Ferox Strategies signs Walmart and other notable registrations

With David Beavers and Daniel Lippman

POLITICO Influence will not publish on Monday Oct. 8. Our next POLITICO Influence newsletter will publish on Tues. Oct. 9. Please continue to follow Pro issues here.

TODAY’S NOTABLE LOBBYING REGISTRATIONS: Ferox Strategies signed Walmart to lobby on tax policy. Cristina Antelo, who also worked on the Walmart account when she was at the now defunct Podesta Group, told PI that “with the election coming up and people anticipating there will be some D take-up, they wanted to add to their roster of Ds.” She added that she will work on the same issues she worked on for the Podesta Group, but anticipates that will change over time. Walmart, which spent $1.6 million on lobbying in the second quarter alone, also has Alpine Group, Capitol Counsel, Cove Strategies, The Nickles Group, the Simmons & Russell Group, Hogan Lovells, Hannegan Landau Poersch & Rosenbaum Advocacy, Covington & Burling and Ulman Public Policy & Federal Relations on retainer, according to disclosure filings. Among the other issues the retail giant lobbies on are trade and the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, infrastructure, data security, and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

— Meanwhile, Facebook has hired the OB-C Group’s Daniel Kidera to lobby on “all matters relating to the internet and telecom.” Facebook, which spent $3.7 million on lobbying in the second quarter, also has Harbinger Strategies, Ogilvy Government Relations, Peck Madigan Jones, Signal Group Consulting, Steptoe & Johnson, Stewart Strategies & Solutions, Subject Matter, theGROUP DC, BakerHostetler, Blue Mountain Strategies and David Wade/Green Light Strategies on retainer, according to disclosure filings.

— Finally, in auto industry land, Kia Motors hired Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr to lobby on issues related to automotive manufacturing and automotive sales. Kia spent $190,000 on lobbying in the second quarter of 2018.

Good afternoon, and welcome to PI. Happy Friday! We finally made it to the end of the week. Hope you enjoy the three day weekend! Send your best lobbying tips to: mlevine@politico.com and tmeyer@politico.com. You can also follow us on Twitter: @theodoricmeyer and @marianne_levine.

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CGCN PARTNER TO LEAD NEW PRO-PHARMA COALITION: Patrick O’Connor, a partner at CGCN Group, will be director of the new Alliance to Protect Medical Innovation. Rosemarie Tully, a managing director at CGCN Group, will be communications director. In a statement, O’Connor said that the coalition’s objective is “to highlight the power of medical innovation and to shine a light on the highly coordinated, enormously well-funded efforts to fuel much of the current narrative around medical innovation.” For context, our colleagues Adam Cancryn and Sarah Owermohle scooped this morning that CGCN would be handling communications and messaging work for the coalition. (CGCN, however, will not lobby for the coalition.) “It’s still not clear who’s funding APMI, although the organization said in its post that it had received ‘some seed money from people inside the industry,’” Cancryn and Owermohle write. “One prospective funder: the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, or BIO, which announced Thursday that it was joining the new coalition.”

— The coalition comes amid a broader discussion about drug pricing in the midterm elections. STAT News’ Rebecca Robbins and Lev Facher report that Patients for Affordable Drugs is spending $500,000 on attack ads against Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), who is expected to win reelection easily in November. “Of the nine congressional and gubernatorial races in which P4AD has supported or opposed candidates to date, just three or four are competitive, according to STAT’s analysis of election forecasts from the website FiveThirtyEight,” Robbins and Facher write. “And of the at least $8 million the group has spent in total, as much as $6 million has gone to races in which the outcome has long been determined. P4AD, which is funded mainly by the billionaire Houston couple John and Laura Arnold, says that where its money can’t help decide a race, it can still send a message: that politicians running campaigns funded by drug companies will face retribution. But that, too, is a dubious strategy, experts say.” Full story.

— It’s worth noting that P4AD accused PhRMA earlier this week of backing Alliance to Protect Medical Innovation, which PhRMA vehemently denied.

FEC RELEASES NEW GUIDANCE FOR DISCLOSURE OF CERTAIN DONORS TO POLITICAL NONPROFITS: “Political nonprofit groups must publicly disclose the names of donors who have given more than $200 toward advertisements or other initiatives that call for the election or defeat of a candidate, according to new guidance from the Federal Election Commission,” the Washington Post’s Michelle Ye Hee Lee reports. “In the past, only donors who earmarked their contributions for specific ads needed to be disclosed. Under the new guidance, issued Thursday, donors who give money to the nonprofits — called “dark money” groups by critics — for the more general purpose of independent political activity must now be disclosed.

— “The guidance was issued in response to a court ruling that expanded the disclosure requirements. That meant the FEC needed to come up with new rules to determine which contributors’ information must be disclosed to the public. The rulemaking process will take several months, which complicates matters for groups that are now in the heat of political advertising season with just weeks left until the midterm elections. The guidance was issued in the meantime.” Full story.

