With Daniel Lippman
K STREETERS OPEN THEIR WALLETS FOR POTENTIAL WAYS AND MEANS CHAIRS: Friday’s quarterly campaign finance filing deadline offered the first chance to see where K Street’s money is going as it pertains to gaming out the race for the highly coveted House Ways and Means gavel among Republicans, should the party fulfill expectations of retaking control of the chamber in November’s midterms.
— Reps. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), Adrian Smith (R-Neb.) and Jason Smith (R-Mo.) have all thrown their hats in the ring to replace retiring Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) as the top Republican on the powerful committee, which oversees issues including taxes, trade, Social Security and some Medicare spending.
— Buchanan, who has seniority over the Smiths on the panel and is seen as the frontrunner, hauled in a record $1.1 million in the first three months of the year, filings show, compared to $439,000 during the same period in 2020. The haul included contributions from more than three dozen registered lobbyists looking to get — or stay — in Buchanan’s good graces.
— Travis Johnson of 1607 Strategies, Bill McGinley of Vogel Group, Jeffrey Kimbell of Jeffrey J. Kimbell & Associates and Charles Cooper of Signal Group are among the lobbyists who contributed the maximum amount of $2,900, but Buchanan also received cash from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s political action committee, which kicked in $2,000, as well as from Paul Edattel and Nicholas Uehleck of Todd Strategy; Katie Wise, Carolyn Coda, Landon Stropko, Amy Swonger, Tim Martin and Chris Gillott of Invariant; BGR’s Bob Wood; Kountoupes Denham Carr and Reid’s Julie Carr and half a dozen lobbyists each from Van Scoyoc Associates, Capitol Counsel and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.
— Dwayne Bolton, a GOP lobbyist at the mostly Democratic firm TheGROUP D.C., also gave to Buchanan last month, while Visa’s Kathleen Black contributed $500 in February, one of just a few corporate lobbyists to donate in their personal capacity, though there was no shortage of support from corporate PACs, either.
— Though Adrian Smith brought in around a third of what Buchanan raised last quarter, he still saw contributions from a number of K Streeters, according to his filing. That includes from six different lobbyists from the tax lobbying firm Capitol Tax Partners. S-3 Group’s Marty Reiser and Martin Delgado both gave to Smith, as well, along with Steve Stombres of Harbinger Strategies, Lee Terry of Lee Terry Consulting, Joel White of Horizon Government Affairs, Susan Hirschmann of William & Jensen and Stephen Francis of EY.
— Jason Smith, who skipped out on a Senate bid to run for the Ways and Means gavel, reported raising just over half a million dollars last quarter, and also saw a decent influx of cash from K Street, including from a hometown lobbying firm, Husch Blackwell Strategies, its chief executive, Gregg Hartley, and its COO, Andy Blunt. Though no registered lobbyists maxed out their contributions to Smith, several executives of Ryan LLC, a Dallas-based tax consultancy that advocates for lower taxes, did. Two dozen of the firm’s employees in total donated to Smith, the most of any one firm. Only Buchanan also received contributions from Ryan executives.
— Other lobbyists who donated to Smith included Cornerstone Government Affairs’ Jim Richards, Card & Associates’ Brad Card, Roberti Global’s Steven Irizarry, Venn Strategies’ Melissa Francis, Farragut Partners’ Jeff Mortier, Ogilvy’s Chris Giblin and Tucker Shumack and Stumptown Strategies’ Blair Larkins. Fierce Government Relations’ Kirsten Chadwick, meanwhile, was one of just a few lobbyists to donate to all three Ways and Means frontrunners.
GOP MEGADONORS FETE MANCHIN: “Wall Street veteran Nelson Peltz hosted a $5,000 a plate fundraiser for Sen. Joe Manchin at the billionaire’s sprawling Florida estate last month, where several top executives said they privately hoped the conservative Democrat would switch parties and run against President Joe Biden in the 2024 elections,” per CNBC’s Brian Schwartz.
— “Peltz, who is a co-founder of investment fund Trian Partners, hosted Manchin along with at least 50 executives for a lunch aimed at raising funds for the West Virginia lawmaker’s reelection campaign, according to someone who attended the event. They declined to be named in order to discuss the private event.”
— “Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman, along with Home Depot co-founders Ken Langone and Bernard Marcus, who generally support Republicans, were among executives at the fundraiser, according to the person who attended the event. Longtime investor Leon Cooperman, who has contributed to those on both sides of the aisle, was also at the lunch. … Over a lunch choice of chicken or fish, Manchin told the crowd of donors that he plans to run for reelection in 2024, according to the attendee. Manchin has previously said that he’ll make a decision about running for reelection after the 2022 midterm elections.”
NOT EVERYONE’S DITCHING SANCTIONED RUSSIA CLIENTS: “Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a host of lobbyists and law firms cut their ties with business entities tied to the Kremlin. But nearly two months into the war, some lawyers are still on the Russian payroll, helping entities navigate the sanctions put in place because of the war,” POLITICO’s Hailey Fuchs reports.
