Date: Sunday, 21 March 2021
Presented by REAL SOLUTIONS®, a community safety program of the firearm industry.
With Daniel Lippman
FARA FRIDAY: The White House said Thursday it is dispatching Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), a top ally of President Joe Biden, to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to meet with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed at the president’s request to convey the administration’s “grave concerns about the humanitarian crisis and human rights abuses in the Tigray region,” according to a statement from national security adviser Jake Sullivan.
— Coons’ trip comes amid a spiraling humanitarian crisis there after four months of fighting between Ethiopian and allied militia forces and Tigray residents, and as the Biden administration announced an additional $52 million in humanitarian assistance to those affected by the conflict. A U.S. government report obtained by The New York Times last month accused Ahmed’s forces of carrying out an ethnic cleansing in the region, a term used by Secretary of State Antony Blinken for the first time last week.
— As a result of the violence, both the Ethiopian government and Tigrayan advocates have enlisted help in Washington in recent months. Last month, the Ethiopian Embassy hired the lobbying firm Venable for government relations help through the end of April at a monthly rate of $35,000, according to documents filed with the Justice Department. Their work has included outreach to at least three Democratic senators, including at least one call between Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Ethiopian Ambassador Fitsum Arega, according to DOJ filings. Venable declined to comment on their representation of the embassy.
— Last week, the Alexandria, Va.,-based Tigray Center for Information and Communication retained the lobbying firm Von Batten-Montague-York to push the Biden administration and Congress “for the removal of all Eritrean military personnel and militia from Tigray,” as well as to apply pressure to the Ethiopian government to allow open access to humanitarian assistance and the appointment of an independent investigator to prove claims of war crimes against the Tigray people.
— Another lobbying disclosure filed earlier this week revealed that Platinum Advisors DC hired former Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) back in December as a subcontractor to lobby for support for increased humanitarian assistance for Ethiopia on behalf of JM International, a real estate development and petroleum distribution company based in Virginia.
LOBBYISTS TO HOST FUNDRAISER FOR VIRGINIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Pete Snyder, who unsuccessfully ran for lieutenant governor in Virginia in 2013, is getting some backup for his gubernatorial bid — which he has touted as an “outsider campaign” — from K Street, according to a fundraiser invitation obtained by PI. The April 1 event, which touts retiring Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and his wife as featured guests, will be held outside with masks requested and in-person attendance limited, according to the invite, with tickets to get in the door starting at $250 going up to $1,000 to be named a host.
— The listed hosts of the fundraiser are a handful of familiar names on K Street: Cassidy & Associates’ Jordan Bernstein, Husch Blackwell Strategies’ Andy Blunt and Gregg Hartley, Matt Blunt, head of the American Automotive Policy Council, Peck Madigan Jones’ Drew Cantor, CVS Health’s Glen Chambers, Fierce Government Relations’ Mike Chappell, Missy Edwards, the American Independent Distillery Cooperative’s Peggy Ellis, SoftBank Group’s Alison Jones, Chevron’s Karen Knutson, Ogilvy’s Tuck Shumack, Akin Gump’s Jamie Tucker, D.C. Fly-Ins’ Kirstie Tucker, LivaNova’s John Versaggi and Whitmer and Worrall’s Martin Whitmer. Other hosts include Richard Eddings, an aide to the senator, and Sally Portman, daughter of retiring Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio).
FORMER LOBBYIST ACCUSES REED OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT: The Washington Post’s Beth Reinhard reports that Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) has been accused by Nicolette Davis, then a junior lobbyist at Aflac, of drunkenly rubbing her back, unhooking her bra and moving his hand up her leg while at a restaurant on a networking trip in 2017. Reed, who has expressed interest in potentially challenging New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who himself is under pressure to resign due to sexual harassment allegations, was ultimately escorted from the restaurant, which Davis told the Post was at her request, out of fear.
— In a statement from his office, Reed told the Post that “this account of my actions is not accurate.” Davis’ account of Reed’s behavior that night was supported by a person who was there, the article reads, and quotes two coworkers, Aflac’s head of political affairs Jessica Strieter Elting and then-vice president and counsel Brad Knox, who said Davis told them about the incident during and shortly after it, with Elting calling Davis “really shaken” by it.
‘TIS THE SEASON: OpenSecrets is back with its annual K Street Classic after a year off due to March Madness getting scrapped as the coronavirus pandemic first took hold of the U.S. last spring. Karl Evers-Hillstrom tallied the lobbying spending of schools à la the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, declaring “the entire higher education industry” the “big winner in Democrats’ stimulus package,” securing nearly $40 billion in aid. PI won’t spoil the winner for you, but Evers-Hillstrom notes that the school that took the crown spent its highest yearly total to date on lobbying in 2020.
FUNDRAISERS LOBBYING CORPORATIONS TO LIFT DONATION FREEZE: Fundraisers for party campaign arms and members running for reelection have begun urging corporations to end self-imposed pauses in political donations following January’s insurrection, according to CNBC’s Brian Schwartz. “The NRCC recently put together a list of corporate donation policies, which fundraisers expect to use as a tool to coax companies into giving again, one of the people said. People and groups with ties to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have been actively reaching out to corporations to get them to start donating again, another person said.”
