With Daniel Lippman
PATRIOTIC MILLIONAIRES THREATEN RETALIATION AGAINST MODERATE DEMS: The group of millionaires that lobbies state and federal lawmakers to raise their taxes is delivering a warning shot to Democrats in Congress looking to slash the price tag of their reconciliation package — and potentially shying away from more taxes on the wealthy in the process.
— In a letter to the top House Democratic tax writer, Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal, Patriotic Millionaires’ board chair Morris Pearl and founder and president Erica Payne complained about rumblings they’ve heard “that the negotiations in the House around President Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda are moving in exactly the wrong direction.” Axios reported earlier this week that West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin, a key vote in the Senate, only backs between $1 trillion and $1.5 trillion of President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion package of social spending and climate investments. The plan would be funded by tax code changes closing various loopholes, and by forcing the wealthy and corporations to pay more in taxes.
— “We believe that if Democrats do not make people like us pay our fair share, they will pay at the ballot box,” the group wrote, noting that today’s letter is the second such missive to Neal just this week as a reflection of their urgency. In the earlier letter, they argued that “no part of the Back Better Agenda should be scuttled in order to preserve special treatment for the rich in the tax code.” They added that they hope Neal’s committee, which is charged with coming up with funding mechanisms for Biden’s plan, will be the “adults in the room” and “fully fund the President’s $3.5 trillion package in its entirety … by taxing millionaires like us.”
— The letter closed with a threat to lawmakers calling for scaling back the bill’s tax provisions. “To be clear, the Patriotic Millionaires will not support Democrats who will not support the President, and we will actively recruit other high net worth Americans to do the same,” they wrote. “We will be motivating our members, as well as the much broader donor community to recognize the folly” of members looking to decrease the size of the bill, Payne told PI.
— The group, which comprises hundreds of wealthy investors and business leaders including Disney heiress Abigail Disney, Lawrence Benenson of Benenson Capital Partners, textile entrepreneur James Richman and Men’s Wearhouse founder George Zimmer, plans to take its fight to lawmakers personally over the next few weeks, Payne said, as the group will kick off a campaign to meet with every Democratic member of Congress beginning next week.
Happy Friday and welcome to PI. Send lobbying tips: [email protected]. And be sure to follow me on Twitter: @caitlinoprysko.
BEHRENS TO LEAD GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS AT KRAFT HEINZ: Bill Behrens has departed GE after more than a decade to run global government affairs at Kraft Heinz. In an interview, Behrens, who previously headed up GE’s federal government affairs team, said that he is eager to take on a portfolio at Kraft Heinz that includes state and international public policy issues. Behrens will replace Abby Blunt, who’s been with the company for two decades and is moving to a part-time position as adviser for government and ESG affairs and adviser to the board.
FARA FRIDAY: A pair of Libyan political hopefuls have signed on new representation in Washington ahead of the country’s December elections, new Justice Department filings show. Khalifa Haftar, the Russia-backed militia leader widely expected to run for president there, inked a six-month contract at the end of August with former Bill Clinton aide Lanny Davis and former Rep. Bob Livingston worth nearly $1 million to help Haftar connect with policymakers in the U.S. ahead of the vote. “Our lobbying mission, as summarized in our FARA filing, is limited to expressing Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s support of free and fair, UN-supervised elections on December 24 – to facilitate a peaceful, stable, unified, democratic Libya, under the rule of law,” Davis said in a statement to POLITICO’s Hailey Fuchs.
— Davis and Livingston, along with Rawlings International Advisory Group, will “use best efforts” to arrange meetings for Haftar with U.S. officials including those in the White House, State Department, on key congressional committees, at think tanks like the Center for American Progress and with other tastemakers, according to a copy of the contract filed at DOJ. Haftar launched an attack in 2019 against Libya’s United Nations-backed government, a military offensive that former President Donald Trump unexpectedly endorsed, contradicting his own secretary of State.
— Another presidential hopeful, former Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha, found new representation in Washington with BGR Group after an earlier contract with former Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck was abruptly terminated. BGR’s Jeffrey Birnbaum, Jo Maney, Lester Munson and Maya Seiden will work on the account, worth $50,000 per month for six months, according to DOJ filings. BGR will provide Bashaghi with government relations and PR services and engage U.S. stakeholders, the filings say.
K STREETERS REFLECT ON 9/11, 20 YEARS LATER: Several prominent faces on K Street are recalling their experiences during and after the terrorist attacks on 9/11 as the country prepares to mark the 20th anniversary of the attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. “Tom Daschle was the [Senate] majority leader at that point,” former Sen. Trent Lott, now a lobbyist at Crossroads Strategies, told POLITICO’s Bryan Bender and Daniel Lippman. “I was the Republican leader. I called him on our red phone and said ‘Tom, I think we’re the next target. I think you should order the evacuation of the Capitol.’ About that time my security detail kind of came charging in the door and said ‘We gotta get out of here.’”
— Daschle, who runs his own lobbying firm these days, said that for his part “I was sitting in my office with John Glenn,” the late astronaut and senator from Ohio. “The first plane hit the World Trade Center and ‘I said, look at that, a plane crashed.’ He said, ‘I can guarantee you that was no pilot.’ I’ll never forget that was the first comment. And he was right.” Lott and Daschle expressed regrets about policies they shepherded through the chamber in the immediate aftermath — for Lott, one regret was that he “didn’t raise enough questions about the intelligence” touted by the Bush administration surrounding alleged weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, while Daschle wished that lawmakers “would have been more deliberative on the Patriot Act and the authorization of the use of military force in Iraq.”