— “Erich Ferrari, a leading sanctions lawyer based in Washington, said he has seen an influx of clients impacted by the US government’s response to the war in Ukraine. In an interview, he said that he had taken new work for Russian individuals and corporations recently sanctioned by the Biden administration. His work, he maintains, is entirely legal and not subject to public disclosure under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.”
— “Some lawyers moved to cut ties with their Russian clients in the wake of the invasion. Sidley Austin terminated its relationship with VTB Group after it was hit with U.S. sanctions, and lawyers at White & Case and Debevoise & Plimpton moved to withdraw their representation of Sberbank, which was sanctioned too.”
— “But others are still at it. Latham & Watkins continues to represent VTB Bank in a federal case out of New York in which the Russian bank is listed as a co-defendant, according to a court records database. … Additionally, two other law firms, DLA Piper and Norton Rose Fulbright, are still registered to represent Rosneft, a Russian state-controlled oil company. The case in which Rosneft is represented by a DLA Piper attorney is currently stayed. The U.S. has banned the import of Russian oil and sanctioned Rosneft’s chief executive officer Igor Ivanovich Sechin.”
— “It’s unclear if other attorneys are continuing to work for those connected to the Russian state because they’re not required to disclose it,” thanks to FARA’s legal exemption, which “is triggered once a person, qualified to practice law, engages or agrees to engage in the legal representation of a disclosed foreign principal before any court or agency of the Government of the United States,” according to the Justice Department.
ANNALS OF CAMPAIGN FINANCE: “The Federal Election Commission signaled Friday that it will take steps to uncover some types of virtually untraceable donations to super PACs, a potentially significant shift in the enforcement of campaign finance law,” our Zach Montellaro reports.
— “The move came as the FEC released documents resolving a complaint about a pair of 2018 donations to DefendArizona, a super PAC that supported then-Rep. Martha McSally’s (R-Ariz.) Senate bid. … Straw donations to super PACs run through anonymous LLCs have become increasingly common in recent years, as some wealthy political donors look to shield their contributions from the public by routing them through other entities first. The FEC has been frozen for years on what to do about these donations, effectively blessing them by not policing requirements that would have forced further disclosure.”
— “That all apparently changed Friday. A statement from four of the six commissioners indicated that the agency would now start cracking down on these straw donations, requiring that the LLCs disclose who is actually behind the companies. There are still other avenues for untraceable money to flow into super PACs, but the LLC route has been a major one.”
— John Frank has joined Illumina as chief public affairs officer. He most recently spent 20 years with Microsoft as vice president of United Nations affairs and international organizations.
— Ellen Locke is now director of U.S. government relations at MetLife. She most recently was PAC manager at Nationwide.
— Bryan Doherty is now national press secretary for the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union. He most recently was comms director for Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.).
— Julianne Heberlein is now senior media relations associate at SIFMA. She most recently was deputy press secretary for Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.
— Ernie Jolly is now senior vice president for government affairs at Truist Financial. He most recently was chief of staff for Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.).
— Connor Larsen is now senior digital strategist at Woolf Strategy. She previously was at DCG Communications.
— Paulina Banasiak is now vice president at government and public affairs firm Kaufman Zita Group. She most recently was director of legislative affairs to Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.).
— Khalilah Harris is now deputy chief of staff at the Office of Personnel Management. She most recently was managing director for K-12 education policy at Center for American Progress and served in the Obama administration at the Education Department and OPM.
— Katie McKeogh is now senior account executive at the PR firm Ehrhardt Group. She most recently was press secretary for Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and is a Trump HHS alum.
— Reed Howard is joining the Millennial Action Project as senior director of communications, per Playbook. He previously was director of comms at Georgetown’s Institute of Politics and Public Service.
— Marissa Morabito is joining Triple P America as U.S. head of public affairs, Playbook reports. She previously was chief government affairs and policy officer at Prevent Child Abuse America.
Jordan Robinson (BURLISON, ERIC, Club for Growth PAC)
Every State (PAC)
Opportunity NY (Super PAC)
United For Our Future (Hybrid PAC)
Adams And Reese, LLP: Alabama Forestry Association
Adams And Reese, LLP: South Baldwin Chamber Of Commerce
Adams And Reese, LLP: Town Of Lexington
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld: Alliance To Protect Nantucket Sound
Becker & Poliakoff, P.A.: Cade Museum For Creativity & Invention
Becker & Poliakoff, P.A.: Hp Inc.
Becker & Poliakoff, P.A.: Kansas Municipal Energy Agency
Becker & Poliakoff, P.A.: Violet Defense LLC
Css Partners, LLC: The City Of Edmond, Oklahoma
Daly Consulting Group: Transunion LLC
Invariant LLC: King And Spalding, LLP On Behalf Of Georgia Water Supply Providers
Prasam: Redwire Space
38 North Solutions, LLC: Delorean Power
Baker & Hostetler LLP: Oncosec Medical Inc.
