With David Beavers and Daniel Lippman
WILLIAMS & JENSEN LOBBYIST HEADS TO ALIGNMENT: Tracy Taylor, a longtime lobbyist at Williams & Jensen, has moved to Alignment Government Strategies as counsel. The firm announced the move on Friday, although Taylor moved over earlier this year. She’s registered to lobby for more than two dozen Alignment clients, including AARP, Discovery Communications and General Dynamics.
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BURNING MAN HIRES A LOBBYIST: Burning Man, the annual festival that The New York Times once described as “a sprawling frat party for the technogentsia”, has gotten so big that it’s hiring top-shelf lobbyists. Rich Gold, Paul Bock, Kathryn Lehman, Dimitri Karakitsos and Scott Mason of Holland & Knight will lobby for the Burning Man Project, the nonprofit behind the festival, on permit approval issues, according to a disclosure filing. Gold, a prominent Democratic lobbyist, is the head of the public policy and regulation group; Mason is a former Trump campaign staffer. They’ll lobby the Bureau of Land Management on getting a permit for the festival, which began on San Francisco’s Baker Beach in 1986 but is held now in the Nevada desert, according to a person familiar with the lobbying strategy.
CHINESE DRONE COMPANY WARNS SENATORS AGAINST ‘UNSUBSTANTIATED SPECULATION’: DJI, the Chinese drone manufacturer, sent a letter today to members of the Senate Commerce Committee pushing back against suggestions during a hearing last week that the company’s drones might be sending data to the Chinese government or pose a security threat.
— “We are deeply concerned that, left unchecked, the unsubstantiated speculation and inaccurate information presented during your Subcommittee hearing will put the entire U.S. drone industry at risk, causing a ripple effect that will stunt economic growth and handcuff public servants who use DJI drones to protect the public and save lives,” Mario Rebello, a DJI vice president, wrote in the letter to Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.). DJI is one of several Chinese companies that have upped their presence in Washington as Congress and the Trump administration take a harder line on China. Here’s the full letter from DJI.
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CHAMBER ADDS A COMMUNICATIONS HAND: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has hired Tim Doyle away from Subject Matter to be the trade group’s vice president of communications. He’s the latest addition to the Chamber’s communications team in recent months, along with Michelle Russo as chief communications officer, Sabrina Fang as senior director of media relations and Eric Wohlschlegel as acting vice president of media and external communications. The hires followed several departures from the trade group’s communications ranks.
MILLER OUT AT TENEO: Jason Miller, a former staffer on President Donald Trump’s campaign who landed at Teneo after the 2016 election, is leaving the consulting firm after calling Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, a “fat f—” and a “f—ing scumbag,” among other insults, last week on Twitter, The Daily Beast’s Asawin Suebsaeng reports. “I have parted ways with Teneo by mutual consent and look forward to formally announcing my next move in the coming weeks,” Miller said in a statement to The Daily Beast. Full story on Miller.
MEANWHILE, IN BERLIN: “A senior Facebook executive on Monday rebuffed growing calls by politicians to break up many of Silicon Valley’s biggest names, claiming that such policies would not solve many of the problems now confronting the digital world,” POLITICO Europe’s Mark Scott reports. “Speaking at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, Nick Clegg, the social networking giant’s chief lobbyist, said that efforts to hobble tech companies — in Brussels, Washington, D.C. and beyond — would prove counterproductive, and that lawmakers should instead focus on creating new global rules to regulate the internet.”
— “’Simply breaking up Facebook and other big tech companies into smaller — but still huge — companies won’t address the issues that cause people the most concern, whether its privacy, or election integrity, or harmful content,’ Clegg told the German audience.” Full story on Clegg.
JONES WALKER, TCH GROUP STRIKE ALLIANCE: Jones Walker and the TCH Group today announced a “strategic alliance” in which the two firms will cooperate to “pursue opportunities to provide enhanced capabilities to new and existing clients,” according to Jones Walker. The law firm already has a similar agreement with the Livingston Group.
FLYING IN: The Hindu American Foundation is flying in members today to push a pair of amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act, among other priorities. They’ll meet with Sens. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Reps. Pete Olson (R-Texas), Brian Babin (R-Texas), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) and Justin Amash (R-Mich).
— The American Mental Health Counselors Association is hosting a fly-in Tuesday to discuss the Mental Health Access Improvement Act with congressional staff. The trade group will also host a reception Tuesday evening to honor Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) with its legislator of the year award. And the Financial Data and Technology Association of North America is hosting a fly-in Tuesday to meet with congressional staff.
IF YOU MISSED IT ON FRIDAY: “Paul Manafort had a sympathetic media ally in Sean Hannity as federal investigators closed in and ultimately prosecuted the former Trump campaign chairman for a series of financial crimes and witness tampering, according to hundreds of text messages released Friday,” POLITICO’s Darren Samuelsohn, Kyle Cheney and Josh Gerstein report. “The exchanges — which a federal judge ordered unsealed and placed onto the public court docket — cover a period starting around the FBI’s summertime 2017 raid on Manafort’s Northern Virginia home and extending through the late spring of 2018, when [Manafort] was gearing up for back-to-back criminal trials.”
— “Along the way, the Fox News host and Manafort engaged in many rapid-fire conversations discussing everything from Manafort’s criminal cases to Hannity’s on-air commentary that frequently targeted special counsel Robert Mueller and his prosecutors. As news broke of the FBI raid on Manafort’s home, for example, Hannity wrote, ‘Please know you are in my prayers.’ Manafort quickly replied, ‘Thank you. I need them. I feel so violated.’” Full story on Manafort and Hannity.
SPOTTED: At Holland & Knight’s annual rooftop bash Thursday evening, according to a PI tipster: Ivan Adler of the McCormick Group, Shane Karr of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Reta Jo Lewis of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, Blake Major of American International Group, Sam Tatevosyan of McDonald’s, Chris Tomassi of ClearPath; and Gold, Beth Viola, David Whitestone, Lehman, Mason, Kerry Feehery, Karl Koch, Michael Werner, Chris Armstrong, Chris DeLacy, Lisa Barkovic and Lauri Hettinger of Holland & Knight.
Brady-Schweikert Victory Committee (Reps. David Schweikert, Kevin Brady)
Durbin Casten Victory Fund (Sen. Dick Durbin, Rep. Sean Casten)
Schweikert-Lesko Victory Committee (Reps. David Schweikert, Debbie Lesko)
Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. PAC (Booz Allen PAC) (PAC)
Arent Fox LLP: American Public Transportation Association
Avenue Strategies: Omnia Unlimited
BluePoint DC: Credit Acceptance Corporation
George J. Hochbrueckner & Associates, Inc.: TransparentBusiness, Inc.
Holland & Knight, LLP: Burning Man Project
K&L Gates, LLP: Berkshire Hathaway Energy
Masimo Corporation: Masimo Corporation
Siekman and Siekman LLC: Community Bus Services, Inc
Siekman and Siekman LLC: Ownum
Siekman and Siekman LLC: R & L Carriers
Siekman and Siekman LLC: Woolpert, Inc.
Upstream Consulting, Inc.: Arizona State University
George J. Hochbrueckner & Associates, Inc.: Electronic Transactions Systems