With David Beavers and Daniel Lippman
WHICH LOBBYING AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS FIRMS GOT SMALL BUSINESS LOANS: “More than two dozen Washington lobbying, public affairs and consulting firms received loans from the federal government to help them weather the pandemic, according to data released on Monday by the Small Business Administration. Firms that derive more than 50 percent of their revenue from lobbying or political work are barred from receiving the loans — which can be forgiven if companies meet certain benchmarks — under the agency’s rules. The American Association of Political Consultants unsuccessfully sued to overturn the prohibition earlier this year.”
— “But several lobbying firms secured loans through the Paycheck Protection Program despite the rules, including Van Scoyoc Associates, the No. 10 lobbying firm in town last year by revenue, according to a POLITICO analysis of disclosure filings. The firm received a loan of between $1 million and $2 million last month, which helped it retain 63 jobs, according to the data. … Waxman Strategies, the lobbying firm run by former Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and his son, Michael Waxman, also received a Paycheck Protection Program loan, which Michael Waxman said totaled less than $500,000.”
— “Michael Waxman said the firm was able to apply for the loan because lobbying accounts for less than 50 percent of the firm’s revenue. ‘It’s only a small fraction of our work,’ he wrote in an email to POLITICO. ‘The last thing we want to do is lay off employees, now or at any time,’ he added. ‘And we’re thankful the Paycheck Protection Program was designed to provide support for small businesses like ours to weather financially stressful conditions and a still uncertain economic future.’”
— Other lobbying firms that received loans included APCO Worldwide, Banner Public Affairs, the Conafay Group, Miller & Chevalier; Kasowitz Benson Torres, Wiley, Kelley Drye & Warren and Van Ness Feldman. Public affairs and strategic communications firms that received loans included Firehouse Strategies, Nahigian Strategies, Keybridge Communications, ROKK Solutions, Purple Strategies, FP1 Strategies, the DCI Group, Hilltop Public Solutions, Adfero, Gunster Strategies, Hamilton Place Strategies, the Glen Echo Group, the Clyde Group, the Herald Group, the Messina Group, LEVICK, Civitas Public Affairs and Locust Street, to name only a few.
— Consulting firms that bear the names of former Cabinet secretaries also received loans, including the Albright Stonebridge Group, of which former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez are co-chairs; the Cohen Group, where the former Defense secretaries William Cohen and Jim Mattis work; and the Chertoff Group, of which former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff is executive chairman.
— Precision Strategies, a public affairs “firm started by three veterans of President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, received a loan of between $1 million and $2 million in May,” but Stephanie Cutter, one of the firm’s co-founders, said the firm had returned it. “We returned the loan in full last month because we decided there were other small businesses across the country that were more deserving of this money than we were,” she said.
Good afternoon, and welcome to PI. Thanks to David Beavers for filling in for me on Thursday. I hope everyone had a relaxing Fourth of July weekend. What did I miss? Send tips and idle gossip to [email protected]. You can also follow me on Twitter: @theodoricmeyer.
GLOVER PARK GROUP MERGES WITH TWO OTHER WPP FIRMS: The Glover Park Group is merging with two European strategic communications and public affairs firms, Finsbury and Hering Schuppener, they announced this morning. The three firms previously struck up a strategic alliance in 2017. The combined firm will be called Finsbury Glover Hering. All three firms are owned by the British conglomerate WPP.
RETAILERS ASK GOVERNORS TO MANDATE WEARING OF MASKS: The Retail Industry Leaders Association is urging governors to make retailers’ lives easier by requiring customers to wear masks. State mandates can prevent a patchwork of local orders, the groups argued. “Given the troubling incidents we have all seen on social media involving aggressive customers refusing to wear a mask, we strongly recommend store employees not be charged with primary enforcement of mask mandates and that retailers not be fined for a customer’s non-compliance,” Brian Dodge, the trade group’s president, wrote to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who’s the chair of the National Governors Association, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who’s the vice chair.
VENN STRATEGIES ADDS TWO: Venn Strategies has hired two new lobbyists: Mariah Philips and Buck Tharrington. Philips previously worked for Amnesty International and is also a former aide to Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.). Tharrington previously taught in China and before that worked for Rep. George Holding (R-N.C.). The firm has also promoted Matthew Scott to vice president, Amber Lewis to finance manager, Bridget Anshus to senior associate and Deanna Ross to finance and operations associate.
NEW PROGRESSIVE GROUP WILL TIE NEAL TO BLACKSTONE: “A group of progressive operatives with ties to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Justice Democrats is launching a new organization this week aimed at condemning politicians with close ties to corporate interests,” POLITICO’s Ally Mutnick reports. “Their first target: Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), the powerful chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. The initiative, Fight Corporate Monopolies, will spend $300,000 to paint Neal as beholden to Blackstone Group, a private equity giant that they say profits off surprise medical billing — a practice that creates exorbitant hospital costs.”
