How GOP-linked firms fared last quarter

How GOP-linked firms fared last quarter

With help from Megan R. Wilson and Daniel Lippman

HOW GOP-LINKED FIRMS DID LAST QUARTER: Lobbying firms with ties to new leaders of the GOP-controlled House saw business pick up in the first three months of this year, lobbying disclosures show.

— Many of K Street’s top firms saw lobbying revenues dip slightly between Q4 of last year and Q1 of this year (those same firms still posted higher lobbying revenues compared to the beginning of 2022). But a handful of firms run by Republicans bucked that trend as House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and his newly empowered majority began work on an aggressive oversight agenda and pledged major spending cuts.

Miller Strategies, the firm run by longtime McCarthy confidant Jeff Miller, was a major winner in the new business sweepstakes. The firm brought in $2.9 million in lobbying revenues last quarter, up 18 percent over the previous quarter, during which Republicans officially won back control of the House.

— The firm, whose payroll includes a number of former McCarthy staff, has reported a dozen new clients since the election, including Delta Air Lines and the Federation of American Hospitals. Its first quarter revenues were also 45 percent higher than the roughly $2 million it raked in during the same period last year.

CGCN Group, the all-Republican firm which also has close ties to the new Speaker, saw a minuscule uptick in its lobbying revenues compared to Q4 but is up more than 7 percent compared to the beginning of 2022.

The Duberstein Group, which is home to McCarthy’s former floor director, saw its lobbying revenues increase nearly 7 percent between the past two quarters — despite signing just one new client so far this year. The firm’s roughly $2.1 million in lobbying revenues last quarter were up 5 percent from the same period in 2022.

— Business for Ballard Partners also appears to be steadying after the Trump-tied firm saw its lobbying revenues drop following his reelection defeat and unified Democratic control in Washington. The firm brought in $4.5 million last quarter, up more than 4 percent from Q4 and more than 2 percent from the beginning of 2021.

S-3 Group, the bipartisan firm that employs a number of former aides to new House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, has signed 12 new clients since the election, including the Consumer Technology Association and Business Roundtable, and lobbying revenues surged by around 4 percent both year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter.

Happy Monday and welcome to PI. Send your best lobbying tips and let us know which WHCD events this week we’ll run into you at: [email protected]. And be sure to follow me on Twitter: @caitlinoprysko.

MORE TAKEAWAYS FROM THE LOBBYING DEADLINE: Ticketmaster parent company Live Nation reported its highest-ever quarterly lobbying spending last quarter amid scrutiny over the company’s dominance in the live events industry and competition in ticketing markets. Live Nation dropped $510,000 on lobbying over the first three months of this year, a $200,000 increase from what the company spent at the end of 2022, when the company’s bungled pre-sale for Taylor Swift tickets first sparked Washington’s interest.

— Live Nation has since boosted its lobbying footprint with three new outside firms, including top antitrust lobbyist Seth Bloom and former Sen. Mark Pryor of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck. Live Nation’s quarterly lobbying spending previously peaked at $350,000 in the third quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2020.

— Meanwhile Lee Hudson reports that though the “top five largest defense contractors have competing agendas … all are in agreement on one priority — restoring the immediate tax write-off of research and development costs,” which Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and General Dynamics all reported lobbying on last quarter.

— And Bloomberg’s Laura Davison and Bill Allison report that “three dozen of the largest U.S. banks and the groups who represent them increased spending on lobbying Congress by 19.3% last quarter as fears of a banking contagion spread,” a trend powered by regional banks.

HEALTH INDUSTRY LOBBYING SURGES: Almost all of the largest players in the health care world boosted their advocacy in the first quarter of this year, Megan reports. Nearly four dozen health care companies, nonprofits and trade groups spent $1 million or more on lobbying in the first quarter of this year — totaling $115.5 million, according to her giant spreadsheet.

— The vast majority of those organizations spent more than they did during the same period in 2022. The biggest increases came from the insurance industry, Megan and POLITICO’s David Lim report, which was fighting a Biden administration proposal to alter Medicare Advantage payment policy that would have reduced their revenues.

— However, the industry had some decreases — the Biotechnology Innovation Organization spent $2.4 million, a dip from previous quarters; AbbVie, which quit PhRMA at the end of 2022, decreased its lobbying by 62 percent to $1.5 million; and the beleaguered Association for Accessible Medicines spent $480,000 — a more than 40 percent cut in spending.