Becker & Poliakoff, P.A.: Gold Coast Florida Regional Center
Blount Strategic Initiatives: Starc Systems
Blount Strategic Initiatives: Todd Strategy Group On Behalf Of Med Claims Compliance Corporation
Bose Public Affairs Group: National Network To End Domestic Violence
Bose Public Affairs Group: North American Midway Entertainment, LLC
Capitol Counsel LLC: Raven Sr, LLC
Capitol Hill Policy Group LLC: Purse Seine Vessel Owners’ Association (Psvoa)
Cassidy & Associates, Inc.: Saltchuk Resources, Inc.
Clarifyd LLC: Homtex, Inc.
Clark Street Associates: Bright Machines
Clark Street Associates: Everactive Inc.
Clark Street Associates: Running Tide Technologies, Inc.
Css Partners, LLC: Match Enterprises
Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP: Alliance For Aging Research
Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP: Glaxosmithkline Consumer Healthcare
Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP: Global Antibiotic Research & Development Partnership, North America (Gardp Na)
Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP: Gohealth
Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP: Helena Agri-Enterprises LLC
Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP: Life Care Services LLC
Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP: Naf
Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP: National Athletic Trainers’ AssociationFaegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP: Ochsner Health System
Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP: Program For Appropriate Technology In Health
Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP: Spina Bifida Association
Foley Hoag LLP: Obvia Pharmaceuticals
Foley & Lardner LLP: Chamberlin & Associates LLC
Foley & Lardner LLP: Fluke Corporation
Foley & Lardner LLP: Magseis Ff LLC
Foley & Lardner LLP: Oregon Tool, Inc.
Foley & Lardner LLP: Research Products Corporation
Forbes-Tate: Bank Of America Corporation
Forbes-Tate: Everglade Pharmaceuticals, LLC
Forbes-Tate: Prism Group Public Affairs On Behalf Of Piedmont Healthcare
Forbes-Tate: Sarepta Therapeutics
Forbes-Tate: Starkey Hearing Technologies
Forbes-Tate: Verde Technologies
Gilliland & Mckinney International Counsellors: Ar Textiles Ltd.
Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman, P.C.: Dispatch Health
Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman, P.C.: Ssm Health Care Corporation
Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman, P.C.: Tka And Associates
Hogan Lovells US LLP: Alpaca Audiology
Hogan Lovells US LLP: Avast Software Inc.
Hogan Lovells US LLP: Incode Technologies, Inc
Hogan Lovells US LLP: Prodigy Education
Holland & Knight LLP: America’S Homeowner Alliance
Hooper, Lundy & Bookman, P.C.: Fresenius Kabi, LLC
K&L Gates, LLP: Audia International
K&L Gates, LLP: Clark Street Associates On Behalf Of Qorvo
K&L Gates, LLP: Fco Advisors Lp
K&L Gates, LLP: Ingo Money, Inc.
K&L Gates, LLP: Matthew Donegan
K&L Gates, LLP: Parsyl, Inc.
K&L Gates, LLP: Port Of Moses Lake
K&L Gates, LLP: Solarcode LLC
K&L Gates, LLP: Spire Subsidiary Inc F/K/A Spire Global Inc
K&L Gates, LLP: Stanwixforbes LLC
K&L Gates, LLP: The Banking And Digital Assets Association
K&L Gates, LLP: Viamedia, Inc.
Manatt, Phelps, And Phillips: Heb Grocery Company Lp
Manatt, Phelps, And Phillips: Protect Democracy Project
Monument Advocacy: Phylagen, Inc.
Monument Advocacy: Ranpak Corporation
O’Neill And Associates: Cashman Equipment
O’Neill And Associates: Conduent, Inc.
O’Neill And Associates: Innovative Natural Resource Solutions LLC
O’Neill And Associates: Roz100
O’Neill And Associates: Solix Inc
Recreational Fishing Alliance: Recreational Fishing Alliance
Shumaker Advisors Florida, LLC: Book Zurman Inc.
Shumaker Advisors Florida, LLC: Good Times USa, LLC
Sirona Strategies LLC: Magellan Health, Inc.
Smith Dawson & Andrews: Firmenich Inc
Squire Patton Boggs: United States Infrastructure Corporation
Strategic Marketing Innovations: Nuburu Inc.
Strategics Consulting, LLC: City Of Chattanooga, Tn
The Randel Group, LLC: Armtech Insurance Services, Inc.
The Washington Tax & Public Policy Group (Formerly The Washington Tax Group): Allianz Capital Partners Gmbh
Tiber Creek Group: Biotechnology Innovation Organization (Bio)
Tiber Creek Group: Cortexyme, Inc.
Tiber Creek Group: Labware, Inc.
Tiber Creek Group: The Capital Group Companies, Inc. And Its Affiliates
Tiber Creek Group: Viacom, Inc.
— to www.politico.com