With Daniel Lippman
LYFT’S NEXT MOVES: Lyft has hired another team of lobbyists fresh off its victory in last week’s Prop 22 campaign in California, including TheGROUP’s Sudafi Henry, who served as the legislative director for President-elect Joe Biden while he was vice president.
— According to a registration filed last week, when it became clear that Biden was likely to defeat President Donald Trump but before the race had been called, the ride-sharing service brought on TheGROUP to lobby on “general issues related to transportation policy, worker classification” — the crux of the ballot initiative Lyft, Uber and other companies that dispatch workers through apps poured more than $200 million into passing.
— The initiative, which was fiercely opposed by labor groups, allows certain gig companies to avoid classifying their workers as employees with the protections and benefits of that designation. Last week’s decisive win is being viewed as a road map of sorts for similar challenges. The team from TheGROUP also includes Darrel Thompson, according to a disclosure filing. Darrel worked for former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
GYMS, RESTAURANTS LOBBY UP FOR RELIEF PUSH: A pair of industry groups have brought on lobbyists to push for coronavirus relief as new cases and hospitalizations reach record highs and while talks on the Hill for a lame-duck package remain stalled. Dine Brands, the parent company of restaurant chains IHOP and Applebee’s, hired a team of former congressional staffers at Covington & Burling LLP to lobby the House on relief for the restaurant industry, according to a disclosure filing. Meanwhile a pack of national gyms — Crossfit, Orangetheory Fitness, Zumba and Self Esteem Brands — has retained Holland & Knight with the aim of securing federal aid for gyms that have been “negatively impacted by government orders related” to the pandemic, putting lobbying firepower behind an industry coalition push announced earlier this week.
Happy Friday the 13th, and welcome to PI. Send your superstitions and lobbying tips: [email protected]. And follow me on Twitter: @caitlinoprysko.
MORE NEW BUSINESS: Swedish furniture giant Ikea has hired ML Strategies to lobby on “issues related consumer product safety” on the Stop Tip-overs of Unstable Risky Dressers on Youth — or STURDY — Act, according to a disclosure filing. Ikea retained Venable, paying $50,000 for generally the same purpose from October 2019 to April 2020.
PROGRESSIVES WARN BIDEN ON TRANSITION TEAMS: Progressives are already putting pressure on the incoming Biden administration to minimize industry and corporate influence and raising warnings about members of the agency review teams Biden’s transition announced earlier this week.
— “The announcement this week of a 23-person ‘agency review team’ for the Defense Department raised a number of eyebrows over what one critic called a ‘lack of diversity of thought’ and nearly unanimous links to top military contractors,” POLITICO’s Bryan Bender reports. While several on the Pentagon landing team are “considered less conventional thinkers, a sign that Biden’s top advisers are aware that different approaches are needed,” Bryan notes “most of the others on the team … come from think tanks or consulting firms heavily financed by leading defense companies, including CSIS, New America and the Center for a New American Security. Those think tanks, which are largely considered center-left, are among the top 10 recipients of defense industry donations, according to a study published last month by the Center for International Policy.”
— “CNAS in particular stands out. Nearly half of the think tank’s funding came from Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon, the study found, with Northrop Grumman and Boeing being the largest donors. It also looms especially large because it was co-founded by” Michèle Flournoy, considered a top contender to be Biden’s Defense secretary. The concerns come after a pair of progressive lawmakers urged Biden on Thursday to ensure his Pentagon chief hasn’t worked for a defense contractor.
— Meanwhile liberal groups sent Biden a letter Thursday urging the president-elect to adopt some the ethical restrictions espoused by his more liberal primary challengers, warning him not to “nominate or hire corporate executives, lobbyists, and prominent corporate consultants,” the New York Times reports.
— “An early indicator of Mr. Biden’s efforts to navigate this divide will come when he announces ethics rules for his government, a move expected in the hours after his inauguration. The progressive activists want him to adopt hiring practices that go far beyond policies embraced by former President Barack Obama, who barred officials in his administration from working on issues on which they had lobbied in the past two years.
— “The Biden transition said in a statement that the president-elect was determined to ensure that ‘public servants serve all Americans, not themselves or narrow special interests.’ The transition statement did not take a detailed position on what kinds of ethics prohibitions Mr. Biden would impose on hiring, but it hinted that Mr. Biden might bring on staff members who have worked on behalf of various causes and interests in the past.”
CEOs GAME-PLANNED TRUMP’S REFUSAL TO CONCEDE: More than two dozen of the nation’s top CEOs met last weekend to plan for the possibility of Trump refusing to step down past Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration, The Associated Press reports, a prospect that the president repeatedly declined to shoot down prior to the election. The group of business leaders agreed that Trump, who has not yet conceded to Biden after the former vice president on Saturday was projected as the winner of last Tuesday’s election, has the legal right to challenge the results of the election, a long-shot bid Trump’s team is pursuing.
