With David Beavers, Garrett Ross and Daniel Lippman
GEORGE PATAKI WILL LOBBY ON TARIFFS: Former New York Gov. George Pataki has registered to lobby on President Donald Trump’s aluminum and steel tariffs for Borusan Mannesmann, a Turkish firm that describes itself as “Europe’s leading steel pipe manufacturer.” (The registration filing lists the address of the company’s U.S. office in Houston.) Borusan Mannesmann appears to be the second client for which Pataki has registered to lobby; he also registered in March to represent White Birch Paper on trade issues, although no one seems to have noticed at the time (including us).
— Pataki registered to lobby through his firm, the Pataki-Cahill Group. He didn’t respond to a request for comment on Tuesday morning. But in the past, Pataki has been critical of former officeholders who lobby. “Right now there are over 400 former members of the House and Senate who are registered lobbyists in Washington,” Pataki said during a Republican primary debate in 2015, according to a transcript. “I would propose a law on Day One, you serve one day in the House or Senate, there’s a lifetime ban on you ever being a lobbyist in Washington, D.C. You get elected, you go back home. You don’t stay and support the special interests.” Pataki didn’t address whether former governors should lobby.
MORE NEW BUSINESS: Former Sen. Tim Hutchinson (R-Ark.) of Greenberg Traurig has registered to lobby for POSCO, a South Korean steelmaker, on trade issues. Former Rep. Frank Guinta (R-N.H.) has registered to lobby for two more clients alongside his colleagues at ML Strategies: Rebuilders Automotive Supply and Teradyne. The Blackstone Group has hired Subject Matter’s Steve Elmendorf, Kristina Kennedy and Shanti Stanton — all former Democratic congressional staffers — to lobby on financial services issues. And Dick’s Sporting Goods, which stopped selling AR-15-style rifles earlier this year, has hired the Glover Park Group to lobby on gun control.
BALLARD SIGNS AZERBAIJAN: Ballard Partners has added another foreign government to its client list: Azerbaijan. Brian Ballard, Syl Lukis and former Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) will provide Azerbaijan’s government with “strategic consulting and advocacy services” in its dealings with the Trump administration, as well as help celebrating the centennial of Azerbaijan’s independence, according to the contract. The contact lasts six months and is worth $50,000 a month.
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FORMER BOEHNER CHIEF OF STAFF TO LEAD API: The American Petroleum Institute is expected to tap Mike Sommers to replace Jack Gerard as president, POLITICO’s Emily Holden and Eric Wolff report. Sommers, who was former House Speaker John Boehner’s chief of staff, has led the American Investment Council for the past two years. He was also an aide to former President George W. Bush at the National Economic Council. Gerard, who announced his retirement earlier this year, will step down in August. He was one of the best-paid lobbyists in Washington, D.C., earning $5 million in direct compensation from API and $1.2 million in perks in 2015, according to API’s latest IRS forms. Full story.
THE SCHLAPP PROFILE: The New York Times’ Elizabeth Williamson profiles Matt and Mercedes Schlapp, dubbing them the “it couple” of Trump’s Washington. Mercedes Schlapp is the White House director of strategic communications; Matt Schlapp is the chairman of the American Conservative Union and a lobbyist whose clients include Comcast, Verizon and Walmart. “Business is in the meantime booming at Cove Strategies, the lobbying and public relations firm the Schlapps founded in 2009 (Ms. Schlapp stepped away from the business when she took her White House job). Their lobbying income alone has surged in the year since Mr. Trump took office, to more than $1 million in 2017 from $600,000 in 2015. … [Matt Schlapp] said there was even more income from Cove’s strategic communications work, which he declined to reveal.” Full story.
‘AN ITCH YOU HAVE TO KEEP SCRATCHING’: The Atlantic’s Russell Berman wonders how many retiring lawmakers will become lobbyists next year. “Of the nearly four dozen lawmakers who left office after the 2016 election, one-fourth stayed in Washington, and one in six became lobbyists, according to an analysis by The Atlantic. The numbers were even higher for those who departed after the 2014 midterms: About half of those former members stuck around, and around one in four became lobbyists.” Former Reps. Jim Moran (now at McDermott Will & Emery), Jack Kingston (now at Squire Patton Boggs) and Reid Ribble (who’s now at the National Roofing Contractors Association but isn’t registered to lobby) make appearances. Full story.
ANNALS OF CAMPAIGN FINANCE: The Center for Public Integrity’s Dave Levinthal takes a look the situation at the Federal Election Commission, where all the commissioners have stuck around for years longer than they were supposed to be there. “Vice Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub’s six-year term expired 11 years ago, when George W. Bush occupied the White House, the ‘Great Recession’ had yet to occur and the most momentous campaign finance decision of the century, Citizens United v. FEC, was still two-and-a-half years hence. Commissioner Steve Walther (nine years), Commissioner Matthew Petersen (seven years) and Chairwoman Caroline Hunter (five years) have also stayed aboard long after they should have been out of a job. Beyond the holdovers, there are two vacant spots on the commission.”
— “In separate interviews Thursday with the Center for Public Integrity, each of the four ‘holdover’ commissioners — who may continue to serve until President Donald Trump and the U.S. Senate replace them — confirmed that they have no immediate plans to step down.” Full story.
NEW JOINT FUNDRAISERS:
Taking the Hill PAC (PAC)
NEW LOBBYING REGISTRATIONS:
AJW, Inc.: Institute of Hazardous Materials Management
Ballard Partners: Patino & Associates, PA (on behalf of Valentina and Bogdan Georgescu)
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC: Verdant Holdings, Ltd.
Federal Advocates, Inc.: Citizens for Responsible Pet Ownership
Federal Advocates, Inc.: City of Desert Hot Springs, California
Federal Advocates, Inc.: Gulf Coast Authority
Federal Advocates, Inc.: Leading Builders of America
Federal Advocates, Inc.: NMR Consulting
Federal Advocates, Inc.: Petland, Inc.
Federal Advocates, Inc.: U-Wrap, LLC
Greenberg Traurig, LLP: POSCO
Holland & Knight LLP: Noodle Partners
McCarthy Advanced Consulting LLC: United Brotherhood of Carpenters
ML Strategies, LLC: Rebuilders Automotive Supply Co., Inc.
ML Strategies, LLC: Teradyne, Inc.
Mr. Landon Fulmer: RWI Benefits
Mr. Philip Klein: Clorox Corporation
Prime Policy Group: U.S. Security Associates
Subject Matter (fka Elmendorf Ryan): The Blackstone Group
The Glover Park Group LLC: Dick's Sporting Goods (On Behalf of Finsbury LLC)
The Pataki-Cahill Group: Borusan Mannesmann Pipe
NEW LOBBYING TERMINATIONS:
GrossmanHeinz: Building and Construction Trades Department AFL-CIO
Henderson Strategies, Inc.: CLS America, Inc.
Henderson Strategies, Inc.: Gulf Seafood Institute
Henderson Strategies, Inc.: Wildlife Computers
Ruhlen Strategies, LLC: Washington Advocacy Group on behalf of the DCI Group