Martin joins Cozen O’Connor – POLITICO
With David Beavers and Garrett Ross
MARTIN JOINS COZEN O’CONNOR: Patrick Martin has left McGuireWoods Consulting to join Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies as a principal and director of its Midwest public affairs team. He’ll split his time between Chicago and Washington. Martin was previously a senior vice president at McGuireWoods, where he lobbied for clients including Exelon, Starbucks and the Washington Redskins, according to disclosure filings. He plans to bring some clients with him to Cozen O’Connor, though he declined to specify which ones. “My practice will continue to focus on highly regulated companies in the energy, healthcare, and retail spaces,” Martin wrote in an email to PI.
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BOUSTANY NOW LOBBYING FOR TURKEY: Former Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.), who landed at Capitol Counsel last year shortly after leaving Congress, was banned from lobbying his former colleagues when he joined the firm under House ethics rules. The ban lapsed in January, and new disclosure filings show Boustany is now lobbying his former colleagues on behalf of one of Capitol Counsel’s clients: the Turkish government. Boustany met with Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) on Feb. 27 and with Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) on March 21, according to a Justice Department filing. He also texted with Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) twice in May on behalf of Turkey. Royce is the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Sessions is a co-chairman of the Congressional Caucus on U.S.-Turkey Relations and Turkish Americans.
INSTITUTE FOR GULF AFFAIRS SUES SAPRAC: The Institute for Gulf Affairs, a Washington think tank, is suing SAPRAC, a lobbying firm closely aligned with Saudi Arabia, for calling one of the think tank’s experts a terrorist. According to the suit, Salman Al-Ansari, the head of SAPRAC, was interviewed by an obscure blogger known as Spencer Tripens in May not long after the Institute for Gulf Affairs published an article critical of SAPRAC. (SAPRAC — also known as the Saudi America Public Relation Affairs Committee — attracted attention last year for running TV and digital ads bashing Qatar without registering as a foreign agent, which the firm eventually did.)
— Al-Ansari told the blogger that Ali Al-Ahmed, one of the institute’s experts, “‘is a terrorist himself’ who ‘cares nothing for the sincere shared collective of ideas and cultures, but [Plaintiff Al-Ahmed] will use any means to exterminate the prospects of a peaceful world,’” according to the suit. “These statements describing Plaintiffs could not be further from the truth,” David Schwartz, a lawyer for Al-Almed, writes in the suit. “Plaintiff Al-Ahmed has never engaged in any activities that would link him to any terrorist organization, nor has he ever condoned any acts of terror.” The Institute for Gulf Affairs and Al-Ahmed are suing for defamation and false light invasion of privacy. SAPRAC didn’t respond to a request for comment.
MEHLMAN CASTAGNETTI ADDS FORMER BOOZMAN CHIEF OF STAFF: Helen Tolar, a former chief of staff to Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.), has joined Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas. She was previously a lobbyist for Troutman Sanders, which she joined last year after leaving Boozman’s office. Earlier in her career, she served as a staffer on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee under former Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), who’s now a lobbyist himself at McDermott Will & Emery. In an interview, Tolar said she expected to lobby on a range of issues, including health care and tech. “I am what you might call utility,” she said. She may also draw on her experience in Boozman’s office to lobby for Walmart, a longtime Mehlman Castagnetti client.
SUPREME COURT AIR WAR CONTINUES: With President Donald Trump’s pick of Brett Kavanaugh to fill Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat on the Supreme Court, outside groups are not holding back. The Judicial Crisis Network, a group that advocates for conservative judicial nominees, launched a $1.4 million ad buy as well as the website ConfirmKavanaugh.com, which includes his biography and statements of support for his nomination. Meanwhile, liberal groups are gearing up with their own ad buys. NARAL Pro-Choice America is out with a second ad buy. This time it’s a six-figure ad buy that will air in Alaska, Maine, Colorado, Nevada and Texas. End Citizens United will also make a half-million-dollar ad buy to fight Kavanaugh’s nomination.
— In addition, Demand Justice, a new liberal group that’s pledged to spend $5 million on the Supreme Court fight, has ads running in Maine and Alaska that suggest Kavanaugh’s confirmation would threaten the Affordable Care Act and Roe v. Wade. The group, similar to the Judicial Crisis Network, will also target Democrats in red states. Brian Fallon, executive director of Demand Justice, said on a press call with reporters that Kavanaugh is “not somebody that reflects Trump’s base of the electorate” and called him a “creature of the swamp.” “I think that in a state like West Virginia, North Dakota, Indiana, Brett Kavanaugh is not going to be an easy sell,” he said.
WHITE HOUSE ASKING TRADE GROUP FOR HELP WITH KAVANAUGH CONFIRMATION: “In early July, the White House asked industry leaders in Washington for input and several groups — including the National Federation of Independent Business and the National Association of Home Builders — declared a preference for Kavanaugh,” POLITICO’s Lorraine Woellert reports. “Business groups on Monday were asked to help push his confirmation, according to two people familiar with the request. In the one-page document , which was obtained by POLITICO, the White House wrote that Kavanaugh has overruled federal regulators 75 times on cases involving clean air, consumer protections, net neutrality and other issues.” Full story.
GIULIANI STILL WORKING FOR OVERSEAS CLIENTS: “Rudolph W. Giuliani continues to work on behalf of foreign clients both personally and through his namesake security firm while serving as President Trump’s personal attorney — an arrangement experts say raises conflict of interest concerns and could run afoul of federal ethics laws,” The Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey, Tom Hamburger and Ashley Parker report. “Giuliani said in recent interviews with The Washington Post that he is working with clients in Brazil and Colombia, among other countries, as well as delivering paid speeches for a controversial Iranian dissident group. He has never registered with the Justice Department on behalf of his overseas clients, asserting it is not necessary because he does not directly lobby the U.S. government and is not charging Trump for his services.” Full story.
KEEPING TRACK OF TARIFFS: Squire Patton Boggs is out with a new interactive, 180-page chart documenting the various tariffs that Trump’s administration has imposed in recent months, as well as the retaliatory duties imposed by the European Union, Canada, Mexico and other countries. The stakes in the battle over Trump’s tariffs “are high for any company producing, importing or exporting a product,” Frank Samolis, the co-chairman of Squire Patton Boggs’ international trade practice, said in a statement. “We developed the SPB Tariff Book as an easy way for companies to take the first step of identifying their exposure.” Here’s the full book.
CORRECTION: PI misspelled the name of the National Association of Manufacturers’ new director of trade facilitation policy in Monday’s edition. She is Jessica McBroom. PI regrets the error.