Crowley’s loss ripples through K Street

 In Politics

With David Beavers, Garrett Ross and Aaron Lorenzo

CROWLEY’S LOSS RIPPLES THROUGH K STREET: The upset loss of Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), the No. 4 Democrat in the House, to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the primary on Tuesday is being felt on K Street this morning. “For me, personally, it’s losing a mentor and a best friend,” said Mervyn Jones, who previously lobbied for Pine Street Strategies and a former Crowley staffer. Crowley had a great relationship with K Street, Jones said, and had a reputation for being upfront with lobbyists. “He would just tell you flat out why he wouldn’t be able to support what you were lobbying for,” Jones said.

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— There are a number of former Crowley staffers downtown, the most prominent of whom might be Chris McCannell, a former chief of staff to Crowley who now represents clients including Paypal and the U.S. Travel Association as a lobbyist for the Eris Group. Others include Gregg Sheiowitz, a former legislative director for Crowley who now lobbies for Zurich North America; Eli Kogan, a former senior legislative assistant who’s now a lobbyist for Horizon Pharma; and Grisella Martinez, a former special adviser to Crowley who now lobbies for the National Association of Broadcasters.

— Crowley’s current staffers will have to find new jobs next year, of course. But Ivan Adler, a headhunter who specializes in placing people on K Street, said Crowley’s loss shouldn’t affect their ability to get hired if they decide to become lobbyists. Given Crowley’s position as Democratic caucus chairman and his spot on the House Ways and Means Committee, his staffers “are very well-connected and really shouldn’t suffer too much from losing their rabbi,” Adler said.

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NCTA LOBBYIST LEAPS TO BGR: Justin Rzepka, a vice president of government relations at NCTA — The Internet & Television Association, is joining BGR Group as a vice president. He’s a Republican and will focus on technology and telecommunications issues. Bob Wood, the president of BGR Government Affairs, told PI last week that the firm was expanding its commerce practice.

NFL HIRES S-3: The National Football League has added S-3 Group to its roster of lobbying firms. Todd Wooten, John Scofield, Kate Dickens and Matt Bravo will lobby on sports gambling for the league, according to a disclosure filing. The NFL, which shelled out $300,000 on Washington lobbying in the first quarter of the year, also retains Capitol Counsel, Covington & Burling, the Glover Park Group and Thorn Run Partners. The National Football League Players Association, meanwhile, retains Fierce Government Relations and Forbes Tate Partners.

HANGING A SHINGLE: Former Senate Finance Committee staffer Scott Mulhauser is launching his own strategic advisory and communications firm, Aperture Strategies. Mulhauser helped run the Senate Finance Committee while former Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) was chairman. He also served as deputy chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden during the 2012 campaign and as chief of staff at the U.S. embassy in Beijing during Baucus’ tenure as ambassador to China.

TWITTER AND FACEBOOK QUIETLY WOOING REPUBLICANS:Twitter and Facebook are scrambling to assuage conservative leaders who have sounded alarms — and sought to rile voters — with accusations that the country’s tech giants are censoring right-leaning posts, tweets and news,” The Washington Post’s Tony Romm reports. “From secret dinners with conservative media elite to private meetings with the Republican National Committee, the new outreach reflects tech giants’ delicate task: satisfying a party in power while defending online platforms against attacks that threaten to undermine the public’s trust in the web.”

— More detail on that secret dinner: “Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s chief executive, convened a rare private dinner with Republican leaders and conservative commentators in Washington last week at Cafe Milano, a familiar Georgetown haunt for city power brokers, according to four people who participated in the dinner but requested anonymity because it was off the record. … Among those attending the June 19 dinner were Mercedes Schlapp, a top communications advisor for President Trump; Grover Norquist, the leader of Americans for Tax Reform; Greta Van Susteren, a right-leaning host on MSNBC; and Guy Benson, a Fox News commentator, according to the people in the room.” Full story.

SENATORS CONSIDER NEW RESTRICTIONS ON SHAREHOLDER POWER AFTER YEARS OF LOBBYING: “Republicans will suspend their crusade to roll back financial regulations on Thursday as the Senate Banking Committee considers imposing new government oversight on businesses that are key to the surge in socially conscious investing,” POLITICO’s Patrick Temple-West reports. “After years of lobbying by pro-business groups, lawmakers will weigh whether to require the firms that advise shareholders on how to press issues such as environmentalism and executive pay to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission. That could saddle the firms with costly reporting requirements.” Full story.

IF YOU MISSED IT:Everett Eissenstat, a senior White House official who represented President Donald Trump at major international meetings, including this month’s dramatic G-7 summit in Canada, is leaving the administration next month,” POLITICO’s Andrew Restuccia reports. “Eissenstat, a former top aide to Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), joined the administration last year for a joint appointment on the National Economic Council and the National Security Council, where he focused on international economic affairs. … Eissenstat has been quietly looking for jobs in recent weeks, according to people familiar with the issue. He has spoken to a number of companies and firms, including [General Motors], but has not made a final decision about his next steps.” Full story.


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