With David Beavers and Daniel Lippman
WHO’S LOBBYING ON CORONAVIRUS: “At least 3,200 companies, trade groups and other organizations lobbied on the $2.2 trillion relief bill that President Donald Trump signed into law last month and other efforts to respond to coronavirus, according to an analysis of disclosure filings by the Center for Responsive Politics. They include giants such as Apple, CVS and Toyota, as well as smaller players, such as the American Shrimp Processors Association. ‘The shrimp industry is under an enormous amount of economic strain,’ said C. David Veal, the trade group’s executive director, noting that 70 percent to 80 percent of American-caught shrimp is sold to restaurants.”
— “Facing economic catastrophe, the trade group hired former Sens. John Breaux (D-La.) and Trent Lott (R-Miss.), former Rep. Bob Livingston (R-La.) and several other lobbyists at their firms. The shrimp processing industry wanted to make sure ‘our name was heard,’ Veal said.” Other trade groups that have ramped up their spending are Airlines for America and the Advanced Medical Technology Association.
— Airlines for America “spent more than $1.9 million on Washington lobbying in the first quarter, up from $1.4 million in the previous quarter and $1.2 million in the first quarter of last year.” AdvaMed, “which represents 3M, Medtronic and other makers of masks, ventilators and other in-demand equipment, spent $1.4 million on Washington lobbying in the first quarter. That’s down from nearly $1.8 million in the previous quarter, when the industry mounted a successful push to kill Obamacare’s medical device tax, but almost double what the trade group spent in the same quarter last year.”
— Lobbying firms, meanwhile, are “in the unusual position of experiencing a boom while eyeing the future with some trepidation. Loren Monroe, a lobbyist at BGR Group, said the Republican-leaning firm had signed 10 lobbying clients for coronavirus-related work. ‘But we are being very conservative with budgeting for the year as the economic downturn will impact all businesses and partisanship will stall Washington activity the closer we get to the November elections,’ he wrote in an email to POLITICO.”
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FRELINGHUYSEN REGISTERS TO LOBBY: Former Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.), who signed on as a senior director at Greenberg Traurig in February, has registered as a lobbyist. He’ll lobby for the American Optometric Association on legislation “to provide emergency financial assistance to rural health care facilities and providers impacted by the COVID-19 emergency,” among other issues, according to a disclosure filing. Former Rep. Al Wynn (D-Md.) and two other Greenberg Traurig lobbyists are also registered to lobby for the trade group.
— Frelinghuysen is the 17th lawmaker who left office after losing reelection in 2018 or deciding not to run to register as a lobbyist, according to PI’s tally. Former Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), Pat Meehan (R-Pa.), Bob Brady (D-Pa.), Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.), Gregg Harper (R-Miss.), Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Michael Capuano (D-Mass.), Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.), Ryan Costello (R-Pa.), Ed Royce (R-Calif.), Luke Messer (R-Ind.), Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) and John Culberson (R-Texas) have registered as lobbyists. Former Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.), who resigned his seat last fall, has registered to lobby as well.
— Former Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and former Reps. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) and Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) have landed at lobbying firms since leaving office last year but haven’t registered themselves. Donnelly must wait until next year to lobby Congress under Senate ethics rules, but the others are free to do so under the House’s less stringent rules.
K&L GATES’ LOBBYING REVENUE ROSE IN FIRST QUARTER: K&L Gates plans to cut pay by 15 percent across the firm starting next month — with partners taking bigger pay cuts and those making $75,000 a year or less exempt — but the law firm’s lobbying revenue was up in the first quarter, according to new disclosure filings. The firm saw $4.7 million in lobbying revenue in the first quarter, compared to $4.4 million in the previous quarter and $4.6 million in the first quarter of last year. Venable, which has also instituted pay cuts, also saw its lobbying revenue rise in the first quarter, according to the firm.
— Darrell Conner, a top lobbyist at K&L Gates, said in an interview that the revenue of the firm’s public policy and law group — which included non-lobbying revenue from the firm’s regulatory and legal work — was up 16 percent. “We see lots of additional work coming in the lobbying space,” he said.
JUDGE RULES POLITICAL CONSULTING, LOBBYING FIRMS CAN’T GET SMALL BUSINESS LOANS: “Political consulting and lobbying firms were rebuffed in an effort to tap coronavirus rescue money, as a federal judge ruled that the fund for small businesses are essentially subsidies that lobbyists can’t receive from the government,” Bloomberg News’ Erik Larson reports. “The firms can’t tap Paycheck Protection Program loans disbursed by the Small Business Administration because a decades-old regulation bars the agency from subsidizing political speech, U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth said in a decision late Tuesday in Washington.”
HOW JAY TIMMONS REALLY FEELS: “One of Jay Timmons’s Facebook friends invited him last week to attend a ‘Reopen Virginia’ rally in Richmond, a protest against the stay-at-home order issued amid the coronavirus by the state’s Democratic governor,” The New York Times’ Jim Tankersley reports. Timmons, the president and chief executive of the National Association of Manufacturers, “unfriended the sender, then published a searing retort, criticizing the protesters and accusing them of putting manufacturing workers’ lives at risk by defying rules meant to limit the spread of the virus. Mr. Timmons’s post began with a single word in all capital letters: ‘IDIOTS.’”
