With Daniel Lippman and Theodoric Meyer
PLAYERS IN TRADE SHOW INDUSTRY FORM ADVOCACY GROUP: As the country begins to grapple with what a new post-pandemic normal might look like, and when that return to normalcy can begin, trade groups representing all aspects of the business events industry have banded together to form a new advocacy coalition to push for policies to facilitate the safe return of trade shows and conferences.
— The Exhibitions and Conferences Alliance is made up of organizations representing exhibitor contractors to conventions and visitors bureaus to venue managers, show organizers and the existing groups Go LIVE Together and Exhibitions Mean Business, aimed at supporting what was a nearly $400 billion industry that supported 2.8 million jobs in 2019, according to the alliance.
— “There’s so much commerce that gets transacted at those events, and on the show floors,” said Tommy Goodwin, the coalition’s new vice president for government affairs. “We hear from particularly small businesses all the time that without these shows, they’re really losing a really valuable channel that allows them to to, you know, meet these customers,” and can’t be easily replicated in a virtual setting.
— Goodwin said in an interview that ECA is engaging with both the Biden administration and members of Congress in order to sound out the coalition’s priorities, which include cleaning credits to “help ease the burden of all the increased cleaning, disinfecting, PPE, testing and tracing.”
— The industry also wants incentives such as tax credits to get both attendees and exhibitors back in the door at live events, forgiveness on interest for economic injury disaster loans or aid like that extended to entertainment venues in the last relief bill, liability protections, and communicable disease or pandemic risk coverage as part of cancellation insurance, some of which would be addressed in previously introduced bills like the STEP Act and RESTART Act.
AFP GOES ON THE AIR AGAINST RELIEF BILL: Americans for Prosperity is mobilizing against President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief bill, launching a six-figure ad campaign to target 13 senators as the package works its way through the House this week. The multiplatform campaign seeks to pressure Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Angus King (I-Maine), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) with mailers, digital and radio ads casting the relief package as a “partisan wish list that won’t help us recover” rather than targeted relief, and urging the lawmakers to reject what the Koch-backed group calls a bailout.
— The ad buy comes on the heels of a joint op-ed from AFP President Tim Phillips and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) last week blasting the president for pursuing a bill that won’t require GOP votes (if all Senate Democrats band together) while arguing that not all of the money from past packages has yet to be spent.
LONGTIME HISPANIC CAUCUS AIDE HEADS DOWNTOWN: Jose Borjon has left Capitol Hill, where he has been a top aide to a number of members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, to become a senior policy adviser at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. Borjon has been on the Hill for more than a decade, most recently spending four years as chief of staff to Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas). He also counts Rep. Filemón Vela (D-Texas) and former Reps. Silvestre Reyes and Solomon Ortiz as past bosses, and a press release announcing his hiring has glowing reviews from other CHC members like Chair Raul Ruiz of California, Reps. Sylvia Garcia of Texas and Tony Cárdenas of California as well as Vela. He told PI in an interview that he is leaving the Hill now because he was ready for a change and a different way to use the skills he’s developed. He will register to lobby and will focus on issues at the border, trade, and energy.
HOW K STREET IS VIEWING THE POTENTIAL EARMARK REVIVAL: “The likely return of member-directed federal spending has sent cautious jubilation down K Street,” Roll Call’s Kate Ackley reports. The potential return of the congressional earmarks, but with guardrails aimed at narrowing the practice and increasing transparency, has lobbyists “eyeing new business opportunities” even if “they’re not expecting it to be a return to K Street’s high-flying days of yore, when lobbyists built empires out of the business of securing earmarks for clients.
— “[L]obbyists say even limited earmarks for nonprofits could spur new public-private partnerships, with businesses queuing up to collaborate on future projects. ‘For advocacy in general, it’s going to be a positive, another avenue of advocacy for our clients and another potential way for helping clients meet their needs and working with lawmakers and working on projects in their districts and states, on bills that are must-pass bills,’ said Ed Pagano, a lobbying partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and a former congressional and administration aide.”
ANNALS OF FUNDRAISING: Donald Trump is beginning to reemerge for the first time since his departure from the White House last month and following his acquittal in his second impeachment trial, confirming his attendance at the RNC’s spring donor retreat, per POLITICO’s Alex Isenstadt. The private retreat is set to take place in Palm Beach, Fla., in April and is slated to feature several would-be contenders for the 2024 GOP nomination, “a group that includes Trump, who has told aides in recent days that he’s interested in waging a comeback bid.” The GOP donor retreats “are a prime stop for future presidential candidates, who use the events to establish relationships with major contributors.”
— The former president is also granting the use of his Mar-a-Lago resort next week for a fundraiser for likely 2024 hopeful and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem that will officially be hosted by Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle, according to our Daniel Lippman.
— Digital firm IMGE has announced four new promotions: Courtney Weaver is now vice president of political accounts, Mike Chenderlin is now vice president of corporate accounts, Emily Karrs is now creative director, and James Desio is now an account manager.
— Strategic Marketing Innovations has hired Bryan Maxwell as a vice president. He was previously a senior defense policy adviser and military legislative assistant to Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.). He plans to register as a lobbyist, according to the firm.
— Delta Air Lines has hired Melissa Alvarado as a director of government affairs. She was previously on the Democratic staff of the House Homeland Security Committee, where she worked on aviation, maritime and transportation security policy. She plans to register as a lobbyist.
— John Northington Jr. will join HBW Resources as director of federal affairs, the firm’s fourth new hire this year. Northington is an Obama alum, serving as special adviser to the director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.
— Avery Rose Royster has joined Mercury Public Affairs as a director in their D.C. office. She most recently was deputy press secretary for Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).
CORNYN VICTORY COMMITTEE (Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), NRSC)
CHAMPION AMERICAN VALUES (Hybrid PAC)
Consent Of The Governed PAC (PAC)
DexCom, Inc. Political Action Committee (Dexcom PAC) (PAC)
Electorate Integrity PAC (PAC)
Elect Progressive Women (PAC)
New Leadership Florida (PAC)
Shield PAC (Super PAC)
Take Back TX-06 Republican Nominee Fund 2022 (PAC)
Atlantic Strategies Group: Brookwood Companies Inc.
Atlantic Strategies Group: Motorolla Solutions Inc.
Atlantic Strategies Group: The Nature Conservancy
Bloom Strategic Counsel: Apple Inc.
Capitol Counsel, LLC: Emd Serono, Inc.
Chesapeake Enterprises: Hillwood Investments
Common Sense Media: Common Sense Media
Ctf Global LLC (Formerly Filing As The Grossman Group, LLC): Systematic Inc.
Jeff Miller Group: Mcdermott+ Consulting LLC On Behalf Of Abbott Diabetes Care
Keefe Singiser Partners: Agile Therapeutics
Keefe Singiser Partners: American Civil Liberties Union
O’Neill And Associates: Town Of Saugus
Peck Madigan Jones: Agios Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, LLP: Curyung
Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, LLP: Manzanita Band Of Diegueno Mission Indians
Spinlaunch, Inc.: Spinlaunch, Inc.
Symetra Life Insurance Company: Symetra Life Insurance Company
Ward And Smith, P.A.: Bell Legal Group
Legacy International: Legacy International
Mercury Public Affairs, LLC: Ablv Bank As In Liquidation
Mercury Public Affairs, LLC: City Of Hawaiian Gardens
Mercury Public Affairs, LLC: City Of Huntington Park, Ca
Mercury Public Affairs, LLC: Daniel Lu
Mercury Public Affairs, LLC: Omnia Group
Turnberry Solutions, LLC: Hicham Chahine