BUTTER INDUSTRY WANTS FDA TO TAKE ACTION ON PLANT-BASED SUBSTITUTES: “As the FDA rethinks what constitutes dairy products like milk and cheese, a top butter trade group on Thursday asked the agency to crack down on butter substitutes that it says ‘flagrantly violate’ food labeling rules,” POLITICO’s Ryan McCrimmon reports. “The American Butter Institute flagged several plant-based goods that it says have been mislabeled as butter products, including Miyoko’s Vegan Butter, Fora Foods’ FabaButter and WayFare Foods’ dairy-free Salted Whipped Butter and Sweet Cinnamony Whipped Butter. Each product is labeled as plant-based, vegan or dairy-free, but ABI objects to the use of the word ‘butter,’ which is defined by federal law as ‘made exclusively from milk or cream, or both,’ and containing at least 80 percent milk fat by weight.

—“‘The way in which these brands use the term ‘butter’ is false and misleading,’ said ABI Executive Director Tom Balmer in a statement Thursday. ‘These imposter products don’t contain actual dairy ingredients, and cannot match real butter’s positive attributes — from its unmatched flavor and creamy, rich texture and unique performance in cooking and baking, to its significant level of Vitamin A.’” Full story.

NAM HOSTS MANUFACTURING DAY: The National Association of Manufacturers and the Manufacturing Institute are hosting the seventh annual “Manufacturing Day” today. President Donald Trump issued for the second time Thursday a presidential proclamation about manufacturing day. For more about Trump and his relationship with manufacturers, check out Lorraine Woellert and Marianne LeVine’s September story.

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JOBS REPORT:

Claude Burcky is now head of global government affairs for Abbott. He was previously head of the healthcare technology company’s international government affairs team.

Jessica Bennett is vice president of government and external affairs, Connor Hamburg is director of government affairs and Jackie Pohlman is manager of member relations at the Renewable Fuels Association. Bennett was previously vice president of external affairs at RFA; Hamburg was previously manager of public policy and regulatory affairs for the National Corn Growers Association; and Pohlman was previously a specialist of commercialization at the National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.

NEW JOINT FUNDRAISERS:

BR Victory 2018 (Rep. Dave Brat, (R-Va.), Denver Riggleman, NRCC)

George Holding Victory Committee (George Holding for Congress, Wake REC Federal)

Lead the Way (Colin Allred, Abigail Spanberger, Gina Ortiz Jones, Elizabeth Pannill Fletcher, Lucy McBath, Carolyn Bourdeaux, Francys Johnson, Ammar Campa-Najjar, Harley Rouda, Katie Porter, Gil Cisneros, Katie Hill, Angie Craig, Sharice Davids, Elaine Luria, Xochitl Torres Small, Ann Kirkpatrick, Lauren Baer, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Donna Shalala, Dean Phillips, Aftab Pureval, Way to Lead PAC)

Common Sense Women (Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Karin Housley, Susan Hutchison, Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) and Leah Vukmir)

NEW PACS:

AZ Forward (Super PAC)
Red Tide PAC (Super PAC)
Ripple of Hope PAC (PAC)
Susan B. Anthony List Action PAC (Super PAC)
Take PAC America (PAC)
Temecula Valley Democrats (PAC)
The American Bipartisan Political Action Committee (PAC)
Together for Progress PAC (Super PAC)
Vision PAC (PAC)
Workers for Defense Action Fund PAC (Super PAC)

NEW LOBBYING REGISTRATIONS:

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld: Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Inc.
Asset & Equity Corporation: Klox Technologies
Banner Public Affairs, LLC: Sunstone Properties Trust
Banner Public Affairs, LLC: Trojan Battery Company
BNP PARIBAS US WHOLESALE HOLDINGS, Corp: BNP PARIBAS US WHOLESALE HOLDINGS, Corp
Cansler Consulting, LLC: Flow-Liner Systems, Ltd.
Capitol Hill Consulting Group: American Loggers Council
Capitol Hill Consulting Group: Endometriosis Foundation
Capitol Hill Consulting Group: Mechanical Contractors Association of America
Capitol Hill Consulting Group: Specialists on Call Telemed
Dahlberg Strategic: Supporter of Agricultural Research Foundation
Ferox Strategies: Walmart Inc.
Hogan Lovells US LLP: Semiconductor Industry Association
Penn Hill Group: The Pew Charitable Trusts
Republic Consulting, LLC: National Guard Association of the United States
Republic Consulting, LLC: Telrad, Inc.
Shumaker Advisors Florida, LLC: Lions Eye Institute for Transplant and Research, Inc.
Squire Patton Boggs: Port Link GP, Ltd (on behalf of The Port Fund L.P.)
The Liaison Group, LLC: Acreage Holdings
The OB-C Group, LLC: Facebook
Theresa Pugh: Biomass Power Association
Theresa Pugh: Missouri Public Utility Alliance
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP: Kia Motors Corporation
Mr. Matthew G. Kallner: NetJets

NEW LOBBYING TERMINATIONS:

38 North Solutions, LLC: Sierra Club
Every Voice Center (FKA Public Campaign): Every Voice Center (Fka Public Campaign)
Forbes-Tate: Kensho Technologies Inc.
Liebman & Associates, Inc.: Graphene Technologies
McGuireWoods Consulting (A Subsidiary of McGuireWoods LLP): Exxon Mobil
McGuireWoods Consulting (A Subsidiary of McGuireWoods LLP): Starbucks
Republic Consulting, LLC: United Technologies Corporation

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