On K Street
Manchinema become K Street darlings
Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) are raking it in from K Street.
The two moderates, whose votes Democrats need to pass the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill, together raised more than more $400,000 from lobbyists, others in the influence industry and corporate and trade group PACs in the third quarter of this year, according to an Early analysis of new Federal Election Commission reports.
Neither senator is up for reelection until 2024, but both posted strong fundraising numbers — with cash from K Street and corporate and trade group PACs making up a significant chunk of the money.
By the numbers
Manchin raised nearly $1.6 million from July 1 to Sept. 30 — nearly as much as in the third quarter of 2018, as he was locked in one of the most competitive Senate races in the country, adjusted for inflation. (The total doesn’t include the more than $200,000 Manchin’s leadership PAC raised in July and August; the PAC’s report covering September, the final month of the quarter, isn’t due until Wednesday.)
About $278,000 — 17 percent of the total — came from 87 corporate and trade groups as well as 19 lobbyists and former Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.). Israel isn’t registered to lobby but serves as a senior counsel at the lobbying firm Michael Best Strategies.
Sinema brought in $1.1 million, including more than $125,000 — about 11 percent — from corporate and trade group PACs, lobbyists and others in the influence industry.
More than 30 lobbyists gave to Sinema’s campaign, along with a handful of others who work in the influence industry but aren’t registered to lobby, such as Debra DeShong, the executive vice president of public affairs for Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.
“I like her style, I like what she stands for, and I like that she has earned the respect of her peers,” Nathan Daschle, a Democratic lobbyist who gave $1,000 to Sinema’s campaign in July, wrote in an email to The Early. (Daschle's father, former senator Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), who works with his son at the Daschle Group, wrote Sinema a check on the same day.)
While Manchin and Sinema's fundraising numbers are impressive, they pale in comparison to the amounts raised by the Democratic senators facing the toughest reelection races next year, including Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), who raised $9.5 million in the third quarter, and Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), who raised $8.2 million. Notably, neither Warnock nor Kelly take corporate PAC money.
Big pharma and energy
The $400,000 Manchin and Sinema raised from K Street doesn’t fully capture the extent of their support from powerful industries — including sectors that see Manchin and Sinema as two of their best hopes for keeping programs they loathe out of President Biden's social spending bill.
Sinema and a handful of other Democratic lawmakers have voiced concerns about the party’s efforts to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies — which the industry has lobbied furiously to kill. And Manchin, he Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee chair, has opposed one of the bill's most ambitious programs to cut carbon emissions, aligning him with fossil fuel interests.
The chief executives of the pharmaceutical companies Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Genentech, Gilead and Merck all gave to Sinema’s campaign in the third quarter, contributing a total of $16,000. Three of them appear to have written checks on the same day; none of them had given to her before.
And nearly 30 employees of a single Texas oil-and-gas company, Enterprise Products Partners, wrote checks to Manchin’s campaign in the third quarter. The company’s PAC also gave to Manchin, as did three lobbyists representing the company in Washington: former senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Rick Agnew of Van Ness Feldman and James Dennis of Rock Creek Counsel.
“I have supported Sen Manchin since his election to the Senate and believe that his understanding about transitioning to a lower carbon future while retaining and growing high paying jobs in the US is exactly the kind of leadership we need in Washington,” Landrieu, who gave $1,000 to Manchin's campaign in July, said in a statement to The Early.
The campaign contributions from Enterprise's PAC and employees were supplemented by checks to Manchin’s leadership PAC, Country Roads PAC.
Two Enterprise Products executives, the vice chairman of the company’s board and the company’s PAC each gave $5,000 to Country Roads PAC over the summer. Altogether, Enterprise Products employees, its PAC and lobbyists that represent the company gave Manchin’s campaign and leadership PAC more than $113,000 over three months.
The company is far from unique in the oil-and-gas industry in supporting Manchin, though. Each of the 13 individual donors who gave to Manchin’s leadership PAC in July listed a Texas or Oklahoma address.
On the Hill
Coming to a Capitol Hill near you: The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack will convene when the House returns this week to formally move to hold Steve Bannon in contempt.
Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) said the panel will meet Tuesday evening to vote to adopt a contempt report after Bannon refused to comply with the panel's subpoena.
What does that mean for Bannon?: “A successful prosecution for contempt, which is classified as a misdemeanor, could lead to Bannon facing a fine of up to $100,000 and a one-year sentence in federal prison … But some legal experts expressed skepticism that the committee’s use of criminal contempt charges will help it secure more cooperation from reluctant witnesses or speed up its investigation, noting a prosecution could take years. They also said Bannon could be acquitted,” Jackie, Tom Hamburger and Mariana Alfaro report.
ICYMI over the weekend: “A wealthy Trump donor who helped finance the rally in Washington on Jan. 6 also gave $150,000 to the nonprofit arm of the Republican Attorneys General Association, records show, funds that a person familiar with the contribution said were intended in part to promote the rally. The nonprofit organization paid for a robocall touting a march that afternoon to the U.S. Capitol to ‘call on Congress to stop the steal,’” Beth Reinhard, Jackie, and Tom, who are following the Jan. 6 money trail, reported.
Next steps? A Republican on the committee, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), did not rule out issuing a subpoena to Trump.
“I don't know. I think if I had that answer now, I'd probably go in, you know, and not be able to see all the pieces,” Kinzinger told CNN's Jake Tapper on when asked if the committee could thoroughly investigate Jan. 6 without subpoenaing the former president. “If we subpoena all of a sudden the former president, we know that's going to become kind of a circus so that's not necessarily something we want to do up front. But if he has pieces of information we need, we certainly will.”
In the agencies
The Nightmare before Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s: “Twenty-one months after the country’s first confirmed case of the coronavirus, the U.S. economy remains rocked by conflicting forces, with businesses and households struggling to adjust to what many hoped would be a temporary disruption,” our colleagues Alyssa Fowers, Rachel Siegel and Andrew Van Dam reported over the weekend.
- Stuck. Supply chain bottlenecks have left cargo ships and the goods they carry stranded outside of U.S. ports. There were 73 ships waiting to dock and unload their cargo at the Port of Los Angeles on Sept. 19. While some ships are able to dock and unload, their imports “end up stranded in U.S. ports as trucking companies struggle to hire and rail yards suffer their own backlogs,” our colleagues write.
- And these logjams are expected to continue in 2022, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg predicted Sunday. “Certainly a lot of the challenges that we’ve been experiencing this year will continue into next year,” Buttigieg told CNN’s Tapper. “Now the issue is, even though our ports are handling more than they ever have — record amounts of goods coming through — our supply chains can’t keep up.”
What we’re reading:
- At Axel Springer, Politico’s new owner, allegations of sex, lies and a secret payment. By the New York Times’s Ben Smith.
- Ahmaud Arbury's killing changed his Georgia community. Now three men will stand trial for murder. By The Post's Margaret Coker and Hannah Knowles.
- Are Virginia’s Black voters energized or tired? McAuliffe brings in the big guns to motivate a crucial Democratic constituency. By The Post’s Gregory S. Schneider.
- As some Black staff members leave Congress, those who remain call for change. By the Times’s Aishvarya Kavi.
Hope this doesn't derail your Monday: