With Daniel Lippman
PROGRAMMING NOTE: PI will be off on Monday for Juneteenth but back in your inboxes on Tuesday, June 21.
GIG COMPANIES COALITION HIRES KCDR: The Flex Association, a lobbying group formed earlier this year by a coalition of gig companies, has hired its first lobbyists. Kountoupes Denham Carr & Reid’s David Peluso, Lori Denham and MJ Kenny will lobby on “issues impacting the app-based economy” for the group, whose members include DoorDash, Gopuff, Grubhub, HopSkipDrive, Instacart, Lyft, Shipt and Uber.
— Apart from Uber, Lyft and Instacart, every Flex member except for HopSkipDrive registered its first federal lobbyists in the last two years. But the coalition has already gone in big: members combined to drop more than $6 million on lobbying last year, as the industry faced a new administration that expressed support for reclassifying gig workers from independent contractors.
— The Labor Department earlier this month kicked off the rulemaking process on the issue, setting out to draft a rule on determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor not covered by the federal law that governs minimum wage, overtime pay and other benefits.
— Though the Flex Association’s members are most often associated with lobbying on labor issues, the trade group has also focused on sustainability and mounted an (ultimately unsuccessful) lobbying push to urge Congress to pass another round of pandemic relief for restaurants and bars.
RAYTHEON ADDS 2 MORE FROM BOEING: Tom Culligan and Jessica Calio have joined Raytheon’s government affairs team, making them the latest to move over from aerospace rival Boeing over the past year. Raytheon also promoted Jacqueline Ferko from director to senior director of government relations; she is a Pentagon, Senate and Boeing alum.
— Culligan will be a senior director leading the federal affairs team for Raytheon’s Collins Aerospace unit, working on civil, commercial and defense appropriations and authorization priorities. Calio is joining as a senior director leading the Pratt & Whitney federal affairs team. Both will report to a familiar face: vice president of government operations Art Cameron, who himself moved from Boeing to Raytheon earlier this year.
— Culligan and Calio join a host of Raytheon lobbyists who joined from Boeing since the departure last summer of top Boeing lobbyist Tim Keating. Keating, now at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, is an outside lobbyist for Raytheon. And the company’s current top lobbyist, Jeff Shockey, was previously Boeing’s vice president of global sales and marketing for defense, space and government services.
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INSIDE BROOKINGS:Michael Schaffertakes readers inside the scandal at Brookings Institution for POLITICO Magazine following the ouster of retired Marine Gen. John Allen as its president, where “crestfallen colleagues” fear the optics of their former leader being investigated for possible illegal lobbying on behalf of one of the think tank’s biggest foreign benefactors. Ironically, his tenure there was marked by trying to unwind Brookings from those financial entanglements.
— “The key fact has nothing to do with whether the general personally profited from his work: In sitting down with Qatar’s royal family, he would have been taking a meeting with some of the most important financial benefactors of an institution for which he was serving as a distinguished fellow and whose presidency he’d soon be granted.”
— “That Allen would be tapped to run the place just months after helping a crucial donor navigate Washington is the sort of thing that looks bad, no matter how pure the motives. ‘It just creates terrible optics, and creates this opportunity for people to attack in bad faith,’ says one longtime scholar at Brookings, where staff have been asked not to speak publicly about Allen’s departure.”
— “As the home of the media company Al Jazeera and with ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood — in addition to squelching domestic dissent — Qatar was not without U.S. critics, many of whom lamented Brookings’ dance with the emirate. The criticism was hypercharged by a bombshell 2014 New York Times report detailing the ways various foreign governments wielded influence over American policy via donations to Washington think tanks. The investigation name-checked governments from Norway to Taiwan, but the biggest dollar figure involved Qatar, from which Brookings had taken nearly $18 million in the prior four years, with agreements in place for still more.”
— “‘The fascinating thing is John is the one who ended that relationship because he decided that we shouldn’t take money from nondemocratic governments because it was too high a risk of perception problems,’ says a second Brookings scholar, who also was asked not to speak publicly. ‘Most people are still confused and sad.’”
JASSY WORKS THE PHONES TO BLUNT ANTITRUST BILL: “Amazon chief executive Andy Jassy has been directly calling senators to urge them to oppose an antitrust bill that could significantly rein in the tech giants, marking an escalation in the big tech companies’ ferocious lobbying against the legislation,” our Emily Birnbaum reports.
— “The tech executive has called multiple senators in recent weeks to lobby against the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, which is co-sponsored by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), according to three people familiar with the outreach. All spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.”
— “Jassy even reached out recently to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) — though the call may not have gone as he hoped. ‘Sen. Schumer took Mr. Jassy’s call and told him that he supports Sen. Klobuchar’s bill,’ a Schumer spokesperson said. An Amazon spokesperson said, ‘Andy meets with policymakers on both sides of the aisle regarding policy issues that could affect our customers.’”
— “Jassy isn’t the only tech executive working to wield his star power against the bill as the tech companies pull out all the stops to crush the legislation, which could go to a vote in the Senate as soon as next month. Google CEO Sundar Pichai is planning to meet in person with senators on Capitol Hill next week to discuss the antitrust bill (among other things), said one Capitol Hill aide familiar with the discussions.”
DO GUN CONTROL GROUPS HAVE THE CASH TO COMPETE?: “After the massacre of schoolchildren at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., in 2012, the gun-control movement was small and badly outspent by the National Rifle Association. Parents seeking an outlet for their grief and rage congregated on Facebook, where they formed their own group, Moms Demand Action, to push for stricter gun laws,” The New York Times’ Nicholas Kulish, Katie Glueck and Michael Bender report.
— “By far the most significant and best-known donor in the years since has been Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire and former New York City mayor. In 2013, his mayors’ initiative merged with Moms Demand Action to create Everytown for Gun Safety, the closest thing that the gun-control movement has to a counterweight to the N.R.A. That year the group spent $36.5 million, compared with $4.7 million the year before.”
— “As recent progress on a bipartisan gun safety deal on Capitol Hill illustrates, the nascent movement has coalesced into something more formidable. It went from being considered a guaranteed-to-lose issue for Democrats to something candidates organize around, especially on the state level.”
FLYING IN: Nearly 150 craft brewers and representatives from state brewers’ guilds and the Brewers Association will head to Washington next week for the industry’s annual Hill Climb, their first in-person event since the pandemic. Brewers will meet with lawmakers to discuss the state of the industry since the pandemic began, and thank them for passing various industry priorities from tax breaks to Covid relief for restaurants and bars. They’ll also lobby for a postal bill that would allow the Postal Service to ship beverage alcohol, and for appropriations measures to benefit the industry.
— Farmers, farm organization leaders, and nonprofit members from the Regenerate America coalition were on the Hill this week to meet with members of Congress to push for more funding of regenerative agriculture in the next Farm Bill. The group, which is made up of farmers, environmental groups and companies like Ben & Jerry’s, formed last month as discussions on next year’s farm policy bill were just beginning to take shape. The group met with more than two dozen offices on both the House and Senate side, including leadership on the House and Senate Agriculture committees.
— Brett Richards has joined Jones Walker as a special counsel in its government relations practice group. He most recently served as counsel to Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.). Richards will register to lobby, the firm said.
— Michelle Mesack has been named head of U.S. government relations at JPMorgan Chase, overseeing the bank’s activities with the White House, Congress and federal policymakers, as well in state and local governments. She previously served as JPMorgan’s head of federal government relations, focusing solely on Washington.
— ClearPath added Amanda Sollazzo as a government affairs associate. She was most recently an executive assistant for House Transportation ranking member Sam Graves (R-Mo.).
— Marion Hammer is stepping down from her position as a state lobbyist for the NRA Institute for Legislative Action in Florida after 44 years. She will continue to serve as an adviser to the NRA.
— Argyle has added Megan Gabriel as senior vice president on its U.S. leadership team and Andrew Blanchette as director of data intelligence. Gabriel was previously a senior vice president of the crisis practice at LEVICK and Blanchette was previously director of social intelligence at National Public Relations.
— April Miller Boise will be the new executive vice president and chief legal officer on Intel’s global legal, trade and government affairs team. She was previously executive vice president and chief legal officer at Eaton Corp.
— Megan Dorward is a new senior account executive on Google’s government and advocacy team. She was previously a senior client partner for Twitter’s government team (and worked at POLITICO many years prior to that).
— Sydney Bopp has joined Boundary Stone Partners as a senior vice president. She most recently was chief of staff to Jigar Shah, director of the Energy Department’s Loan Programs Office.
— Jennifer Kent has joined the Messina Group as a partner where she will focus on growing its healthcare and tech practices, Playbook reports. She most recently was director of the California Department of Health Care Services.
— Michael Schoenfeld is joining Brunswick Group as a partner. He previously was vice president for public affairs and government relations and chief comms officer at Duke University.
— Cullen Drescher Speckhart has been promoted to be partner in charge of the D.C. office of Cooley LLP.
New Joint Fundraisers
BARRASSO WALKER LAXALT VICTORY COMMITTEE (Sen. John Barrasso, Common Values PAC, Team Herschel, Inc., People’s Champion PAC, Laxalt for Senate, Nevada Republican Central Committee)
J.R. Majewski Victory Fund (J.R. Majewski for Congress, The American Transformation PAC)
New Mexico House Victory Fund 2022 (Melanie For New Mexico, Teresa For All, Gabe Vasquez For Congress)
1788 PAC (Super PAC)
Farmer PAC (Leadership PAC: John Duarte)
Frederick Douglass Members of Washington (Super PAC)
Ohio Matters Leadership PAC (Leadership PAC: Matt Dolan)
Virginia Values PAC (Super PAC)
New Lobbying Registrations
Atlas Crossing LLC: R2P Innovations
Atlas Crossing LLC: Racetrac, Inc.
Cornerstone Government Affairs, Inc.: Capewell Aerial Systems
Cornerstone Government Affairs, Inc.: Target Corporation
Ds2 Group, LLC: One Gas
Empire Consulting Group: West Realm Shires Services Inc. D/B/A Ftx US
Hillstaffer, LLC: National Academy Of Neuropsychology
James Graybeal: Red Cell
Jgb & Associates, LLC: Cornerstone Government Affairs Obo Target Corporation
Kountoupes Denham Carr & Reid, LLC: Flex Association
Resolution Public Affairs, LLC: Edward D. Jones & Co., L.P.
The Peterson Group Inc: Nzero
The Peterson Group Inc: Texas Cattle Feeders Association
New Lobbying Terminations
Ballard Partners: Maxim Healthcare Services, Inc.