04.07.17

Ballard signs Dominican Republic

BALLARD PARTNERS LANDS DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Brian Ballard, a Florida lobbyist who served as a top fundraising lieutenant for Donald Trump’s campaign and opened a Washington office after Trump won, has signed his first foreign client. Ballard’s firm, Ballard Partners, will lobby for the Dominican Republic, providing “advocacy services relative to U.S.-Dominican bilateral relations,” according to the filing, which was first spotted by The Hill’s Megan Wilson. “Activities will include advising, counseling, and assisting the foreign principal in communications with US government officials,” the filing continues. In return, the Dominican Republic will pay Ballard Partners $900,000 in monthly installments of $75,000.

— Ballard is the latest lobbying firm with Trump connections to jump into the foreign government lobbying game. SPG, another lobbying firm with Trump campaign veterans on its payroll, has signed the Czech Republic and New Zealand, and other firms with Trump connections — including Corey Lewandowski's Avenue Strategies and Gotham Government Relations & Communications, the New York firm that helped run Trump's campaign announcement — are hunting for foreign clients. Ballard was also tapped this week as one of the RNC finance team’s regional vice chairmen.

AHEAD OF THE FILINGS — THORN RUN SIGNS TWOThorn Run Partners has signed two signed new clients, according to the firm: GlaxoSmithKline and the National Football League. That brings the firm’s total new clients for the first quarter to seven. Thorn Run also signed the American Seniors Housing Association, InterDigitalOregon & Health Science University, the Ounce of Prevention Fund and Villanova University. The firm also brought on three clients that don’t require registration under the Lobbying Disclosure Act, including the Medicare Advocacy Recovery Coalition (for which Thorn Run is doing communications work) and Caring.com (for which Thorn Run is working in Oregon).

— Forbes Tate Partners, meanwhile, signed six new lobbying clients in the first quarter: CellebriteHorizon GlobalIron MountainKensho Technologies, New Venture Fund and the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

— How many clients did your firm sign in the first quarter? How much business did you do? Let me know, and I’ll get it in PI: tmeyer@politico.com.

LEWANDOWSKI’S AVENUE STRATEGIES ADDS ANOTHER: “Carlos Gimenez Jr., former consultant for Donald Trump and the son and namesake of Miami-Dade’s mayor, is joining the lobbying shop run by the president’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, as it drums up business in one of the nation’s most dynamic metropolitan areas,” POLITICO Florida’s Marc Caputo reports. “Gimenez said he joined the newly founded firm, Avenue Strategies, to focus less on lobbying and more on strategic consulting and business development for clients in Florida and Latin America. ‘We’re not just representing any client,’ Gimenez, a 40-year-old attorney from the Miami-area, said. ‘We represent those who would further the interests of the Trump Administration and the American people.’”

— “For more than three years, Gimenez served as the top consultant for the Trump Organization’s redevelopment of the Trump National Doral Miami Resort, the PGA’s World Golf Championship and the Miss Universe Pageant. Over the years, he said, he got to personally know the president, who ultimately signed his paychecks.” He’ll work alongside a number of Trump campaign veterans who have joined Avenue, including Jason OsborneEd Brookover and Mike Rubino, as well as Barry Bennett, who co-founded the firm with Lewandowksi. “Though Gimenez has had good relations with Trump, his father, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, has been far more critical of the president and made the extraordinary announcement during the presidential campaign that he wouldn’t vote for his fellow Republican,” who won Florida but lost badly in Miami-Dade County. Full story.

Good afternoon, and welcome to PI. This newsletter thrives on your tips. Switching jobs? Sign a new client? Get in touch: tmeyer@politico.com. You can also follow me on Twitter: @theodoricmeyer.

VITTER LOBBYING FOR CHEMICAL INDUSTRY: Former Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), who joined Mercury earlier this year, has signed his first clients, The Hill’s Megan Wilson reports, including two in the chemical industry. That matters because “Vitter took a leading role in negotiations with Democrats [while he was in Congress] to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act, which had not been updated in decades. Now, he’s advocating on behalf of the American Chemistry Council, an industry group, and one of its members, Cabot Corporation. The council aggressively lobbied Congress on TSCA reform, successfully pushing for provisions to restrict states' abilities to regulate chemicals, in favor of federal standards.” Full story.

— Vitter will also be lobbying for the Atlantic Development Group on “Disabilities Issues” and for Morris & Dickson on “IT Help Re improper Prescriptions,” according to disclosure filings. (One interesting wrinkle: Morris & Dickson, a Louisiana pharmaceutical distributor, was the largest funder of Better Louisiana PAC, a super PAC that spent $150,000 on TV ads backing John Kennedy, the Republican who replaced Vitter in the Senate.) Vitter is banned from lobbying his former congressional colleagues for two years, but he’s free to lobby the administration immediately. Vitter told POLITICO earlier this year that he’d met with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt several times when Vitter was a senator and Pruitt was Oklahoma’s attorney general, and again during the transition. The EPA, of course, regulates toxic chemicals under the law that Vitter helped rewrite.

