Who lobbies for the NFL
With David Beavers, Garrett Ross and Daniel Lippman
WHO LOBBIES FOR THE NFL: As the NFL rolls out plans to fine teams if players don’t stand for the national anthem, you might be wondering who lobbies for the league in Washington. The NFL spent $300,000 on Washington lobbying in the first quarter — more than it spent in any quarter of last year, when the league shelled out $850,000 in total. The NFL retains the Glover Park Group, Capitol Counsel, Covington & Burling and Thorn Run Partners. The National Football League Players Association, meanwhile, which represents the players, retains Forbes Tate Partners and Fierce Government Relations.
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— Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson reports that the NFL used the Glover Park Group to conduct a poll that asked whether San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has taken a knee during the anthem, should have been signed by a team. “The data sought by the NFL included fan attitudes about a few high-profile league concerns, including domestic violence, gambling, player protests and player safety. Sources noted that Kaepernick was the only player singled out in the research for specific opinions, which were then compiled and sent to various league officials, including commissioner Roger Goodell and several other high-ranking executives.” Full story.
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LAWMAKERS INTRODUCE LEGISLATION TO TOUGHEN UP ON LOBBYISTS: Lawmakers in the House and Senate have introduced legislation intended to toughen up disclosure requirements for lobbyists. Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) introduced a bill that would require lobbyists to reveal on their registration and disclosure forms whether they were ever convicted of certain crimes, including bribery, extortion, embezzlement and tax evasion. And a separate bill, introduced today by Reps. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), would impose a lifetime lobbying ban on members of Congress. The bill would also prohibit former members of Congress from so-called shadow lobbying — i.e., lobbying without formally registering to lobby.
— Asked what prompted the House bill’s introduction, a spokesperson for Murphy’s office told PI that “distrust towards Congress is an issue Congresswoman Murphy heard time and time again from her constituents during her recent Coffee with Your Congresswoman events and other public events. … She felt it was time to address it in a bipartisan way.” (There were 147 former members of Congress who were registered and active lobbyists in the first quarter of 2018, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.)
— Paul Miller, a lobbyist at Miller/Wenhold Capitol Strategies and president of the National Institute for Lobbying and Ethics, blasted the two bills, calling them “ludicrous.” He said that lobbying is “one of the most heavily regulated professions in the country” and noted that lobbyists file their activity with the government four times a year. “Congress isn’t going to waste valuable floor time on a bill that requires a lobbyist to reveal whether they’ve committed a crime or not in the past when you can Google that information and find it out in 30 seconds,” he said. Miller added that though he disagrees with the bill’s intent, he would get behind the bill if members “immediately pass legislation that requires them to do the same” and release any information about crimes they’ve committed on the job, like sexual harassment. In response to Murphy’s bill, Miller said that legislation was “unconstitutional.” “We’d probably file suit,” Miller said. “The constitution gives everyone the right to petition their government. You’re going to tell somebody when they retire from one job they can’t go to another career path? Who deems that acceptable? What other profession do we do that in?”
IN TODAY’S NOTABLE REGISTRATIONS: Forbes Tate registered to lobby for BAE Systems on issues related to the National Defense Authorization Act and defense appropriations, and Glencore International hired Wiley Rein to lobby on U.S. trade sanctions.
KOCH GROUP AIMS AT HOUSE GOP LAWMAKERS WHO BACKED OMNIBUS: “Americans for Prosperity is putting some of Congress’ biggest spenders — including nearly a dozen House Republicans — on notice ahead of the November elections,” POLITICO’s Sarah Ferris reports. “The Koch network group will launch a six-figure ad campaign over the Memorial Day weekend calling out GOP lawmakers who voted for this year’s budget-busting spending bill. The campaign will target 10 Republicans who joined with Democrats to approve the $1.3 trillion omnibus — a bill that stoked an uprising among fiscal hawks in Washington. The ads will run in print and online, alongside radio messages and mailers.
— “The targeted members include Rep. Lou Barletta, who is seeking a Senate seat in Pennsylvania this fall, as well as two candidates for House Appropriations chief next year, Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) and Mike Simpson (R-Idaho). The others are Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), Mike Bishop (R-Mich.), John Carter (R-Texas), Mark Amodei (R-Nev.), Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.), Tom Rooney (R-Fla.), and Ken Calvert (R-Calif.).” Full story.
** A message from the American Clinical Laboratory Association: Millions of seniors who depend on lab tests to manage their health are facing reductions in access to Medicare lab testing because of HHS’ flawed implementation of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA). HHS is putting the nation’s most vulnerable seniors at risk. It’s time for Congress to act. Learn More. **
TECH SCRAMBLES TO SHAPE U.S. PRIVACY DEBATE: “Debate is erupting in both Silicon Valley and Washington over whether the U.S. could and should import Europe’s sweeping new digital privacy law, set to go into effect Friday,” POLITICO’s Nancy Scola reports. “Facing mounting pressure over its privacy practices and with Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation now providing a potential model for U.S. officials, the industry is scrambling to shape the policy discussion as it seeps across the Atlantic. Many in tech say avoiding the subject is no longer a good option, as it leaves the industry exposed to calls for more aggressive government oversight. … While Facebook, Google and other brand-name internet companies have been fuzzy on how the EU rules should apply in the U.S. context, other tech firms are beginning to get more vocal, ranging from Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff‘s call for an ‘American GDPR’ to IBM’s resistance to the idea that the European model can simply be bolted onto the U.S. system.” Full story.