With David Beavers and Garrett Ross
TRUMP INAUGURATION FUNDRAISER NOW LOBBYING ON PENSIONS: Roy Bailey, a Texas investor and Republican fundraiser who served as a finance co-chairman of President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee, has quietly started lobbying in recent months. Bailey signed his first lobbying client, Intrexon, a Maryland biotechnology company, in October, according to disclosure filings. He’s lobbied the White House, Vice President Mike Pence’s office, the Agriculture Department, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Commerce Department, the Energy Department, EPA and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation on Intrexon’s behalf.
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— Intrexon, in return, has paid Bailey $60,000 through his firm, Bailey Strategic Advisors. He’s lobbied on a variety of issues for Intrexon, including natural gas, the importation of genetically modified food and a “solution to eradicate virus transmitted by mosquitos.”
— Bailey signed his second client, Ryan LLC, a Dallas financial services firm, in June and has lobbied the House of Representatives on “alternative fuel tax credits” on its behalf. His third client, the grocery chain Albertsons, hired him to lobby on pension reform last month, according to a newly filed disclosure. (Albertsons also hired a team of lobbyists at Greenberg Traurig, including former Sen. Tim Hutchinson and former Reps. Randy Forbes, Charlie Bass and Albert Wynn, to lobby on the issue.)
— Bailey didn’t respond to a request for comment, but he appears to remain active in Trump’s orbit. He told POLITICO earlier this year that he’s fundraising for America First Action, a super PAC aligned with Trump. “He’s so great from a retail perspective,” Bailey said, referring to the president’s performance at fundraisers. “He overdelivers. I think major donors are getting beyond their expectations.” Bailey also has strong ties to Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. He’s known Giuliani for nearly two decades and worked for one of his companies, Giuliani Partners, according to a 2007 report in The Wall Street Journal. Bailey also served as finance chairman of Giuliani’s short-lived presidential campaign.
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RETAILERS TESTIFY ON TARIFFS: Retailers are testifying this week at the Office of the United States Trade Representative on the Trump administration’s proposed retaliatory tariffs against China. USTR is holding hearings all week on what products to include or exclude on a forthcoming $200 billion list of items to be hit with tariffs. In his prepared remarks, Jonathan Gold, vice president for supply chain and customs policy for the National Retail Federation, writes that the administration’s proposed list, which includes furniture, personal care products and bicycles, would hurt U.S. consumers. Should the administration continue with its proposed list, Gold requests that it exclude products “for which China is the sole source of U.S. imports and no alternate sources of supply exist;” “for which China is the primary source of U.S. imports;” and “for which the tariffs would nevertheless have a significant negative impact on consumers.”
— Hun Quach, vice president of international trade for the Retail Industry Leaders Association, makes a similar argument in her planned testimony, slated for Friday. “Everything you need to get ready in the morning — from bar soap, make-up, electric shavers, hair appliances and accessories, and even your toilet paper will get hit with the 301 tariff,” Quach will testify.
FARM LOBBY NERVOUSLY AWAITS AID DETAILS: Who stands to benefit from Trump’s $12 billion in aid to farmers hurt by his administration’s tariffs? “The Agriculture Department and the White House Office of Management and Budget have kept such a tight lid on details of the package that major agriculture groups aren’t sure whether they’ll be given a briefing ahead of Friday’s rollout — and they’re nervous the plan may be unfavorable to them in light of a report on Wednesday that suggested the bulk of the aid could go to soybean growers,” POLITICO’s Helena Bottemiller Evich and Catherine Boudreau report. “‘This pie sounds like a big number, but it’s going to get divided up into a lot of pieces very quickly,’ said David Widmar, an agricultural economist at Purdue University who also manages his family farm in eastern Kansas.” Full story.
ANNALS OF CAMPAIGN FINANCE: “To hear Michael Cohen’s spokesman and lawyer Lanny Davis tell it, his client’s bombshell admission in court Tuesday that Trump directed him to make a $130,000 hush-money payment that violated campaign finance law unambiguously implicates Trump in a crime,” POLITICO’s Josh Gerstein reports. “Not so fast, many lawyers say. Cohen’s admission that he violated campaign finance law while acting at Trump’s direction is far from rock-solid proof that the president is also guilty, even if Cohen is being entirely truthful, these lawyers said. ‘The fact Cohen did something illegal doesn’t mean Trump did anything illegal,’ said Jan Baran, a longtime Republican campaign finance lawyer.” Full story.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I would say what he did, some of the charges they threw against him, every consultant, every lobbyist in Washington probably does,” Trump told “Fox & Friends,” referring to Paul Manafort. This is not true, of course. Manafort has been convicted of tax and bank fraud charges, including some stemming from the millions of dollars he earned overseas and brought back without paying taxes on them. Most lobbyists don’t do that. Manafort also faces charges that he failed to register as a foreign agent, which will be presented in a second trial next month. Most lobbyists don’t work for foreign interests and aren’t unregistered foreign agents.
— Ryan McGinness has joined R&R Partners’ Washington office as a senior vice president. He was previously a lobbyist for the state of Nevada and other clients through his firm, District Strategies.
— Keifer Buckingham has joined George Soros’ Open Society Policy Center and Open Society Foundations as senior policy adviser for international public health. She was previously a legislative assistant to Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.).
NEW JOINT FUNDRAISERS
Mitrano Victory Fund (Tracy Mitrano, New York State Democratic Committee)
Team Hardy Nevada Tough Victory Fund (Cresent Hardy, Nevada Republican Central Committee, NRCC)
The Arena Candidate PAC House Victory Fund (Gina Ortiz Jones, Lauren Underwood, Liuba Grechen Shirley, Haley Stevens, Xochitl Torres Small)
Ixnay PAC (super PAC)
Justice for All Political Action Committee (PAC)
Universal Health Care Political Action Committee (PAC)
NEW LOBBYING REGISTRATIONS
Digital Asset Affairs, LLC: Digital Asset Affairs, LLC
Sidley Austin LLP: Culligan International Company
NEW LOBBYING TERMINATIONS
Cypress Advocacy, LLC: Citigroup Management Corp
Mr. Daniel Delich: City of Irving
Mr. Daniel Delich: Trinity Commons Foundation