With David Beavers and Daniel Lippman
BOEHNER TO ADVISE NEW CANNABIS TRADE GROUP: The cannabis industry is putting together a new trade group with a little help from the former Speaker of the House John Boehner, who became a prominent advocate for drug legalization. Boehner joined the cannabis business Area holdings‘ advisory board last year and later wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal asking for legalization. He will provide “strategic guidance” to the new trade group, the National Cannabis Roundtable, as honorary president. Acreage is one of the members of the trade group.
— The new group has hired Squire Patton Boggswhere Boehner is senior strategic advisor, and the Liaison group lobby on its behalf, according to the group. (Boehner has never registered as a lobbyist, however, and will not lobby himself.) HDMK will handle strategic communications. The new coalition will not be the only umbrella group championing the issue. The Cannabis Trade Federation recently hired Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreckthe Raben Group and SV Strategies pressure Congress and the Justice Department, according to the disclosure documents.
WHITE & CASE WILL LOBBY FOR SUDAN : White & Case registered to lobby for the Sudanese government. The law firm is providing “legal services to the Republic of Sudan in connection with ongoing litigation in the United States,” according to a Justice Department filing. White & Case attorneys expect to “meet with United States government officials in connection with this litigation,” the filing continues. “This deposit is made as a precautionary measure.” Lawyers for the firm did not immediately respond to requests for comment on what exactly they will do.
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DEMOCRATS ATTACK BERNHARDT FOR LOBBYING WORK: representing Ro Khanna (D-California) is the latest Democrat to attack David Bernhardthe acting secretary of the interior than the president donald trump operated to run the department permanently, during its history on K Street. “How can Bernhardt be expected to maintain neutrality as Home Secretary when he worked for seven years as a lobbyist for major oil companies?” Khanna tweeted this morning. “For the sake of our public lands and our planet, his nomination must be rejected.” His broadside followed a tweet earlier this week from the senator. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), which called Bernhardt “a walking conflict of interest that shouldn’t even be allowed through the front door of the @Interior Dept.”
– Khanna, of course, doesn’t get a vote on Bernhardt’s confirmation as Home Secretary, although Warren does. Bernhardt was a registered lobbyist in Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck until 2016, and The Washington Post reported last year that he had “so many potential conflicts of interest that he has to carry a little card listing them all.” But the Senate already confirmed Bernhardt as deputy secretary in 2017, and there’s little reason to think his nomination will be in trouble this time around. Four Democrats — Michael Benet from colorado, Joe Donnelly from Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia – voted with Republicans to confirm it in 2017. Donnelly and Heitkamp are no longer in the Senate, but they have been replaced by Republicans.
LOBBYISTS TO WATCH: Roll Call named michelle williams of the Williams Group and Melika Carroll of the Internet Association as the two lobbyists on his “people to watch in 2019” list. Williams, whose clients include Delta Airlines and General Motors‘ says he aims to bridge the gap between progressives like [House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine] Waters and [Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)], who spoke out against income inequality and the great outfits of Wall Street, and his clients. Carroll, meanwhile, “expects to play a key role in crafting federal data privacy legislation, which will likely be a top item on the bipartisan agenda of the 116th Congress.” Whole story.
— Kirsten Hartmann is back on the Hill as Deputy Chief of Staff to Rep. Lauren Underwood (Dill.). She was previously the National Restaurant Associationdirector of communications and media relations.
— Horizon Government Affairs added Greg Johnson as Chief Operating Officer and Chief of Staff and JP Wieske as Vice President of State Affairs. Johnson was previously the Pharmaceutical Care Management AssociationVice President of Strategic Initiatives. Wieske previously served as Wisconsin’s assistant insurance commissioner.
– The Public Affairs Council hired Kelly Memphis as Head of Government Relations and Stakeholder Engagement, Stephanie Helsing as a member manager, Alaina Monismith as head of communication and marketing and Joe Sousa as head of its European office.
Covington & Burling LLP: Phibro Animal Health Corporation
Locke Lord Public Policy Group LLC: Hill Country Class 3, LLC
Miller & Wenhold Capitol Strategies: Chamber of Maritime Commerce
Randall Davis Associates LLC: RAI Services Company
Carpi & Clay, Inc.: Van Scoyoc Association on behalf of Mission Springs Water District
KAE Strategic, LLC: Sixkiller Consulting, LLC obo Trust for University Innovation in Vietnam (TUIV)
The McKeon Group, Inc.: Parents As Teachers (PAT)
Zeliff Enterprises: (The Livingston Group) Boys Town USA