ROTENBERG OUT AT EPIC: “The longtime leader of the influential Washington-based advocacy group Electronic Privacy Information Center is departing, the organization announced today, days after Protocol reported that he had continued going to work, despite learning he may have the coronavirus,” POLITICO‘s Cristiano Lima reports. “Marc Rotenberg, who co-founded the group in 1994, has been a towering figure in the Washington tech policy landscape and a fierce advocate for more stringent online privacy protections, as well as a leading critic of Silicon Valley’s efforts to track the spread of Covid-19.”
— “With appreciation for many years of visionary and impactful leadership, the Board of Directors of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) announces the departure of Marc Rotenberg, its President and Executive Director,” the group said in a statement, without elaborating. Rotenberg called the announcement unexpected, telling POLITICO in an email: ‘The news came as a surprise to me! You should perhaps contact someone on the EPIC Board of Directors regarding the decision.'”
IF YOU MISSED IT ON TUESDAY: “An informal coalition of influential conservative leaders and groups, some with close connections to the White House, has been quietly working to nurture protests and apply political and legal pressure to overturn state and local orders intended to stop the spread of the coronavirus,” The New York Times’ Ken Vogel, Jim Rutenberg and Lisa Lerer report. “The groups have tapped their networks to drive up turnout at recent rallies in state capitals, dispatched their lawyers to file lawsuits, and paid for polling and research to undercut the arguments behind restrictions that have closed businesses and limited the movement of most Americans.”
— “Among those fighting the orders are FreedomWorks and Tea Party Patriots, which played pivotal roles in the beginning of Tea Party protests starting more than a decade ago. Also involved are [Michael Best & Friedrich, the law firm of which Reince Preibus is president;] a network of state-based conservative policy groups[;] and an ad hoc coalition of conservative leaders known as Save Our Country that has advised the White House on strategies for a tiered reopening of the economy.”
— Calfee Strategic Solutions has hired Tim Day as a principal. He was previously a senior vice president in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s technology engagement center. He plans to register to lobby.
— The Beekeeper Group has hired Deborah Birch as digital strategy manager and Hailey Clements as a senior account manager. Birch previously worked at Ketchum and Clements previously worked for the American Heart Association.
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America Health Task Force Political Action Committee (Hybrid PAC)
Be Great Together (Hybrid PAC)
Home of the Brave (Hybrid PAC)
Juntos PAC Together (Hybrid PAC)
Rise Up for a Better Tomorrow Super PAC, LLC (Super PAC)
Blank Rome Government Relations: LSB Industries, Inc.
Blank Rome Government Relations: Xcel Brands, Inc.
Bracewell LLP: Envirocleanse LLC
Christina Metzler: Outset Medical
Farragut Partners LLP: La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company
Farragut Partners LLP: SC3 International LLC
Fierce Government Relations: Amneal Pharmaceuticals
Fierce Government Relations: Justice Action Network
Hettinger Strategy Group LLC: RangeForce
Hogan Lovells US LLP: AllerQuest
Hogan Lovells US LLP: Essentia Health
K&L Gates LLP: Lynas USA, LLC
O’Keeffe Shahmoradi Strategies, LLC: CEMEX Inc
O’Keeffe Shahmoradi Strategies, LLC: Travelport Operations, Inc.
PRASAM: ST Engineering North America Inc.
S-3 Group: Advocare, LLC
S-3 Group: XOJET Aviation, LLC
Strategies 360: juwi Inc.
The Ferguson Group, LLC: The Freshwater Trust
Van Scoyoc Associates: Zebra Technologies
Velos (Formerly Pinnacle Engineering and Management Solutions): Braxton Science & Technology Group
Velos (Formerly Pinnacle Engineering and Management Solutions): ExoAnalytic Solutions, Inc.
Velos (Formerly Pinnacle Engineering and Management Solutions): Roccor
Velos (Formerly Pinnacle Engineering and Management Solutions): SES Government Solutions
Velos (Formerly Pinnacle Engineering and Management Solutions): Zoic Labs
Alpine Group Partners, LLC.: Aecom
Cummins-Allison Corporation: Cummins-Allison Corporation
DiGenova & Toensing, LLP: American Hospital Association
Perry Bayliss Government Relations, LLC: 5G Everywhere in America
The Prenda Group LLC: Enbridge US
The Smith-Free Group, LLC: Portland Cement Association
TwinLogic Strategies, LLP: Dell USA LP
Van Heuvelen Strategies, LLC: Access the USA, LLC
Van Heuvelen Strategies, LLC: Arch Coal
Van Heuvelen Strategies, LLC: Siritzky Law, PLLC
Van Ness Feldman, LLP: Noble Energy
Van Ness Feldman, LLP: U.S. Soccer Federation
Venable LLP: Cincinnati Museum Center
Venable LLP: Dickinson County Healthcare System
Venable LLP: Lighthouse Resources, Inc
Venable LLP: Medici Ventures, Inc.
Venable LLP: Overstock.com, Inc.
Venable LLP: United Service Organizations
VNF Solutions, LLC: Noble Energy
VNF Solutions, LLC: Sitnasuak Native Corporation
Watkinson Miller PLLC: American Mushroom Institute
West Front Strategies LLC: Renewable Energy Group, Inc.
Wiley Rein LLP: CBS
Wiley Rein LLP: Kansas City Southern Railway
Williams and Jensen, PLLC: ECRI Institute
Williamson Law + Policy PLLC: American Bakers Association
Wyatt Consulting Group International, Inc.: Our Generation