RICH FEUER ANDERSON LAUNCHES TAX PRACTICE: Rich Feuer Anderson has snapped up Justin Sok, one of the few former aides to new Ways and Means Chair Jason Smith (R-Mo.) on K Street. Sok, who was previously a senior adviser and legislative director for Smith and currently lobbies on tax policy for SIFMA, will launch a tax practice at the financial services-focused firm, whose clients include BlackRock, Amazon, SWIFT, American Express, JPMorgan Chase and the Institute of International Bankers.

— The hire comes as the business world ramps up for a lobbying blitz to preserve a number of cherished tax breaks from the 2017 tax overhaul that have begun to expire or will sunset over the next few years — an issue RFA partner John Anderson pointed to specifically in explaining the firm’s decision to launch a tax practice.

— “Tax policy is one of the most consequential areas in D.C.,” he told PI in a statement. “RFA’s existing financial services clients have naturally brought us into these battles, and with TCJA extender conversations maturing over the next two year[s], now is the time to be a permanent presence in the debate.”

MEANWHILE, IN THE STATES: “When Iowa lawmakers voted last week to roll back certain child labor protections, they blended into a growing movement driven largely by a conservative advocacy group” that’s bankrolled by a network of prominent Republican donors, The Washington Post’s Jacob Bogage and María Luisa Paúl report.

— The Iowa bill “is among several the Foundation for Government Accountability is maneuvering through state legislatures. The Florida-based think tank and its lobbying arm, the Opportunity Solutions Project, have found remarkable success among Republicans to relax regulations that prevent children from working long hours in dangerous conditions. And they are gaining traction at a time the Biden administration is scrambling to enforce existing labor protections for children.”

— FGA is “one of several conservative groups that have long taken aim at all manner of government regulations or social safety net programs. The FGA is funded by a broad swath of ultraconservative and Republican donors — such as the Ed Uihlein Family Foundation and 85 Fund, a nonprofit connected to political operative Leonard Leo — who have similarly supported other conservative policy groups.”

AHIP GOES AFTER ‘BIG PHARMA’: The leading insurance lobby, America’s Health Insurance Plans, is launching a seven-figure ad campaign touting the industry and accusing drugmakers as being the culprit of high drug prices, Megan reports.

— The ads, which feature caricatures of high-powered drug lobbyists, will be appearing on television and social media targeting outlets in Washington — and effectively bringing a war between insurers and the pharmaceutical industry into the open.

— “Big Pharma’s mantra has been ‘don’t look here’ while pointing fingers at others and complicating a simple problem. The problem is the price — drug prices that are set and controlled by manufacturers, and manufacturers alone,” AHIP CEO Matt Eyles told Megan. “We can’t continue to be distracted by perpetual tactics designed to keep prices high.”

— PhRMA has been hammering insurers and pharmacy benefit managers — the largest of which are owned by insurance companies — in ads of their own for years, claiming the industries don’t pass the savings from the discounts negotiated with drugmakers onto consumers. Congress is now mulling a slew of proposals that take aim at PBMs.

— Although insurers are part of a coalition called the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing that successfully pushed for drug pricing policies in the Inflation Reduction Act, this is AHIP’s most pricey rebuttal — saying in the ads that pharmaceutical manufacturers are pushing policies “to weaken your bargaining power.”

DAILY BREAD: Panera Bread once again retains lobbyists in Washington. Former Chuck Schumer aide Carmencita Whonder, Elizabeth Maier, Geoff Burr, Doug Maguire and Brownstein tax practice chair Russ Sullivan have been lobbying on supply chain issues for the bakery chain since January, according to a disclosure filed last week, though the firm has so far received less than $5,000 for its work.

— The St. Louis-based company last retained federal lobbyists at the start of the pandemic, when it hired Epstein Becker & Green to lobby on the massive Covid relief package being negotiated by Congress. JAB Holding Company, which owns Panera, Pret a Manger, Peet’s, Krispy Kreme, Keurig, Einstein Bros. Bagels and more, brought on Invariant last year as its first lobbying firm. The conglomerate lobbied on competition and antitrust issues last quarter, disclosures show.

Javier Lacayo has joined DoorDash as head of policy communications. He was most recently senior vice president for public affairs at SKDK.

James Barnette has joined Venable as a partner in the legislative and government affairs practice. He was most recently a partner at Steptoe & Johnson.

Kara Gundel is now senior director of public policy at the Diesel Technology Forum. She previously was a principal at the Gundel Group.

Toyota Motor North America has hired Regina Luzincourt as a member of their Washington lobbying team, focused on vehicle safety and intellectual property issues. She previously led Democratic government relations outreach at Navient and was director of political action at the Transport Workers Union of America.