— “But if Trump tries to undo the legal process or disrupts a peaceful transition to Biden, the CEOs discussed making public statements and pressuring GOP legislators in their states who may try to redirect Electoral College votes from Biden to Trump, said Yale Management Professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, who convened the meeting,” the AP reports.
— “The CEOs decided to wait for the Nov. 20 certification of votes in Georgia before meeting to decide their next moves. Action could include threats to stop donations to political action committees or even corporate relocations, Sonnenfeld said. He spoke with six or seven CEOs on Wednesday who said that if there were ‘seditious riots’ at Trump rallies or more mass firings like Trump’s ouster of Defense Secretary Mark Esper and other Pentagon officials, they want to reconvene to talk about acting faster as individuals, Sonnenfeld said.”
— “‘They thought it could have a very devastating effect upon on markets, on public trust in the process,’ and they would act ‘to make sure that the Republican elected officials do their jobs and and then be patriots and respect the process,’ Sonnenfeld said. The CEOs weren’t worried about reprisals against their businesses but emphasized acting together.”
— Téa Gennaro will become executive vice president and chief financial officer at the National Association of Broadcasters. Most recently, Gennaro served as chief financial officer of the Associated Builders and Contractors.
— Kelly Memphis is now senior manager of government relations at the Public Affairs Council and Victoria Ellington has been promoted to manager of PAC and grassroots at the council. Memphis previously served as state government affairs manager for the American College of Cardiology, and Ellington worked at the Premium Cigar Association as a government affairs program manager prior to joining the council in 2019.
— Microsoft has made several new hires for its D.C. team. Kinney Zalesne has joined as the general manager for responsible growth strategy, Mariah Sixkiller has joined as a director for government relations, departing her eponymous consulting firm, and Danyelle Solomon has been hired as director for justice reform and racial equity policy.
— Airboss has hired Stephen Ryan to its board of directors. Ryan was previously in charge of the government strategies practice in the D.C. office of McDermott Will & Emery LLP.
— Kailee Tkacz Buller will be president of the Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils when current President Robert Collette retires, POLITICO Playbook reports. Tkacz Buller most recently was chief of staff to Deputy Agriculture Secretary Stephen Censky.
— Playbook also reports that Kanya Bennett is now senior policy counsel and legislative coalition manager at the Bail Project. She previously was senior policy counsel at the ACLU.
Americans for Freedom PAC (Super PAC)
Battleground Georgia (Super PAC)
Blue Turnout Project (Super PAC)
For the USA (Super PAC)
Hunter Nation Action Inc. (Super PAC)
Sang de Liberte Foundation (PAC)
The Alliance Party of Georgia (Hybrid PAC)
The Alliance Party of Georgia (Hybrid PAC)
Tinicum Together (PAC)
Win Back PAC (PAC)
ABB Enterprise Software, Inc.: ABB Enterprise Software, Inc.
Bernstein Strategy Group: National Council for Languages and International Studies
Biser Strategies, LLC: The Recycling Partnership, Inc.
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP: iConstituent
Crossroads Strategies, LLC: Ocean Aero, Inc.
Douglas Shaw: Friends Committee on National Legislation
Farragut Partners LLP: Swift Solar Inc
Forbes-Tate: California Life Sciences Association
Forbes-Tate: Genovac, LLC
Holland & Knight LLP: CrossFit, LLC
Klein/Johnson Group: Dandelion Energy
McDermott+Consulting LLC: Advocate Aurora Healthcare
McDermott+Consulting LLC: Baxter International
McDermott+Consulting LLC: Big Health Inc.
McDermott+Consulting LLC: Envision Healthcare
McDermott+Consulting LLC: Epic Systems
McDermott+Consulting LLC: Mdvip
McDermott+Consulting LLC: ThedaCare
Michael Best Strategies LLC: L&M Food Service Inc.
Miller Strategies, LLC: CTIA-The Wireless Association
ML Strategies, LLC: IKEA of Sweden AB
Ogilvy Government Relations: VA Claims Insider, LLC
TheGROUP DC, LLC: Lyft, Inc.
Vision Americas: Hsbc Latin America Holdings (Uk) Limited
Cordone Consulting LLC: Produce Alliance for Corona-virus Economic Recovery (PACER)
McMillan & Young Policy Consultants LLC: African American Agriculturalist Association
McMillan & Young Policy Consultants LLC: Lobbyists 4 Good
Dandelion Energy: Dandelion Energy
On Deck Capital, Inc: On Deck Capital, Inc
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