With Daniel Lippman
CHAMBER SPENDS TO URGE SINEMA, KELLY TO BUCK RECONCILIATION: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its Arizona counterpart are the latest groups sending an influx of ads into the state calling on Arizona’s Democratic senators to reject the party’s reconciliation package.
— The groups took out a full-page ad in the Arizona Republic and Arizona Daily Sun denouncing the bill’s book income tax on large corporations as well as language tightening the so-called carried interest loophole prized by the private equity industry and provisions to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices. The ad calls the bill “especially bad for Arizona,” and asks readers to urge Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, Democrats’ main wild card, and Sen. Mark Kelly, who is facing a close reelection fight this fall, “to keep sticking up for Arizona employers and workers.”
— “The Arizona Chamber strongly opposed the original Build Back Better bill for the damage it would inflict on the Arizona and U.S. economies, and we oppose this version’s tax hikes and its anti-innovation measures, too,” Arizona Chamber President and CEO Danny Seiden said in a statement.
— The U.S. Chamber is the latest group to pour money into ads targeting Sinema and other Democratic senators over the reconciliation bill as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer races to put it on the floor as soon as this week.
— The National Association of Manufacturers, which was already spending six figures on ads in D.C. bashing the drug pricing proposal, today rolled out TV and digital ads in Tucson and Phoenix highlighting findings from the Joint Committee on Taxation projecting that 49.7 percent of the book minimum tax would be paid by manufacturers.
— The trade group is also pushing that finding to its allies on the Hill, where it’s been featured in memos by Republicans on the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committees. (Democrats have responded by pushing out their own analysis via JCT in a bid to counter that assessment, POLITICO’s Brian Faler reports.)
— And over the weekend, the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity has launched a six-figure ad buy aimed at Sinema and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who crafted the bill with Schumer, as PI noted yesterday. The group is also airing digital and connected TV ads targeting vulnerable Sens. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.).
TOP GOP ANTITRUST AIDE HEADING TO AMAZON: “Amazon.com Inc. hired a senior Republican congressional aide, bolstering its efforts to stymie a new antitrust bill aimed at US technology companies,” Bloomberg’s Anna Edgerton, Leah Nylen and Emily Birnbaum report.
— “Judd Smith was the Senate Judiciary Committee’s counsel as the panel wrote and approved a bill that would restrict the way Amazon can offer products to consumers and interact with its competitors. His move to Amazon, the e-commerce giant that has been vilified by lawmakers for its market dominance, will play into efforts to ensure that the legislation doesn’t receive a vote in the full Senate. By hiring him, Amazon is bringing in a powerful voice on the top issues facing the committee.”
— “Smith helped negotiate changes to the legislation as he worked with Republican offices to push the bill forward, according to two other people familiar with his work. Smith was the lead antitrust aide for Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, one of the original Republican cosponsors of the bill, according to one of the people.”
— “While Smith will be barred from lobbying Senate Judiciary staff and members for a year after his departure from the committee, he could be influential in convincing House Republicans to vote against the measure if it passes the Senate. Smith previously worked with former Pennsylvania Representative Tom Marino, who was the top Republican on the subcommittee responsible for antitrust.”
— “Smith will join the public policy team with Amazon Web Services to help lobby Republicans, said two of the people. All four of the people asked not to be identified discussing an internal decision.”
CRD ASSOCIATES TAPS NEW LEADERSHIP: Erika Miller, Erin Morton and Matt Dennis have been named partners at the government affairs shop CRD Associates, succeeding Lyle Dennis who stepped back from day-to-day client and firm management several months ago. The transition means that for the first time in its history, the firm will be majority women-owned and managed.
— In an email to clients and friends of the firm, Dennis wrote that “I have no doubt” the firm’s new leadership “will grow CRD Associates’ longstanding and hard-earned reputation for representing our clients with integrity and delivering results on their behalf. It is time for the next generation of leadership to take over — and for me to step aside. I know I speak for all of us affiliated with CRD Associates now and in the past when I say we are excited to see what the future holds.”
— “The firm has been around since 1980, so I think we’re very lucky to take over a firm that has really strong relationships with our clients and in the community and the Hill and agencies,” Miller, who’s been with the firm since 2005, said in an interview. “But I think we do see this as an opportunity to really take the firm to the next level, not just in terms of … the work we’re already doing, but in the team that we’re putting together, and in kind of how we’re going to present ourselves publicly.”
— Among those changes, Miller said, are putting more of an emphasis on CRD Associates’ work in the health policy space, which is less well-known than the firm’s expertise on appropriations issues. In May, the firm brought on a Medicare and payments expert as its first-ever director of regulatory affairs, and Miller said she expects Democrats’ impending drug pricing proposal to keep things busy for the firm. “It obviously has huge implications for physician groups, of which we represent many, and patient groups, where we have a sizable roster as well,” she said.
MEANWHILE, IN FLORIDA: “Consider it Tallahassee’s version of the fabled smoke-filled backroom,” POLITICO’s Matt Dixon and Bruce Ritchie write. “Florida Power & Light, one of the state’s most politically powerful companies, operates an event space located on the third floor of the company’s $2 million, 13,000 square foot downtown Tallahassee offices.”