Ariel Grover is joining Liftoff Campaigns as partner. She previously was email fundraising director at SKDK.

Christopher Garcia is now a senior associate for federal affairs at Uber. He most recently was congressional and legislative affairs adviser for Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, and is a Biden White House and Amy Klobuchar alum.

Dyanna Volek has joined Strategies 360 as vice president for the Bay Area. She was most recently manager of government affairs for the San Francisco International Airport.

Brent Perrin has been promoted to be account manager at Majority Strategies.

Adrienne Mendenhall is now a director at Crowell & Moring International. She previously was global business development lead at Access Health International.

Micki Werner will be a senior congressional liaison officer at the Australian Embassy. She previously was a legislative aide for Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.).

California House Majority Makers (Rep. Josh Harder, New Democrat Coalition Action Fund, Working Harder PAC)
Gillibrand Brown Victory Fun (Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Sherrod Brown)

Fix Our Elections (Hybrid PAC)
Omar Boulos for President (Super PAC)
Our Ms. Brooks for President (Super PAC)
Republican Prosperity PAC (RP PAC) (Super PAC)

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld: Solvd Health
Arcuri Ward LLC: Manus Bio Inc.
Bracewell LLP: Tallgrass Energy
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP: Panera LLC
Capitol Advocacy & Government Affairs, LLC: The Livingston Group (On Behalf Of Covisus Corporation)
Cardinal Infrastructure LLC: City Of Fate
Center Road Solutions: Culpepper Garden
Center Road Solutions: National Association For Children’s Behavioral Health
Chartwell Strategy Group LLC: Afiniti
Environmental Resources Management, Inc.: Environmental Resources Management, Inc.
Hance Scarborough: Mjwt Consulting On Behalf Of Wellmed Medical Management Inc.
Holly Strategies Incorporated: United Launch Alliance
Jms Natural Resource Strategies, LLC: National Bobwhite And Grassland Initiative Foundation
Jms Natural Resource Strategies, LLC: National Bobwhite And Grassland Initiative Foundation
K&L Gates, LLP: Roger F. Nyhus
League Of Southeastern Credit Unions: League Of Southeastern Credit Unions
Merchant Mcintyre & Associates, LLC: City Of Burley, Id
Merchant Mcintyre & Associates, LLC: Colby Public Schools
Merchant Mcintyre & Associates, LLC: Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare
Merchant Mcintyre & Associates, LLC: Island County, Wa
Merchant Mcintyre & Associates, LLC: Klingberg Family Centers
Merchant Mcintyre & Associates, LLC: Safire Technology Group, Inc.
Merchant Mcintyre & Associates, LLC: Safire Technology Group, Inc.
Midfield Consulting LLC: Crossroads Strategies, LLC On Behalf Of Truckers Integral To Our Economy (Tie)
Northern Compass Group LLC: Petersburg Medical Center
R2P Strategies, LLC: Concept Art Association
R2P Strategies, LLC: The American Society For Collective Rights Licensing, Inc.
Rbw Group, LLC: County Of Madera
Rbw Group, LLC: Evidence Iq
Rbw Group, LLC: Mercury Public Affairs, LLC. On Behalf Of Naperville Heritage Society
The Ferguson Group, LLC: Oregon Water Resources Congress
The Roosevelt Group: Greater Miami Chamber Of Commerce
Washington2 Advocates: Spartan Sealift

Actum I, LLC: American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Inc.
Blue Star Strategies LLC: Global Blood Therapeutics, Inc.
Blue Star Strategies LLC: Rode Un Partneri Ps
Bracewell LLP: Residential Elevator Coalition (Informal Coalition)
Capital Health System: Capital Health System
Electronic Funds Transfer Association: Electronic Funds Transfer Association
Flywheel Government Solutions: Rev Group
Govbiz Advantage, Inc.: Citizens For Responsible Energy Solutions
Libertas Consulting: Innova Medical Group
Manatos & Manatos: Saga Education
Michael Pieper: Poulton Associates
Michelle Nawar: Bolton-St. Johns LLC On Behalf Of Ruralorganizing.Org
Pace, LLP (Formerly Pace-Capstone): American International Automobile Dealers Association
Sirona Strategies LLC: Landmark Health
Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP: Exelon Corporation
The Ferguson Group, LLC: Lee County, Fl
Townsend Public Affairs, Inc: Town Of Colma
Tuell Law, P.C.: Picayune Rancheria Of The Chukchansi Indians
Tuell Law, P.C.: Twenty-Nine Palms Band Of Mission Indians

Source link

Scroll to Top