Kate Ackley

Lobbyists Woo Potential Freshmen Long Before Election Day
Connections can help build a political inner circle, swell campaign coffers

Jason Kander, the Democratic challenger in Missouri’s Senate race, can already count some K Street lobbyists among his political confidants.  

That’s because lobbyists don’t wait until after Election Day to begin courting next year's freshman class. Influencers are already reaching out to prospective senators and House members, hosting fundraisers and meet-and-greets at which they can provide connections and help swell candidates' campaign coffers.  

Slight Thaw Seen in Lobbyist Donations to Trump
But Clinton still dominates in K Street cash

While most of the Republican establishment has embraced Donald Trump as its presidential nominee, K Street lobbyists have remained holdouts, no doubt stung by his populist fusillades against interest groups and their hired guns.  

In contrast to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who cultivated hundreds of donors from K Street during the first six months of 2016, Trump reported only nine — including former House Appropriations Chairman Bob Livingston  of Louisiana and ex-Rep. Henry Bonilla  of Texas, both Republicans.  

Lobbyists in the Game and at the Democratic National Convention
But many plan to keep a low profile

After a contentious Democratic primary season in which presumptive presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was accused of being too cozy with corporate interests, many such players will keep a low profile at the party’s national convention.  

Major business groups and financial institutions either played coy about their plans or said they were skipping the event altogether.  

Longtime U.S. Chamber Lobbyist Josten to Retire
Departure comes during cycle dominated by anti-business rhetoric

Bruce Josten, a presence for decades on Capitol Hill and K Street as the top lobbyist for the nation’s biggest business trade group, will retire from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at year’s end.  

“Bruce is a giant in our profession both in terms of his accomplishments on behalf of the business community and the mentorship he has provided to so many at the Chamber and across Washington,” Chamber President and CEO Thomas Donohue said in a written statement. “After 42 years of service to the Chamber, and 22 years leading our government affairs and policy divisions, it’s hard to imagine the chamber without him.”  

Kaine Provides Clinton Ticket With More Lobbying, Fundraising Ties
Virginia senator has deep ties to Democratic insiders and K Street

Hillary Clinton's selection of Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine as her running mate may gall some progressives. But Kaine brings to the campaign deep connections with Democratic insiders and fundraising on K Street.  

Kaine’s network of former aides and contacts say the ex-Virginia Democratic governor and one-time chairman of the Democratic National Committee is a policy wonk who studies issues, speaks without notes in English or Spanish, seeks out competing viewpoints and comes across as genuine on the fundraising circuit.  

Political Chaos May Keep K Street Busy During Congressional Lull
Clients pay to suss out uncertainty over spending, next administration

Most lobbyists loathe Donald Trump, but they may thank the Republican presidential nominee for helping them scare up business during Congress' extended hiatus.  

Battles over spending bills, an update to chemical regulatory laws and a measure to spur biomedical research helped fill K Street coffers during the first half of the year, according to recently filed lobbying reports.  

Trump Campaign Reports $20 Million Cash on Hand
Billionaire loaned his campaign some $45 million as of end of May

Donald Trump's presidential campaign disclosed Wednesday that it raised $26.7 million in June and had about $20 million cash on hand as of June 30, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.  

The Trump campaign reported spending $7.8 million during the month, including more than $200,000 on its law firm, Jones Day. The filing also revealed that the candidate forgave millions of dollars in loans he made to the campaign.  

Small Business Lobby to Tweet GOP Convention in Spanish
NFIB customarily takes conservative positions

The National Federation of Independent Business said it would tweet coverage of the Republican National Convention in Spanish for the first time ever, even as the party’s presumed nominee Donald Trump has made controversial statements about Mexican immigrants.  

“Hispanic-owned businesses are among the fastest growing groups of entrepreneurs and we want them to know that NFIB is there for them,” said NFIB president and CEO Juanita Duggan.  

Pence Could Link Anti-Establishment Campaign and Conservative Insiders
Governor's Washington network runs deep

With Gov. Mike Pence as Donald Trump's running mate, the billionaire's anti-establishment presidential campaign gains new ties to conservative organizations that may allay some of the angst that's developed among Republican insiders.

Pence, a Republican who served in the House from 2001 to 2013, beat out former Speaker Newt Gingrich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for the vice presidential slot, Trump announced Friday. Trump postponed until Saturday a Friday scheduled news conference to introduce his running mate in light of the "horrible attack" in Nice, France, that left dozens dead, according to a Trump tweet.

Boehner's Successor Taps Heritage Action Lobbyist as Top Aide
Conservative group hails expanding influence on Capitol Hill

Rep. Warren Davidson, a darling of conservative organizations who replaced former House Speaker John A. Boehner in Congress, has tapped a Heritage Action for America lobbyist as his top aide.  

Jason Yaworske, who was Heritage’s director of legislative initiatives, has joined the Ohio Republican’s office as chief of staff.  

