategies, LLC: National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association
Mercury: SUNY Polytechnic Institute
Mr. Mark Kopec: Tangent LLC Company
Nelson, Mullins, Riley & Scarborough: Test Devices Inc.
Pirro Group, LLC: GNYHA Management Corporation
Sextons Creek: Fuels America
Signal Group Consulting, LLC: Specialized Training Consulting & Instruction
Sonoran Policy Group, LLC: Holt International (Pro Bono Client)
Subject Matter (fka Elmendorf Ryan): Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund
The Cashman Group d.b.a.: Jose Gerardo Ochoa
The DLM Group: Global Heritage Alliance, Inc.
The Estell Group, LLC: Pontchartrain Park Community Development Corporation
Venable LLP: Ally Financial, Inc.
Williams and Jensen, PLLC: MT Pharma America, Inc.
NEW LOBBYING TERMINATIONS:
New Century Government Affairs (f/k/a Terrence C. Wolfe): The Cormac Group
** A message from the National Confectioners Association - #AlwaysATreat: We've always created transparent, fun, and great-tasting treats. By 2022, Mars, Wrigley, Nestlé USA, Ferrero, Lindt, Ghirardelli, Russell Stover, and Ferrara Candy Company will work together to make half of their individually wrapped products available in sizes that contain 200 calories or less per pack. And, 90 percent of the best-selling treats made by these companies will have calorie information printed right on the front of the pack. During the same time period, the newly established AlwaysATreat.com will evolve into a digital resource full of easy-to-use information for consumers to better understand the unique role that chocolate and candy can play in a happy, balanced lifestyle. Learn more at AlwaysATreat.com. **
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