Today’s mood: Tense. All eyes are on talks between pro-trade Democrats and House Republican leaders on how to bring back the trade bill that failed in the House on Friday. Those talks — which center on a procedural plan to use a different legislative vehicle to pass the worker retraining program (TAA) that was blocked by House Democrats last week — could result in a vote on fast-track authority as a standalone bill this week.

Comings and goings

Former Office of Management and Budget (OMB) associate director Donald Dempsey has left Breakaway Policy Strategies to join the public policy group at law firm K&L Gates. While at OMB, Dempsey managed the agency’s budgetary oversight of the departments of Health and Human Services, Education, Labor and parts of Agriculture and the Social Security Administration, including federal Medicare and Medicaid programs.

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Former Clinton aide Mark Penn is leaving his post as an executive vice president at Microsoft to start an investment fund. Penn’s fund, Stagwell Group, will invest in digital marketing services, the Wall Street Journal reports. Penn was Hillary Clinton‘s chief strategist for the 2008 presidential election and a pollster for President Bill Clinton. Prior to joining Microsoft, he was the chief executive of PR firm Burson-Marsteller. Stagwell Group has already raised $250 million in funding, including from former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer.

Following the money

McGuireWoods PAC and former Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) are hosting a reception for Hillary for America this evening in Washington titled “A Conversation with John Podesta,” who serves as Clinton’s campaign chair (Contribution information: $500/$1,000/$2,700).

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DNC chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s (D-Fla.) Democrats Win Seats PAC is holding a dinner at Acqua Al 2 in Washington this evening (Contribution information: $5,000/$2,500/$1,000/$500).

Rep. Dan Lipinski’s (D-Ill.) Lipinski for Congress Committee is hosting the Taste of Chicago dinner reception this evening at the Billy Goat Tavern in Washington (Contribution information: $2,500/$1,000/$500).

Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.)’s Scott Peters for Congress is holding an event at tonight’s Washington Nationals vs. Tampa Bay Rays game at Nationals Park (Contribution information: $1,000/$500).

Rep. Susan DelBene (D-Wash.)’s DelBene for Congress is hosting a dinner this evening at Rasika in Washington. (Contribution information: $5,000/$2,500/$1,000/$500).

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Headlines

The rise of the lobbying coalition: A powerful coalition of labor and environmental groups known as the Coalition to Stop Fast Track was one of the most influential players in bringing down fast-track trade legislation last week. Its creation, and clout, highlight how many of Washington’s biggest legislative and regulatory battles are now fought — via coalitions of the like-minded, at least on issues of convenience. These coalitions also serve as lucrative vehicles for K Street to do business.

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Brownstein on getting his start in Washington: Norm Brownstein, a founding partner of law and lobby firm Brownstein Hyatt, talks to the Wall Street Journal about how he turned a small Denver law firm into a booming D.C. lobby shop. He got his start in lobbying working on pro-Israel issues. “I knew I would be competing with the D.C. establishment, and I said that’s okay. We started with three people, a couple of clients…I don’t think they paid much attention to us when we first started [in Washington.]”

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New lobbying contracts

Florida Keys Community College has hired Venable to lobby on workforce training legislation. Lobbyist Thomas Downs is listed on the registration.

Honeywell International on behalf of Advanced Turbine Engine Company has hired Cornerstone Government Affairs to lobby on issues related to the Improved Turbine Engine Program. Lobbyists Joseph Barton, Michael Higdon, John Keast, John Leggieri and James Richards are listed on the registration.

Artificial turf manufacturers Spinturf and Textile Management Associates have hired Van Fleet & Associates to lobby on health issues involving synthetic turf infill. Lobbyists Paul Payette, Walt Sanders and Townsend Van Fleet are listed on the registration.

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