Former Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano have joined the Cuba Consortium, a group led by former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and former Sen. Nancy Kassebaum (R-Kan.) that works with companies looking to do business in Cuba as the island nation normalizes its relationship with the United States, Powermoves has learned exclusively.
Snowe and Napolitano are joined by former Johnson & Johnson Chairman William Weldon on the group’s advisory board. The consortium, launched in July, does not formally lobby but consults businesses interested in Cuba.
The group will likely receive financial backing from businesses and trade groups, Daschle said. Its board plans to hold its first meeting Thursday at the Metropolitan Club.
“Our role is to serve as a convener and bring experts to the table who can talk about every aspect of the transformation that’s taking place between Cuba and the United States,” Daschle said. “We’ve been very encouraged by the support we’ve received and the degree of interest there is across the board.”
Comings and goings
Nick Allard, a longtime partner at Patton Boggs and current dean of Brooklyn Law School, has joined the law firm Dentons. Allard will continue in his role as dean of the law school and serve as senior counsel in the public policy group at Dentons.
Former Rep. Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.) is teaming up with Rashid Hallaway — an aide to former Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) — and veteran lobbyist Rob Hobart to create their own firm: Hobart Hallaway & Quayle Ventures.
Brandon Becker, former director of the SEC’s division of market regulation, is returning to law firm WilmerHale, where he will represent brokerage firms.
Working for ‘the most hated man in America’: Martin Shkreli, the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals — which raised the price of the drug Daraprim 5000 percent overnight — has public relations and Washington lobbyists doing damage control for the company. Turing has tapped health care lobbyists at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney to help manage the company’s response to congressional inquiries by Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Elijah Cummings.
Industry, labor and environmental groups gear up to oppose TPP: Powerful interest groups are already lining up to oppose various provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership — the sweeping trade agreement reached Monday by the United States, Japan and 10 other Pacific Rim nations — in hopes they can sway enough wavering lawmakers to reject the deal. Among them are automakers, pharmaceutical companies, the tobacco industry and labor unions. Congress will take an up-or-down vote on the agreement but cannot filibuster or amend it.
Oil industry makes gains in repeal of U.S. oil export ban: Oil executives are making progress in their lobbying efforts to push Congress and the White House to repeal a 40-year-old export ban on crude oil, Eric Lipton reports in The New York Times. The House is expected to approve a measure reversing the ban in the coming weeks and two Senate committees have endorsed the idea. From the story: “The White House and Senate Democrats may still move to block it, but the fact that the legislation is even moving ahead in an era of extreme gridlock affirms the deep-pocketed oil industry’s durable power in nation’s capital.” As part of the lobbying campaign, the oil industry has financed organizations whose scholars have issued reports praising the proposal.
EU criticized for keeping tobacco lobby meetings under wraps: The European Union’s transparency watchdog has criticized the European Commission for failing to fully disclose details about its meetings with tobacco lobbyists, The Associated Press reports. European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly said Monday that the commission’s publicizing of the meetings was “inadequate, unreliable and unsatisfactory.” O’Reilly said the commission often only publicized information about the meetings after lawmakers requested the information. She recommended that the commission publish minutes of meetings with tobacco lobbyists and their legal representatives online.
New lobbying contracts
Texas Central Partners, a private company developing high-speed railways, has hired Harbinger Strategies to lobby on issues related to high-speed rail construction between Dallas and Houston.
HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology has hired FTI Government Affairs to lobby on appropriations bills, the Precision Medicine Initiative and developments related to electronic health records.
Kootenai Tribe of Idaho has hired Dentons to lobby on The Wildlife Disaster Funding Act; H.R. 167 & S. 235.
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. has hired Holland & Knight to lobby on the Labor Department’s conflict of interest rule.
Apollo Education Group, Inc. has hired Liberty Partners of Florida to lobby on higher education legislation and Department of Education higher education regulations.
Mt. Nebo Water Agency has hired Marcus Faust to lobby on water issues.
Electronic Payments Coalition has hired Lindbergh Counsel to lobby on issues related to electronic payments, interchange fees, chip technology, mobile technology and cyber data breaches.
U.S. Justice Action Network and sister organization Fix Forfeiture have hired Elmendorf Strategies to lobby on S. 2123, the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015.
PT Louis Dreyfus Commodities Indonesia has hired Federal Advocates to lobby on EPA issues related to palm oil methyl ester (PME) and registering specific biodiesel production plants in Indonesia.
Business Innovation and Development Solutions, Inc. has hired Williams & Jensen to lobby on state and foreign operations appropriations.
Center for Liquefied Natural Gas has hired Mustang Government Strategies to lobby on issues related to exporting liquefied natural gas.
Professional Golfers Association of America has hired Crossroads Strategies to lobby on EPA’s proposed Waters of the United States rule under the Clean Water Act, healthcare reform, comprehensive tax reform, the western drought and the Labor Department overtime rule.
The Metropolitan Authority of Harris County has hired Patton Boggs to lobby on issues related to transit funding reprogramming.
JPMorgan Chase has hired Shockey Scofield Solutions to lobby on issues related to banking and financial services.
National Association of Broadcasters has hired Hogan Lovells to lobby on policy issues related to unmanned aircraft systems.
Pearson Education, Inc. has hired Glover Park Group to lobby on education-related legislation and on tax issues.
Cintas Corp. has hired Patton Boggs to lobby on application of National Flood Insurance Program regulations of the Federal Emergency Management Administration.
National Telecommunications Cooperative Association has hired Arent Fox to lobby on policies related to the build-out of broadband in rural America.
AT&T has hired Valente & Associates to lobby on telecommunication issues.