With Marianne Levine, David Beavers and Aubree Eliza Weaver
HOGAN LOVELLS ADDS FORMER WALMART LOBBYIST: Hogan Lovells is adding Ivan Zapien, a former Walmart lobbyist who spent the past three years as Walmart’s vice president for corporate affairs in Mexico City, as a partner. Zapien previously worked as Walmart’s top lobbyist in Washington and before that served as chief of staff to Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.). “Ivan has earned a solid reputation on both sides of the aisle as a lawyer, executive, advocate, and leader with international and domestic experience in government affairs management and campaigns,” former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), who heads up Hogan Lovells’ government affairs practice, said in a statement.
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— Zapien, a fluent Spanish speaker, plans to focus on advising multinational corporations with heavy footprints in the Americas, drawing on his experience in Mexico. While there, “I learned the impact of every little thing that happens in Washington on markets outside the U.S.,” he said in an interview. He may also lobby for foreign governments in the region, he said.
TAX REFORM BLOWBACK: The American Institute of Architects, which strongly criticized the House tax reform bill, isn’t thrilled with the Senate bill, either. “The Senate Finance Committee draft shows marginal improvements on the House Ways & Means Committee proposal from early November — for example, we’re happy to see the Senate keep at least some of the Historic Tax Credits,” Thomas Vonier, the trade group’s president, said in a statement. “But their power to revitalize our decaying urban centers will be reduced greatly, just when they can produce such strong benefits.”
— Vonier sent a letter to Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch and other committee members on Tuesday urging them not to cut the historic preservation credit or an energy efficiency deduction prized by architects. He also criticized a proposal to cut taxes for so-called pass-through entities that would exclude architecture firms. Here’s the full letter.
— Airbnb, Lyft, Uber and other tech companies and executives, meanwhile, “are warning against a provision in the Senate tax bill that would change the way stock options are taxed,” POLITICO’s Li Zhou reports. “The provision would tax stock options when they are vested, rather than when they are exercised. This would mean employees of startups and other tech companies have to pay taxes on compensation before it’s accessible. ‘By making the mere vesting of a stock option a taxable event, an employee would have to pay a tax based upon a hypothetical gain that could take years to become liquid and may never materialize into cash,’ the techies write in a letter to Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch, organized by startup advocacy group Engine.” Full story.
— “More than 100 public college presidents were urged [on Monday] to call their senators to protest higher education provisions in GOP tax legislation, Peter McPherson, the president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, told reporters,” POLITICO’s Kimberly Hefling reports. “We need to make our point and make it with a real intenseness so that they understand that it’s real and it’s real people, real impact,” McPherson said during the association’s annual meeting. Full story.
Good afternoon, and welcome to PI. Weighing in on tax reform? Share your trade group’s or company’s letters to Chairman Hatch and other lawmakers: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow me on Twitter: @theodoricmeyer. (My DMs are open.)
TONIGHT — The Future of Food in a Global Economy — The U.S. consumer increasingly demands healthy and nutritious food. What role does the global food supply chain play in meeting that demand? Join POLITICO for a conversation about what it takes to ensure food quality in a globalizing world. Speakers include: Karil Kochenderfer, Principal, Linkages; Fmr USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, Francisco Javier Trujillo, General Director of Plant Health, National Service of Agrifood Health, Safety, and Quality, United Mexican States; Fmr U.S. Chief Agricultural Negotiator Amb. Darci Vetter, and more. TONIGHT — 6 p.m. — Mexican Cultural Institute — 2929 16th St NW. RSVP: here. Livestream: here.
JOHNSON TO LEAVE U.S. CHAMBER: Randy Johnson, senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s labor, immigration and employee benefits division, will leave the Chamber at the end of the year, he told POLITICO. Johnson, who spent two decades at the Chamber, didn’t specify what he’ll do next but said he’d like to continue doing work that focuses on “solving problems behind the scenes.”
— Tom Donohue, the Chamber’s president and chief executive, praised Johnson in a written statement. Donohue said he “managed a slate of complex and important issues and earned the Chamber many victories through his hard work and expertise.” Janet Boyd, director of government relations at the Dow Chemical Company, said Johnson understood the perspective of conservatives and moderate Democrats, which put him in “a much stronger position to be able to make policy decisions.”
AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL WITHHELD NAMES OF DEREGULATION TEAM MEMBERS TO PROTECT THEM FROM LOBBYISTS: “At a private meeting in September, congressional aides asked Rebeckah Adcock, a top official at the Department of Agriculture, to reveal the identities of the people serving on the deregulation team she leads at the agency,” ProPublica’s Robert Faturechi and The New York Times’ Danielle Ivory report. Adcock “brushed off the request, according to House aides familiar with the exchange, who asked for anonymity because they were not authorized to comment publicly. Making the names public, they recalled her saying, would trigger a deluge of lobbyists.”
— “In fact, interviews and visitor logs at the Agriculture Department showed that Adcock had already been meeting with lobbyists, including those from her former employer, the pesticide industry’s main trade group, CropLife America, and its members. … Adcock, who left the trade group in April, maintained contact with her former industry allies despite a signed ethics agreement promising to avoid for one year issues involving CropLife as well as matters that she had lobbied about in the two years before joining the government.” Full story.
WHO’S SHELLING OUT AT TRUMP PROPERTIES: The Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold and Jonathan O’Connell crunched the numbers on which campaign committees are spending the most at the Trump International Hotel and other Trump properties. “Between Election Day 2016 and the end of September of this year, federal political committees reported paying at least $1.27 million to Trump entities, according to Federal Election Commission filings. Not a dollar has come from any Democrats. Among congressional Republicans, 40 have spent campaign or leadership PAC money at Trump properties, including the D.C. hotel and other hotels and golf clubs throughout the country.”
— Still, President Donald Trump hasn’t “upended the established fundraising business in Washington: GOP legislators, for instance, have still spent more campaign and PAC money at the Charlie Palmer steakhouse on Capitol Hill than at all the Trump properties in 2017.” Full story.
WHAT’S HAPPENING AT CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA: “One year after helping President Donald Trump win the election and earning more than $15 million from a dozen political candidates and committees, the data firm Cambridge Analytica doesn’t have any U.S. political clients, according to an analysis of Federal Election Commission records,” The Wall Street Journal’s Julie Bykowicz and Rebecca Ballhaus report. “Research firms that work with winning campaigns usually benefit from their victory and the higher profile it brings. President Barack Obama’s data-centric 2008 presidential run spawned numerous digital firms that are still major political vendors.”
— “Yet Cambridge Analytica’s reputation is facing challenges on several fronts. The company has come under scrutiny in congressional investigators’ probe of whether Trump associates colluded with Russia in the 2016 election, according to three people familiar with the firm’s business. The data firm is also grappling with staff upheaval and complaints from clients that it fell short in delivering services it promised, according to several previous clients. … Since the end of the 2016 campaign, nine of the 13 political staffers at Cambridge Analytica who worked on the Trump campaign have left the company, according to a person familiar with Cambridge’s staffing.” Full story.
SPOTTED: At a dinner Monday night at the Chevy Chase, Md., home of Alan Fleischmann, the president and chief executive of Laurel Strategies, and his wife, Dafna Tapiero, according to a PI tipster: Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and his wife, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, who’s running for Maryland governor; Dave McCormick of Bridgewater Associates; Arne Sorenson, the president and chief executive of Marriott International, and his wife, Ruth Sorenson; Patrick Steel, the chief executive of POLITICO; Willy Walker of Walker & Dunlop; Vicki Reggie Kennedy; Susan Goldberg of National Geographic; Mark Webb of Dominion Energy; Judith Rodin of the Rockefeller Foundation; Russ Ramsey of Ramsey Asset Management and his wife, Norma; Ashok Mirpuri, Singapore’s ambassador to the U.S.; and David Meadvin of Laurel Strategies.
NEW JOINT FUNDRAISERS:
Blue Dog Fund (PAC)
Draft Kid Rock Committee (Super PAC)
NEW LOBBYING REGISTRATIONS:
NEW LOBBYING TERMINATIONS: