With Daniel Lippman
GRAHAM ATTACKS HARRISON OVER LOBBYIST PAST: Sen. Lindsey Graham is using a time-honored attack against his Democratic challenger: criticizing his past as a Washington lobbyist. The South Carolina Republican’s reelection campaign debuted a new TV ad last week attacking Jaime Harrison, who’s mounting the first serious challenge at Graham since Graham’s election in 2002. “Harrison made a fortune lobbying for the Podesta Group, founded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman,” the ad’s narrator says. “At Podesta, Harrison lobbied for a hedge fund that foreclosed on the homes of Katrina victims. Democrat Jamie Harrison. High-paid. Liberal. Lobbyist. Wrong for South Carolina.” (The ad was first reported by South Carolina’s The State newspaper.)
— Harrison is hardly the first congressional candidate to face attacks for his lobbying work. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), for instance, mounted a similar attack on West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who challenged him in 2018, over his lobbying for the pharmaceutical industry. “When I found out my attorney general was a lobbyist that helped this state to be inundated with pills, I was just floored,” a West Virginia nurse said in a Manchin TV ad at the time. Manchin narrowly defeated Morrisey.
— Graham’s ad goes after Harrison for work he did in 2009 for Fortress Investment Group, a hedge fund that had ties to subprime lenders that sued the owners of 34 New Orleans homes in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, The Wall Street Journal reported in 2007. Guy King, a Harrison campaign spokesperson, said the ad was “misleading” because Harrison didn’t start lobbying for Fortress until years after Katrina hit. Disclosure filings show that Fortress paid the Podesta Group $150,000 during the five months in which Harrison was listed as one of the lobbyists representing the hedge fund.
— “During Jaime’s time in the private sector, he worked with some of South Carolina’s largest employers, such as Boeing, Michelin, the South Carolina Ports Authority and the University of South Carolina, to create and protect jobs,” King said in a statement, citing other clients for which Harrison lobbied at the Podesta Group. “But, after 25 years in Washington, Lindsey Graham has changed so much he’ll attack a South Carolinian who has lived the American Dream.”
Good afternoon, and welcome to PI. Tomorrow’s edition will be the last one before this newsletter takes its annual late summer hiatus. We’ll be back in business on Sept. 8. Send me your best lobbying tips before it’s too late: [email protected]. You can also follow me on Twitter: @theodoricmeyer.
CHAMBER’S DONORS UP IN ARMS OVER PLANS TO ENDORSE HOUSE DEMOCRATS: “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is poised to endorse nearly two dozen freshmen House Democrats for reelection, triggering a revolt within the right-leaning organization and drawing fierce pushback from the group’s powerful GOP donors,” POLITICO’s Alex Isenstadt reports. “The decision represents a sharp departure for the traditionally conservative Chamber, which has spent over $100 million backing Republican candidates during the past decade, and it threatens to further complicate the party’s prospects in the November election while driving a split in the business community.”
— “Chamber leaders — including President Suzanne Clark, Chief Executive Officer Tom Donohue and Executive Vice President Neil Bradley — have been pushing the proposal ahead of a Thursday committee vote to finalize a slate of 2020 endorsements. But the group’s donors and members are up in arms, with some threatening to pull funding and others openly venting their frustration. Some are raising the prospect that Chamber board members will quit in the weeks to come.”
— “There is particular concern the Democrats in question do not have the pro-business record an endorsement would convey. State Chamber of Oklahoma President Chad Warmington wrote a letter Tuesday to national Chamber leaders fervently opposing the proposal to back Rep. Kendra Horn, perhaps the most vulnerable House Democrat in the country. Citing the Oklahoma congresswoman’s voting record on energy issues, Warmington wrote, ‘I question how the U.S. Chamber could endorse a candidate who consistently voted against the largest industry in Oklahoma, employing over 90,000 workers throughout the state. That is hardly a pro-business record. I am also concerned the U.S. Chamber would endorse a congresswoman that voted in lockstep with Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats who are not pro-business nearly 90 percent of the time.'”
CONSIDER THE DONORS: Stephen Ross, the billionaire real estate developer whose decision to host a fundraiser for President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign last year led to boycotts of SoulCycle and Equinox Fitness, told The New York Times’ David Gelles he hasn’t decided whether he’ll vote for Trump. “I’ve known President Trump for a long time,” he said. “I’ve known him and I’ve liked him. I don’t agree with a lot of his policies. I believe there’s a lot of good, and I believe there’s a lot of bad.” He was seeking “certain things to benefit New York” when he hosted the fundraiser, he added. “I’ve gotten requests from the governor and people in different parts of the administration to help raise money for New York with the people that I know in Washington, to get money to the cities, to the M.T.A.” he said.
SPOTTED: At a Zoom fundraiser for the Biden Victory Fund headlined by Steve Ricchetti that drew alumni of President Bill Clinton’s administration and others in the Clintons’ circle, according to a PI tipster: Mack McLarty, Leon Panetta, Erskine Bowles and John Podesta, each of whom served as White House chief of staff in the Clinton administration; former Navy Secretary John Dalton; Don Baer of BCW; Capricia Marshall of Global Engagement Strategies; Robert Barnett of Williams & Connolly; Stephanie Streett of the Clinton Foundation; Scott Pastrick of Prime Policy Group; Peter Scher of JPMorgan Chase; and Melanne Verveer of Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security.
— The National Association of Corporate Directors has hired Tracy Gee as chief people officer. She was previously Raytheon’s vice president of human resources for its global business development team.
Arizona New Jersey Victory Fund (Mark Kelly for Senate, Sen. Cory Booker, Arizona Democratic Party, New Jersey Democratic State Committee)
Grassroots Democrats for Greenfield (Theresa Greenfield for Iowa, Grassroots Democrats HQ)
A Garbage Company’s Former Night Shift Temp (Super PAC)
Black Alliance for Just Immigration Political Action Committee (PAC)
Committee for a Safe and Healthy Georgia (Super PAC)
Committee to Re-Elect the President (Super PAC)
JewsChoose4MoreYears (Super PAC)
Love Today Co – Positive Action Committee (Super PAC)
Marvin Lucas SuperPac (Super PAC)
Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz /The Daschle Group: Project Hong Kong
Bergman Strategies, LLC: Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
Capitol Core Group, Inc.: Tulare Irrigation District
Dentons US LLP: National Vote at Home Coalition
Ernst & Young LLP (Washington Council Ernst & Young): Allegis Group
MPStrategies LLC: CBSFA – Central Bering Sea Fishermen’s Association
MPStrategies LLC: City of Saint Paul Island, Alaska
Mr. Randolph DeLay: American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association
The Ferguson Group, LLC: Centerville, UT-City of
Ambassador Hugo Llorens and Global Partners LLC: Alejandro Chahin
Atcitty & Van Norman Law, LLC: Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation
Bockorny Group, Inc.: Meat and Livestock Australia
Butzel Long, P.C.: Unifull America, Inc.
DTB Associates LLP: Golden Harvest Alaska Seafood LLC
Forbes-Tate: A Place for Mom
Frinzi & Associates: Med-Care EMS
Potomac South, LLC: McKee Foods Corporation
Rasky Partners, Inc.: Eaves Law Firm LLC
The Tolman Group: Action Now Initiative
Winn Strategies, LLC: Twin Logic on Behalf of Competitive Carriers Association