— “It will begin airing a TV ad this week in the Springfield-Holyoke media market, denouncing Neal for his role in tanking a 2019 bipartisan effort to eliminate surprise medical billing. ‘Neal protected Blackstone’s profits by killing a bill that would have saved patients money,’ a narrator says in the 30-second spot. ‘Now Blackstone is Richie Neal’s top contributor — and one of Donald Trump’s, too.’”
HOW RAYTHEON GOT A MEETING WITH POMPEO: “The chief executive of the arms maker Raytheon, under pressure to overcome a congressional hold on major sales in the fall of 2018, wanted to sit down with one of the few people who could solve the problem — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo,” The New York Times’ Ken Vogel, Michael LaForgia and Hailey Fuchs report. “But the State Department would not schedule the meeting. So Raytheon turned for help to David Urban” of the American Continental Group.
— “Mr. Urban was a classmate at West Point of Mr. Pompeo and of Mark Esper, now the defense secretary, and was influential in recommending both men for administration posts. He has close ties to Mr. Trump, who credits him with having helped deliver a pivotal Election Day victory in Pennsylvania in 2016 and recently invited Mr. Urban to fly on Marine One with him to West Point. He has a long roster of blue-chip clients, including military contractors like Raytheon, whose chief executive got the meeting he wanted with Mr. Pompeo after Mr. Urban intervened on his behalf.”
— “It is not known precisely what Mr. Pompeo discussed with the Raytheon executive, but in a few months, the State Department had issued an emergency waiver that circumvented the congressional hold on the arms deals, allowing billions of dollars in Raytheon missiles and bombs to be sold to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The department did not deny that Mr. Urban arranged the meeting but said the emergency waiver — now the subject of congressional and inspector general investigations — was consistent with American national security objectives.”
MYSTERY FACEBOOK ADS CALL FOR MORE STIMULUS CHECKS: “A mysterious nonprofit spent over a quarter-million dollars on Facebook in the last week urging lawmakers to pass a second coronavirus stimulus,” POLITICO’s Zach Montellaro reports. “The ads originate on a page called WorkMoney, which calls for a second stimulus bill. ‘What’s the holdup? Where is Stimulus #2?’ several ads from the page read. The group spent just under $255,000 on advertising in the last week, and has spent $912,000 on ads in the last 90 days.”
IF YOU MISSED IT OVER THE WEEKEND: “Prince Andrew’s lawyers had discussions with a Washington lobbyist with ties to the Trump administration about the possibility of assisting the prince with fallout from his relationship with the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein,” The New York Times’ Ken Vogel reports. “Lawyers from the London-based firm Blackfords consulted the lobbyist, Robert Stryk, who represents international figures with sensitive legal or diplomatic issues, in recent weeks about Prince Andrew’s situation, according to a person familiar with the circumstances.”
— “Mr. Stryk has a history of taking on clients with unsavory reputations. But he expressed discomfort about the possibility of assisting Prince Andrew, and talks about the potential representation appear to have fizzled, according to the person familiar with the situation.”
— Tampa Electric and TECO Peoples Gas have hired Mike Sewell as director of federal affairs. He was previously an in-house lobbyist for Duke Energy.
— Carlos Gutierrez is leaving the Albright Stonebridge Group, where he is a co-chairman, to start EmPath, a machine learning startup, with Felix Ortiz and Adam Blum.
— Andrew Olmem has returned to K Street and is now a partner in Mayer Brown’s public policy, regulatory and political law practice, per Playbook. He previously worked in the White House as deputy assistant to the president for economic policy and deputy director of the National Economic Council.
— Michelle Peacock is joining Waymo as head of global public policy. She previously was vice president and head of government relations for car-booking company Turo.
— The National Music Publishers’ Association has promoted top lobbyist Amelia Binder to senior vice president of government affairs.
Schupp Victory Fund (Schupp for Congress, Missouri Democratic State Committee)
Team Scalise (Rep. Steve Scalise, The Eye of the Tiger Political Action Committee)
Aloha Ekahi NOW (Super PAC)
America PAC, Inc. (Super PAC)
Asian Americans Against Trump (Super PAC)
Citizens for Change PAC (Super PAC)
Fight for Connecticut (PAC)
Florida 8th PAC (Super PAC)
Friends of Manhole (PAC)
Madam for America (Super PAC)
New American Voices (Super PAC)
No Justice No Peace PAC (PAC)
Patriots First of America PAC (Hybrid PAC)
Post-Partisan America (PAC)
Second Bill of Rights PAC (PAC)
Seniors for a Safe & Sane America (Super PAC)
Spike The Ball (PAC)
Standing With Conservatives (Super PAC)
The Volunteer PAC (Leadership PAC: Sen. Marsha Blackburn)
Toughest Fights PAC (Super PAC)
Your life matters llc (Super PAC)
Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld: Esquel Enterprises Limited
Alpex International, LLC: Fantic Motor S.P.A.
Ballard Partners: MCI, LC
BGR Government Affairs: Consumer Access to Repair (CAR) Coalition
BGR Government Affairs: Tusk Philanthropies
Blue Ridge Law & Policy, P.C.: Managed Funds Association
Blue Star Strategies LLC: Kaival Brands Innovations Group, Inc.
