The Obama administration may not be outwardly keen on lobbyists, but plenty of K Streeters showed up to fete the start of the president’s second term at the Ford Motor Co. inaugural gala on Monday.
Ford’s chief global lobbyist, Ziad Ojakli, worked the bipartisan gala, held at the cavernous Smithsonian Air and Space Museum amid antique planes and retired space capsules.
Among those spotted were members and ex-members from Ford’s home state of Michigan, including retired Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak, who counts the Entertainment Software Association and the Apache Gaming Board among his clients at Venable LLP; Democratic Rep. John D. Dingell and his wife, Debbie, the president of D2 Strategies and chairwoman of the manufacturing initiative of the American Automotive Policy Council; David Hantman, the lone lobbyist for Airbnb and his wife, Jamie Brown Hantman, the president of JBH Group.
Our spies also spotted Mitch Bainwol, the former head of the Recording Industry Association of America who now runs the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers; Steve Elmendorf of Elmendorf Ryan; and Rebecca Spicer of the National Beer Wholesalers Association, along with her husband, GOP communications operative Sean.
The pages-long guest list munched on Colorado lamb chops, mini crab cakes and risotto and circulated among pizza stations. Perhaps the tasty, hearty fare explained why almost no one took to the dance floor.
The business-backed Campaign to Fix the Debt has inked a strategic partnership with the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, the groups announced Tuesday.
The NGLCC, which represents more than 1.4 million companies, is the primary business advocate for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender entrepreneurs and business owners.
“We’ve partnered with the Campaign to Fix the Debt because we recognize that business cannot grow in a climate of economic uncertainty,” Justin Nelson, the NGLCC co-founder and president, said in a statement. “We don’t have to be partisan, but business leaders do have to be political. Businesses need certainty and predictability to stay on a steady growth trajectory and continue to drive this economy and create jobs.”
Maya MacGuineas, who heads Fix the Debt, said her organization is pleased to stand with the gay and lesbian chamber “to temporarily put aside partisan politics and work together to truly stabilize and reduce the federal debt.”
Tech Firms Want Visa Changes
The National Association of Manufacturers, Microsoft Corp. and other technology firms are urging the new Congress to overhaul the high-skilled worker visa system as part of a comprehensive immigration package.
The coalition, chaired by former New Hampshire Republican Sen. John E. Sununu and Maria Cardona, a former adviser to the presidential campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton, argues that restrictive visa policies have made it hard for American companies to fill science and technology jobs.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.