— “The building is nondescript and includes no signs that would indicate it’s owned by one of the largest power companies in the country. The third floor of the building, where the bar is located, has a series of large shutters that make its outdoor patio area impossible to see from the street level. The exclusive lounge is used by company officials to host lobbyists and the lawmakers whose votes they need, according to more than six people familiar with the space.”
— “Revelations of the party space, which has not previously been reported, come as the company is mired in scandals over its aggressive approach to lobbying and public advocacy. Among the most recent disclosures: The company tried to covertly influence state elections and set up news sites to attack critics and further its political agenda.”
— According to people who’ve visited the space, “it’s frequented by powerful lawmakers and staff, most of whom are considered backers of FPL’s legislative agenda and are responsible for crafting legislation directly involving Florida Power & Light. They were granted anonymity to discuss the event space because they feared speaking out against the powerful company. Some work on Florida Power & Light’s contract lobbying team and are not authorized to speak to the media.”
— “‘That’s its purpose, it’s the “friends of the FPL program” that are invited,’ said one person who has attended the bar multiple times. ‘If you’re there you probably are already with them.’”
WINSOME RAISES FOR BEYER CHALLENGER: Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears on Monday hosted a fundraiser at the home of Ellen Walter, a former senior adviser to Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s campaign, and Jeff Walter, a partner at Capitol Counsel, that is expected to net $30,000 for Karina Lipsman, the Republican nominee challenging Democratic Rep. Don Beyer to represent Virginia’s northern suburbs, per an attendee. POLITICO rates the seat as “solid Democratic.”
— Attendees at the event, per a PI tipster, included political analyst Carrie Sheffield, former Alexandria, Va., Vice Mayor Bill Cleveland, Veterans Guardian’s Brian Johnson, Maxwell Malloy of Rep. Burgess Owens’ (R-Utah) office, Elliott Guffin of Rep. Richard Hudson’s (R-N.C.) office, Ariel Judah of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s office and RightNOW Women PAC, Brandon Consolvo of BSA | The Software Alliance, Rob Lehman of WilmerHale, Stephen Mills of AQIWO, Inc. and Nick Andersen of Invictus International Consulting.
— The Recording Industry Association of America has hired Erin Burr as vice president of media relations and Jonathan Mancera as digital strategist. Burr most recently was vice president of communications at Big Machine Label Group, and Mancera was previously an intern at 300 Entertainment.
— Joanna Penn is now managing director of Husch Blackwell Strategies. She most recently was director of business development at Eversheds Sutherland.
— FirstEnergy has hired Joseph McClelland as vice president of external affairs. He was previously director of the Office of Energy Infrastructure Security at the FERC.
— Maggie Mick has joined MultiState’s strategic government relations practice as assistant vice president. She most recently served as chief advancement officer at the Council of State Governments.
— Cathy Livingston is joining the Open Society Foundations as general counsel. She previously was a partner at Jones Day.
— Artemis Bakopoulos Hiss has been promoted to lead global media relations for McDonald’s, while Jesse Lewin has been promoted to lead McDonald’s leadership communications team.
— Melanie Sheppard has been promoted to be manager for government and public sector at EY. She was previously a senior government and public sector consultant there.
— PLUS Communications announced 20 new promotions, including of Julia Grady to senior associate for public affairs; Kelsey Van Horne and Hunter Wilson to senior associates for public affairs; Michelle Bowling, Kyle Jones and William Roebuck to managers for public affairs; Sarah Byrd and Cody Sargent to directors for public affairs; Keeley Briscoe to senior director for public affairs and Hannah Andrews and Jessica Kendust to managing directors for public affairs.
— Hogan Lovells has added Andrea Bruce to its food and beverage regulatory group as a senior counsel. She previously was director and assistant general counsel for regulatory and M&A at Hershey’s.
Fleming Victory Fund (Bridget Fleming for Congress, New York State Democratic Committee)
Laxalt Walker Victory Committee (Team Herschel, Inc, Laxalt for Senate, People’s Champion PAC, Nevada Republican Central Committee)
Team Crapo (Sen. Mike Crapo, Freedom Fund, NRSC)
Beehive PAC (Super PAC)
Better Michigan Fund (Leadership PAC: Paul Junge)
NH Draft DeSantis (Hybrid PAC)
Securing Americas Might SAM PAC (Leadership PAC: Sam Peters)
Boundary Stone Partners: Swtch
Cfm Strategic Communications (Conkling Fiskum & Mccormick): Ocld Summit, LLC
Park Strategies, LLC: Genetic Technological Innovations, LLC
Prism Group: Rainbow Rare Earths
Roku, Inc.: Roku, Inc.
Sanders International Group, LLC: Qtc Global Enterprises (On Behalf Of Defense Systems Redeployment Group)
Sternhell Group: Nydig
The Laurin Baker Group, LLC: Koppers, Inc.
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale And Dorr LLP: 3M Company
David T. Murray, LLC: Pivotal Commware
Galbut Beabeau, Pc: Vantage Retirement Plans, L.L.C.
Park Strategies, LLC: Verizon Communications
The Russell Group, Inc.: New Age Meats
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