SIX WHITE HOUSE STAFFERS HOLD UP TO $12 MILLION IN ENERGY STOCKS: “Six high-ranking officials in the Trump White House hold a total of $3.7 million to $12.3 million in energy company stocks, according to financial disclosure forms the administration issued last week,” POLITICO’s Ben Lefebvre reports. “The holdings are in energy giants Exxon MobilChevronKinder Morgan and a host of other companies and could create major conflicts of interest for a White House that has pledged to grow the nation's fossil fuel production, according to governance watchdogs. Although six staffers hold the vast majority of those shares, about a dozen White House officials have some stake in energy companies overall, according to POLITICO and Center for American Progress analyses of the data.” Full story.

COAL PRODUCER SENDS LETTER TO TRUMP: Cloud Peak Energy, the third largest U.S. coal producer, is asking President Donald Trump to stay in the Paris climate deal while also dialing down U.S. carbon reduction commitments,” POLITICO’s Eric Wolff reports. “The letter says the company endorses a policy advanced by some White House aides and laid out in a letter being circulated by Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) in which U.S. carbon dioxide emissions would only be reduced if there was no harm to the U.S. economy. POLITICO reported last week that Cloud Peak was among the coal producers who advocated remaining a party to the deal.” Full story.

NEW MEMBERS: Third Way, the centrist think tank, is adding a dozen Democrats as honorary co-chairs: Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Reps. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), Jim Himes (D-Conn.), Terri Sewell (D-Ala.), Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.), Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.), Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.), Brad Schneider(D-Ill.), Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) and Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.).

JOB MOVES:

— Advoc8 has hired Joe Greeley as director of production. He previously helped lead video production and graphic design at CRAFT Media/Digital.

— Quorum has added Ashton Barry to its business development team. She previously worked in business development and communications for the Cook Political Report.

— Jon Kevin Gossett has joined the National Trust for Historic Preservation as chief advancement officer, leading marketing, communications, public affairs, membership and philanthropy. He was previously senior vice president of external relations at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

— “Iram Ali, the White House liaison to the Department of Defense under President Barack Obama, has joined Amazon as the senior lead for” Defense Department public policy, per Morning Tech.

— Eliot Fishman, a senior official at the CMS, “will join consumer advocacy group Families USA as a senior director of health policy,” per POLITICO Pulse.

— Michael Kingsley is joining Forefront Communications Group as a senior vice president. He was previously a senior account supervisor at Intermarket Communications.

— Signal Group had a round of promotions. Mark Duffy, a senior manager, has been promoted to vice president. Clare ?ahin and Alicia Elkin, both managers, are now senior managers. Abel Vandegrift and Leighton Huch, both senior associates, are now managers. Diana Muggeridge and Tim Bialecki, both associates, are now senior associates. And Emily Winchatz, an executive assistant, is now office administrator.

SPOTTED: At the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation’s spring happy hour at Stanton & Greene last night, according to a PI tipster: Ashok Pinto of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee; Kelley Hudak of House Republican Whip Steve Scalise’s office; Scarlet Doyle of Sen. Dean Heller’s office; Kevin Casey of RepJoe Crowley’s office; Aruna Kalyanam of the House Ways and Means Committee; Troy Stock of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee; Shannon Sorensen of RepJason Chaffetz’s office; Tyler Grimm of Rep. Darrell Issa’s office, Jonathan Smith of Rep. Derek Kilmer’s office; Austin Carson of TechFreedomAlex Wirth of QuorumAndrew Mills of the Niskanen CenterNorberto Salinas of IntelFranck Journoud of OracleMike Castellano of DisneyErica Fox of ApplePatty Koch and Kyle Victor of VMware.

NEW PACs:
Arkansas Revolution: Super PAC, Unauthorized
Citizens For A Strong America Inc: Super PAC, Unauthorized
Fund For A Working Congress: Super PAC, Unauthorized
Govern Or Go Home: Super PAC, Unauthorized
Patriotic Americans PAC: Super PAC, Unauthorized
The Committee To Elect A Responsible Candidate: Super PAC, Unauthorized

NEW LOBBYING REGISTRATIONS:
American Capitol Group: City of Rancho Palos Verdes
American Capitol Group: MD Save
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP (formerly Arnold & Porter LLP): POSCO America Corporation
Cameron Krier Massey, Inc. DBA Scout GR: LIVESTRONG Foundation
Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP: College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists
Hogan Lovells US LLP: Insulet Corporation
Holland & Knight LLP: Pursuit Response
RR&G, LLC: Corporate Climate Alliance
Van Scoyoc Associates: Fabiani & Company (Roger Williams University)

NEW LOBBYING TERMINATIONS:
Cassidy & Associates, Inc.: Geos Institute
Ed Flynn Consulting: Valente & Associates
Peck Madigan Jones: Broward County Florida
The LIVESTRONG Foundation: The LIVESTRONG Foundation


By:  THEODORIC MEYER
Source: Politico