Campaign Finance Watchdogs Decry McDonnell Corruption Ruling
Decision continues pattern of rolling back curbs on lobbyists, donors

Monday's Supreme Court decision to vacate former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell’s corruption verdict fits into a larger trend of relaxing federal rules for lobbyists and political donors. But some campaign finance and corruption experts say the fallout may not be far reaching.  

The unanimous opinion gave donors and lobbyists some sense of relief because if the court had held up McDonnell’s conviction, many feared it would have chilled the often cozy relationship between elected officials and those seeking to influence them.  

Gun Control Votes Become a Litmus Test for Political Giving
Stakes are high for candidates as Senate weighs amendments

As senators prepare to vote on divisive gun measures on Monday, lobbying organizations such as the National Rifle Association, as well as high-dollar K Street donors, have ratcheted up pressure campaigns on lawmakers.  

Senators will vote Monday on a proposal to prohibit firearms sales to people on terror watch lists, as part of a larger Commerce-Justice-Science spending bill. Other amendments would extend background checks on gun sales.  

Political Money Bill Gives Democrats Campaign Talking Points
Plan would repeal Citizens United, ban lobbying by former members

   

Senate Democrats unveiled a sweeping plan Thursday that would overhaul the nation’s campaign finance and lobbying laws, and provide election-year messaging for its sponsors.  

'Republicans for Hillary' PAC Aims for Disaffected GOP Donors
Group cites Donald Trump as a threat to national security

Mathematically affirmed as the Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton is getting help from across the partisan divide — in the form of a super PAC designed to trawl for donations from Republicans opposed to presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump.  

Republican lobbyist Craig Snyder, who started working on behalf of Clinton in May, filed statement of organization papers Friday with the Federal Election Commission for Republicans for Hillary 2016. The political action committee can accept unlimited sums for advertising, direct mailings, staff and other expenses but cannot coordinate directly with Clinton or her campaign.   

Boehner's Office Has Spent $100K Since Retirement
Former speaker keeps space on Hill, allowed by House protocol

Former Speaker John A. Boehner may be busy commenting on the state of politics while far away from Washington, but the Ohio Republican hasn’t completely closed up shop on Capitol Hill.  

The speaker’s post-retirement office spent nearly $100,000 from the time he left Congress last fall through the end of March, according to data from the Chief Administrative Officer of the House .  

A Dangerous Gig: Working for Paul Manafort
Lobbyist memoir recounts far-flung stories

K. Riva Levinson, a new lobbyist traveling on a rickety Kenya Airways 707 to war-ravaged Mogadishu, was poised to ink a contract with a potential client — “a murderous dictator,” she recalls — named Siad Barre.   

The man who sent her: Paul Manafort, her then-boss, who is now Donald Trump campaign’s chairman and chief strategist.  

Wall Street Eyes Dodd-Frank Changes in Spending Bill
House draft legislation would undercut financial regulatory law

A spending bill that funds watchdog agencies overseeing Wall Street will offer lawmakers one of their last opportunities to undercut President Barack Obama’s signature financial overhaul before the November elections.  

Financial interests are pushing for big changes, championed mostly by Republicans, to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in the $21.7 billion House Financial Services draft appropriations bill . The debate will also give Democrats a chance to rail against big financial firms and reinforce a popular campaign trail refrain.

Lobbyist Donations Surge, Despite Anti-Establishment Rhetoric
K Street's top donors remain favored targets for candidates

An election year filled with anti-K Street rhetoric hasn't stopped candidates up and down the ballot from pressuring prominent Washington lobbyists to pony up record sums of political cash.  

Lobbyists may well give more in 2016 than they did in previous cycles. The 2014 Supreme Court ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission did away with an aggregate limit on donations to candidates for federal office. And with control of the Senate in play, it's increasingly difficult for lobbyists from both parties to resist fundraising pleas.  

Trump, RNC Strike Deals on Fundraising
Donors could give up to $449,400 to two joint committees

Details on how Donald Trump's presidential campaign plans to collaborate on fundraising with national and state Republican Party committees are emerging. But the arrangement may leave some battleground states out of the loop.  

The presumptive GOP nominee's  presidential campaign and the Republican National Committee have inked deals that will allow political donors to contribute an aggregate of $449,400 to the Trump Victory and the Trump Make America Great Again committees.  

Trump Supporter Hits 'Republicans for Hillary' Effort
Email cites 'War on Women' to counter GOP campaign to back Clinton

A day after his ex-business partner rallied Republicans to support Hillary Clinton's bid for the White House, Donald Trump supporter Roger Stone took a swipe at the Democratic front-runner .  

Craig Snyder, a Republican lobbyist with Ikon Public Affairs, Stone’s former firm, began working to gin up support for a “Republicans for Hillary” campaign this week via email.