Unions are among the hundreds of groups on both sides of the trade debate that are squeezing in last-minute lobbying efforts to reach members ahead of tomorrow’s vote.
For the AFL-CIO, it caps an intense three months of campaigning. Since March, union members and its allies organized more than 650 events and sent thousands of workers to Washington to rally and lobby Congress. Unions have made more than 161,000 phone calls and sent 20,000 letters to members of Congress urging them to oppose fast track, an AFL-CIO spokesman said. In recent weeks, they unveiled ads criticizing Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY) and Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.) for backing TPA.
The union helped organize three rallies and press conferences taking place today in San Diego, Massachusetts and Colorado.
On the other side, the Trade Benefits America coalition — run by Business Roundtable, with the help of Hamilton Place Strategies — is wrapping up an aggressive lobbying push of its own. In the last 12 days, the coalition of 280 companies and trade groups made 26,000 calls to members — 4,500 of them yesterday alone — and urging undecided members to support TPA. Since February, the coalition has placed 170 opinion pieces in national and local news outlets and spent more than $2 million in cable and radio advertising.
Comings and goings
—Valerie Plame, the former covert CIA operative whose identity was revealed by the Bush administration, has joined the advisory board of cyber-defense company Global Data Sentinel, which provides cyber-security defense services for companies. “Joining GDS enables me to become part of the team working effectively in the battle against cyber-crime,” Plame said in a statement.
–Phil Gordon, most recently the National Security Council’s White House Coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf Region, has joined Albright Stonebridge Group, the advisory firm chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
–Lisa Ellman, a former adviser to Obama on commercial drone policy, has joined the law firm Hogan Lovells, where she is co-leading the firm’s unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) practice. Ellmer was previously at law firm McKenna Long & Aldridge.
–Mark Rotenberg, vice president and general counsel of Johns Hopkins University, will join WilmerHale as part of the law firm’s higher education practice.
Following the money
A fundraiser for Rep. Anna Eshoo’s (D-Calif.) Peninsula PAC, will be held in Washington today. The wine and cheese reception is co-hosted by head of government affairs for T-Mobile (PAC Host $1,500/Individual host $1,000/Individual sponsor $500/Individual guest $250).
—Ex-Im Bank lobbying translates into K Street cash: In its push to re-authorize the Export-Import bank — whose charter expires June 30 — the National Association of Manufacturers hired former House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt, former RNC Chairman Haley Barbour, and paired up with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for a letter-writing and public relations campaign. “This has been an all-of-organization type of effort,” said NAM lobbyist Linda Dempsey. On the other side, Delta Airlines, the leading corporate voice opposing the bank, has hired heavy-hitters as well, including Steve Elmendorf and Kirk Blalock. Firms are making hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process.
–Business community prepares to fight financial adviser rule: The Chamber and financial institutions are lobbying against the Obama administration’s proposed rule that would change disclosure requirements for financial advisers, The Hill reports. The so-called “fiduciary standards” rule, which is being implemented by the Labor Department, would require financial advisers who handle retirement accounts to put clients’ interests ahead of their own, with the aim of preventing Americans from losing money in hidden fees and other payments to brokers. DOL is seeking comment on the rule and a hearing is expected in August.
New lobbying contracts
The American Hotel & Lodging Association has hired Bloom Strategic Counsel to lobby
on issues affecting consumer choice, market dynamics and diversity in the hotel industry. Lobbyist Seth Bloom is listed on the registration.
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