With Zachary Warmbrodt
THE RACE IS NOT TO THE SWIFT NOR THE BATTLE TO THE STRONG BUT TO THOSE WHO LOBBY THE HARDEST: “Lobbyists who hustled to get their clients’ priorities into the $2.1 trillion coronavirus relief package in March are angling for a piece of the action on the next —and possibly last — multitrillion-dollar bill. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and other powerful trade groups are working to persuade lawmakers to make it harder for workers and customers sickened by the virus to sue businesses in an effort that’s already divided lawmakers.”
— “And a spectrum of other industries — from concert venues to day care centers to restaurants — are lobbying Congress to set aside money specifically to help their business sectors. They’re preparing for a drawn-out lobbying campaign that could last as long as two months. ‘It’s going to be a big, gigantic, gargantuan fight,’ said Marc Lampkin, a prominent Republican lobbyist. He’s pressing lawmakers to include liability protections on behalf of clients such as the American Gaming Association — which represents the casino industry — and the Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform.”
— “Some lobbyists believe the coming legislation might be the last major relief effort before rising partisan tensions and spending fatigue force Congress to scale back its ambitions. The bill might be ‘not the last train, but certainly the last train we know about coming out of the station,’ Lampkin said.”
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WHO’S LOBBYING ON THE NEXT BILL: Among the companies lobbying to shape the next coronavirus relief package: Madison Square Garden. “The sports and entertainment industry has been among the most severely impacted by this pandemic,” Patrick Martin, a lobbyist at Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies who represents Madison Square Garden, said in a statement. “In venues, large and small, across the country every game, concert, and show has been cancelled for months. It is going to take a significant federal commitment to support all of the event workers, ushers, and bartenders that have been impacted and to secure a safe and healthy environment for fans going forward.”
— The music industry, meanwhile, sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer this morning outlining a number of asks, including changes to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. Many musicians and others in the industry “work from project to project and gig to gig, not only in multiple jobs but in various capacities,” receiving a combination of wages and income as independent contractors, the Recording Industry Association of America, the National Independent Venue Association and dozens of other companies and trade groups write in the letter.
— The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program “has overlooked workers with mixed income,” they write. “In almost all cases that we see in every state, a minimum amount of W-2 income disqualifies a self-employed individual for PUA and significantly lowers the amount of assistance they receive. PUA must be updated to recognize these different income streams and allow individuals to show their mixed sources of revenue for a full accounting of their annual income.”
FARA FRIDAY: Pakistan’s government has hired Stephen Payne and Brian Ettinger of Linden Government Solutions to lobby on its behalf, according to a disclosure filing. The duo previously lobbied for Pakistan during President George W. Bush’s administration. Unusually, Pakistan’s government isn’t footing the bill for the work itself. Instead, the firm will be paid by “Pakistani-American Diaspora organizations for the purpose of supporting this agreement,” according to a copy of the contract filed with the Justice Department. “The names of any such organizations and the amounts paid will be disclosed as part of Consultant’s Foreign Agents Registration Act filings with the U.S. Department of Justice.”
— Joseph Fleming, an executive vice president at the firm, said the arrangement was inspired by a crowdfunding campaign to build two dams championed in 2018 by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan. “That’s really where the idea came from,” he said. The firm’s lawyers at Sandler Reiff Lamb Rosenstein & Birkenstock signed off on the details, he added.
MEANWHILE, IN CITY HALLS: “Cities are scrambling to regulate food-delivery companies like Grubhub, Uber Eats, DoorDash and Postmates as restaurants struggle to stay afloat while not being able to put customers in their seats,” POLITICO’s Leah Nylen and Alexander Nieves report. “The delivery companies counter that they too are trying to make a buck while paying their own workers — and that having to deal with a patchwork of rules that vary from place to place would be untenable.”
— “City councils in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and Boston are considering commission caps as low as 5 percent. Washington, D.C., Seattle and San Francisco already adopted emergency orders that limit commissions to 15 percent. The delivery companies say these caps hamper their ability to offer deliveries and some have cut service or threatened litigation.”
NEW COALITION: The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Black Chambers, the payroll startup Gusto and other companies and groups have started the Page 30 Coalition, named after the page in the $2.1 trillion coronavirus relief bill that calls for prioritizing “small business concerns and entities in underserved and rural markets.” The coalition is pushing for “additional aid for America’s most vulnerable small businesses,” including startups, rural businesses and those run by minorities, women and veterans, according to its website.
— The Cypress Group has hired Zach Ostro and Shawnda Martin as directors. Ostro, who will start later this month, is currently legislative director for Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.). Martin previously worked for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority as a senior analyst in the office of government affairs.
— Zillow has hired Meredith White as government and external relations manager. She was previously vice president for corporate responsibility and PAC manager for JPMorgan Chase.
— Berkeley Research Group has hired Robert Stoddard as a managing director in its energy and climate change practice. He previously worked for Power Market Economics.
Arizona Colorado Victory Fund (Mark Kelly for Senate, Hickenlooper for Colorado)
Oberweis Victory Committee (Jim 2020 Committee, Illinois Republican Party – Federal, NRCC)
Colorado’s Working Families (Super PAC)
Orange County Veteran Democratic Club (PAC)
Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP (formerly known as Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP): Doctor on Demand
Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP (formerly known as Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP): Life Care Services LLC
Forbes-Tate: Syndax Pharmaceuticals
Frinzi & Associates: Gardendale Hospice LLC
Gladney Law Group: Intern Assoc of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing IronWorkers
Salt Point Strategies: Broadcom, Inc.
Salt Point Strategies: Broadnet
Salt Point Strategies: Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company
Salt Point Strategies: Revolution Corporate Services, Inc.
Stonington Global: TL Management
The Consilio Group: Ideal Innovations Inc
The Consilio Group: TruTag Technologies
The Russell Group, Inc.: McCain Foods USA, Inc.
Tim Yehl, LLC: Alliance for Automotive Innovation
Van Scoyoc Associates: The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc. dba Draper
Water Strategies, LLC: North Dakota Water Users Association
Whitmer & Worrall, LLC: Makana Mask Inc.
Masiello, Martucci, Calabrese & Associates: City of Lackawanna
Paul Hastings LLP: Coalition for Investor Choice Inc
Potomac Policy Group, LLC: InSightec, Ltd.
The Bennett Consulting Group: Thales