FLY-IN SZN: The American Academy of PAs is set to hold its annual fly-in next Wednesday. The group will have upwards of 400 participants from across the country set to meet virtually with a number of members of Congress, including Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Reps. John Curtis (R-Utah), Cindy Axne (D-Iowa), Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas), Ron Kind (D-Wis.). AAPA will use the meetings to advocate for two bills, the group said: the Promoting Access to Diabetic Shoes Act and the Increasing Access to Quality Cardiac Rehabilitation Care Act.
— The Council for Responsible Nutrition has promoted Holly Vogtman to communications director, Rashidah Denton to manager of scientific and regulatory affairs and Gretchen Powers to senior director for marketing and member experience.
— Stephen Worley will be campaign manager for Mobile, Ala., Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s reelection. He was previously senior director of public affairs at the International Franchise Association.
— Alston & Bird added Kristi Boswell as counsel in the legislative and public policy group. She was previously a senior adviser to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and served in the White House and is an American Farm Bureau Federation alum.
— The National Safety Council’s director of communications, Maureen Vogel, is leaving the group for a new position at Amazon, per Morning Tech. Jennifer Schallmoser recently joined the council as media relations coordinator, and Jenny Arnold is serving as interim communications director.
— Former Deputy Transportation Secretary John Porcari has joined the board of the engineering firm STV, Morning Transportation reports.
— The National Hydropower Association has hired Zolaikha Strong as vice president of government affairs, Morning Energy reports. Strong was previously director of energy policy and clean energy markets at the Copper Development Association.
Garbarino Victory Fund (Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-N.Y.), Baker PAC, NY Republican Federal Campaign Committee, NRCC)
Team Joni (Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), NRSC, Jobs Opportunity and New Ideas PAC)
American Veterans Relief PAC (Super PAC)
ANWAY LONG GROUP PAC (PAC)
AZ-01 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
AZ-02 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
CA-03 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
CA-10 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
CA-45 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
CA-49 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
CT Senate Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
CT-05 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
Fearless Action (PAC)
FL-07 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
FL-13 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
GA-06 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
GA-07 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
HI Senate Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
IL-06 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
IL-14 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
IL-17 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
IA-03 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
Kansas Victory PAC (Leadership PAC: Rep. Jake LaTurner (R-Kan.))
KS-03 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
ME-02 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
MI-08 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
MI-11 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
MN-02 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
MN-03 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
MO Senate Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
NC-02 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
NH-01 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
NJ-03 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
NJ-05 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
NJ-07 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
NJ-11 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
NV-03 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
NV-04 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
NY Senate Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
NY-03 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
NY-18 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
NY-19 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
OH-13 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
OR-04 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
OR-05 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
PA-07 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
PA-08 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
PA-17 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
Patriot National Committee LLC (PAC)
Rural Vitality PAC (Super PAC)
Support America's Police PAC Inc. (Super PAC)
TX-07 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
TX-15 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
TX-28 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
TX-32 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
VA-02 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
VA-07 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
VT Senate Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
WA-08 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
WI-03 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
Alignment Government Strategies: American Forests
American Defense International, Inc.: J.A. Green And Company (For Shield Ai)
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP: Viaphoton
Chw Advisors: Ohio Business For Immigration Solutions
Foley & Lardner, LLP: Amity Foundation
Foley & Lardner, LLP: Chamberlin & Associates LLC
Foley & Lardner, LLP: Paladin Protective Equipment, LLC D/B/A American Papr, LLC
Foley & Lardner, LLP: Personalized Medicine Coalition
Foley & Lardner, LLP: Westlands Water District
Forbes-Tate: Coalition For App Fairness
Forbes-Tate: Coalition For Energy Assistance Modernization
J.A. Green And Company (Formerly LLC): Shield Ai
Lobbyit.Com: National Association Of Bail Agents
Lobbyit.Com: National Industrial Hemp Council
Lobbyit.Com: Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association
Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas, Inc.: Health Carousel LLC
Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas, Inc.: Houston Methodist Hospital
Navigators Global LLC (Formerly Dc Navigators, LLC): Mantech International Corporation
Perkinelmer, Inc.: Perkinelmer, Inc.
Primacy Strategy Group: Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber Of Commerce
Ridge Policy Group: Pangolin Health
Subject Matter (Fka Elmendorf Ryan): Joseph Schwartz
Subject Matter (Fka Elmendorf Ryan): Servicenow Inc
The Mcmanus Group: Ptc Therapeutics Inc.
Cassidy & Associates, Inc.: Transwest Express LLC
Dyncorp International, LLC: Dyncorp International LLC
Polsinelli Pc: Jackson Park Hospital
Polsinelli Pc: Loretto Hospital
Polsinelli Pc: Methodist Hospital Of Chicago
Polsinelli Pc: Norwegian American Hospital
Polsinelli Pc: Roseland Hospital
Polsinelli Pc: South Shore Hospital
Polsinelli Pc: St. Bernard Hospital
Polsinelli Pc: Swedish Covenant Hospital
Polsinelli Pc: Thorek Memorial Hospital
Polsinelli Pc: Touchette Regional Hospital