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, PC: Grignard Pure, LLC
Cansler Consulting, LLC: Murphy Pipeline Contractors, Inc.
CO2Efficient LLC: Carbon 180
CO2Efficient LLC: International Emissions Trading Association USA
CO2Efficient LLC: Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance
Defcon Strategies: Health Innovation Alliance
Desimone Consulting, LLC: High Efficiency Dehumidification Systems, Inc. DBA Conservant Systems, Inc.
Epplin Strategic Planning: The Leadership Conference Education Fund
Forbes-Tate: Bio-Rad Laboratories
Franco Environmental Law LLC: Canola Council of Canada
Harbinger Strategies, LLC: American Innovation: The AI Project, Inc
Harvey Run Strategies LLC: First Nonprofit
Holland & Knight LLP: Ascend Performance Materials
Ikon Public Affairs: Advaite
J M Burkman & Associates: Granite Realty LLC
Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP: Camp Echo Lake
Kord USA: KordUSA
Kountoupes Denham Carr & Reid, LLC: American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA)
Kountoupes Denham Carr & Reid, LLC: National Propane Gas Association (NPGA)
McGuireWoods Consulting (A Subsidiary of McGuireWoods LLP): Native Maine Operations, Inc.
Mercury Public Affairs, LLC: GCT Global Containers Inc.
Mercury Public Affairs, LLC: Healthe, Inc.
Ogilvy Government Relations: Audit Services U.S., LLC
Ogilvy Government Relations: Tapestry, Inc.
Our Children’s Trust: Our Children’s Trust
Park Strategies, LLC: Almonty Industries, Inc.
Patterson Earnhart Real Bird & Wilson LLP: Fort Belknap Indian Community
Patterson Earnhart Real Bird & Wilson LLP: Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians
Patterson Earnhart Real Bird & Wilson LLP: Ute Indian Tribe
Patterson Earnhart Real Bird & Wilson LLP: Yankton Sioux Tribe
Paul Hastings LLP: Global Primex LLC
Quarles & Brady LLP: Tule River Tribe
Signal Group Consulting, LLC: GardaWorld Federal Services
State Federal Strategies: Physicians Advocacy Institute
Steptoe & Johnson LLP: Blockchain Association
Steptoe & Johnson LLP: Lake Ontario St. Lawrence River Alliance, Inc.
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP: The Clearing House Association
The Glover Park Group LLC: Population Services International
The Livingston Group, LLC: 42chat
The Roosevelt Group: Lewis Retail Centers
The Williams Group: Truist
Tricida Inc.: Tricida Inc.
Upstream Consulting, Inc.: Zehn-X LLC
WayPoint Consulting, LLC: Reliance Aerospace Products & Holdings
Aaron Oesterle: National Space Society
AGM Consulting Services, Inc.: Dynetics, Inc
Altrius Group, LLC: Brazil-U.S. Business Council, U.S. Section
Arctic Geopolitical Consulting: Kawerak Inc.
Arctic Geopolitical Consulting: Norton Sound Health Corporation
BGR Government Affairs: Claremont Group
BGR Government Affairs: Liberty Health Sciences
Capitol Hill Consulting Group: Access to Capital Network, Inc.
Earth & Water Group: International Council of Shopping Centers
Elizabeth Lee: Our Children’s Trust
Holland & Knight LLP: MarineMax, Inc.
Holland & Knight LLP: Unitape (USA), LLC
Hughes, Hubbard & Reed: Fabuwood Cabinetry Corp.
Hughes, Hubbard & Reed: HBO Latin America Production Services
Lee Consulting, Kenneth G.: HeartFlow
Local Search Association: Local Search Assn – (Formerly Yellow Pages Assn)
Monument Advocacy: U.S. Chamber of Commerce – Chamber Technology Engagement Center
Mr. D. Randall Benn: Trojan Technologies
Mr. Jonathan Gregory: ZHS IP Americas Sarl (on behalf of APCO Worldwide)
Ms. Amy Nice: Compete America Coalition Paul McHale: Rafael U.S.A., Inc.
Munk Policy & Law: Mack Energy Corporation
Smith Advocacy Group, LLC: Town of Jupiter Island, FL
Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, LLP: Kodiak Area Native Association
Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, LLP: Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board
Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, LLP: Pueblo of Isleta
Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, LLP: Pueblo of Zuni
Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, LLP: Riverside-San Bernadino [sic] County Indian Health Board
Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, LLP: Rocky Boy Chippewa Cree Health Board
Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, LLP: Shoshone-Bannock Tribes Of The Fort Hall Reservation
Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, LLP: Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium
Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, LLP: Tlingit & Haida Central Council
TechServe Alliance (formerly NACCB): TechServe Alliance (Formerly NACCB)
The Petrizzo Group, Inc.: SPARK Neuro Inc.
The Williams Group: Delta Air Lines
Tremont Public Advisors, LLC: City of New Haven, Connecticut
Vantage Point Strategies LLC: Adelos, Inc.
Vectis DC: CHI Franciscan Health
Vectis DC: Electric Mirror
ViaNovo: Apache Corporation
ViaNovo: Texas Employers for Immigration Reform