— “We heard the plane hit the Pentagon,” Stewart Verdery, who now runs Monument Advocacy but who at the time was general counsel to Senate GOP Whip Don Nickles, told Roll Call’s Kate Ackley. “It sounded like a very muffled, weird, strange muffled explosion. It wasn’t obvious what it was at first, but you could hear it.”
— Verdery had returned to work that day after being off to care for his sick newborn and left the Capitol after the attacks amid fears that the building could become the next target. “But he soon went back downtown, as Nickles took meetings with Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III. That evening, lawmakers gathered on the Capitol steps to sing ‘God Bless America’ in a show of bipartisanship. ‘I remember being there,’ he said. ‘It was very moving. It’s hard to imagine that even happening now.’”
— “In the months after that, Verdery recalls a crush of legislative wrangling — federal funding measures, an airline industry rescue, the Patriot Act — all focused on the aftermath of 9/11. ‘It was just frantic the next several months,’ he said.” Verdery later was nominated and confirmed to a position at the Department of Homeland Security, the agency created in the wake of the attacks, as assistant secretary for border and transportation security.
WATERS BILL TO SPEED RENTAL AID MEETS LANDLORD OPPOSITION: “A bill by House Financial Services Chair Maxine Waters to expedite the distribution of federal rental assistance is running into opposition from housing industry groups over a provision that would impose new eviction restrictions on landlords,” POLITICO’s Katy O’Donnell reports.
— “The California Democrat’s proposal would try to accelerate the delivery of $46.5 billion in rental support by letting landlords apply for funds on behalf of their tenants even if the renters don’t consent. In return for accessing aid without a tenant’s signature, landlords would not be able to evict them for 120 days. Lobbyists for landlords — fresh off a successful legal effort that ended the federal eviction moratorium — are opposing the bill because of the proposed eviction prohibition. Industry insiders warn it could backfire by driving down landlord participation in the languishing aid program.”
— “If we want the landlords to use the program, we can’t tell them that you may have to eat four more months of rent as a part of the bargain,” David Dworkin, president and CEO of the National Housing Conference, told Katy. “Very few of them are going to agree to do that.” He added that lawmakers “have one shot to get this right in legislation. … We’ve learned a lot in the last seven months. But we’re not going to get another chance to get it right, and we have to listen to the people who own the apartments if we’re going to depend on them to apply for the aid.”
— The Association for Accessible Medicines has hired Polly Webster as vice president of federal affairs and Scott Kuzner as senior director of sciences and regulatory affairs. Webster was most recently principal policy adviser for government relations at Kaiser Permanente, and is a Diana DeGette and Jay Rockfeller alum. Kuzner was most recently director of the board and convention operations at the United States Pharmacopeial Convention.
— Energizer has hired Allyson Azar to oversee state government affairs. She is an alum of U.S. Bank and the Household & Commercial Products Association.
— Digital Therapeutics Alliance named Andy Molnar chief executive officer. He most recently served as the vice president of market access and government affairs for Cognoa.
— The PhRMA Foundation selected Amy Miller as its next president. She succeeds outgoing President Eileen Cannon, who is retiring after 22 years. Miller was most recently the president and chief executive officer of the Society for Women’s Health Research.
— Stephanie Hamilton is now government relations specialist and senior program officer at the American Association of University Professors. She previously was government relations and advocacy manager at the National Society of Professional Engineers.
— Phyllis Dickerson will be CEO of the African American Mayors Association. She currently is president and CEO of Red Ink and is a Bloomberg 2020 alum.
— Anna Kain is now manager for federal affairs at Verizon. She most recently was assistant vice president for government affairs at Synchrony.
— Jennifer Taylor Hodges will join Mozilla Corp. as head of U.S. policy. She was previously vice president of U.S. government affairs at British Telecom.
Americans for BBQ 2022 (Reps. Richard Hudson, Tracey Mann, Pete Sessions)
Florida Progress (Super PAC)
Rising Action USA (Hybrid PAC)
Rural Democrats of America Coalition (PAC)
Rural Dems of America Coalition (PAC)
Virgin Orbit, LLC Political Action Committee (PAC)
Volansi, Inc. Employees’ Political Action Committee (VolyPAC) (PAC)
The Wilderness Society Action Fund Political Action Committee (PAC)
535 Group, LLC: Huntsville Hospital Health System
535 Group, LLC: Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation
Alpha Strategies, LLC: Aerovanti Air Club
Avenue Solutions: Ginger.Io, Inc.
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, Pc: Patient First
Ezra Silk: U.S. High Speed Rail Association
Federal Hall Policy Advisors, LLC: National Rental Home Council
Foley & Lardner LLP: San Diego County Water Authority
Greenberg Traurig, LLP: Progressive Leasing
Holland & Knight LLP: Charter Schools USa
Invariant LLC: American Chemistry Council
John Ladd & Associates, Inc.: Benedict College
Kelley Drye & Warren LLP: Swampland Resources, LLC
Klein/Johnson Group: Play Sports Coalition
Leavitt Partners, LLC: â€‹Zero To Three: National Center For Infants, Toddlers, And Families
Marshall & Popp, LLC: Butterfly Network, Inc.
Marshall & Popp, LLC: Entertainment Software Association
Marshall & Popp, LLC: Google Client Services LLC
Mcguirewoods Consulting (A Subsidiary Of Mcguirewoods LLP): Forsyth County
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP: American Chiropractic Association
Smith Dawson & Andrews: St. Clair County
The Ferguson Group: North Unit Irrigation District
The Jerry Costello Group, LLC: Smith Dawson & Andrews (Obo St. Clair County)
The Joseph Group, LLC: Ark Multicasting
The Joseph Group, LLC: Holistic Industries
Alpha Strategies, LLC: Ams Onsite
Alpha Strategies, LLC: Firearms Regulatory Accountability Coalition, Inc. – Frac