With Daniel Lippman
GYMS SWIPE BACK AT WHITE HOUSE: The Community Gyms Coalition and International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association hit back at the White House on Thursday after the Biden administration appeared to dismiss the notion of an imminent round of Covid relief for industries still being battered by the pandemic.
— In a letter to President Joe Biden, the coalition, which represents more than 15,000 gyms and fitness studios, and the trade association said they are “concerned by recent reports that the Administration does not recognize the severe need of the hardest-hit industries that have not received targeted aid.” The groups pointed out that broader federal aid programs like the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loans “do not meet the cost structures of fitness facilities, and have proven to be of little benefit for most fitness facilities,” which the groups said amount to an “oversight” that “has left gyms and fitness facilities in a dire position” as the Omicron variant of Covid-19 threatens what are typically the industry’s busiest months.
— “We are aware that congressional leaders are quickly drafting legislation to provide targeted aid to industries heavily-impacted by COVID, including gyms,” they added, referring to a package that was being crafted by Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) “We commend their efforts and urge you to support direct, targeted aid for distressed gyms and fitness facilities. There is nothing more important than safeguarding the health of all Americans.”
KNOW YOUR MARKS: Miller Strategies’ Jeff Miller is hosting a high-dollar fundraiser next week for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who is in line to potentially become the next speaker of the House if Republicans take back the chamber in November’s midterms. The event on Wednesday will be co-hosted by CGCN’s Sam Geduldig and John Stipicevic — the latter of whom is a former McCarthy aide — and will feature the top Republican on every standing committee in the House, almost all of whom are likely to assume chairmanships in a GOP-led House.
— With that kind of access, the cost of getting in the door is steep. According to a copy of the invitation obtained by PI, tickets start at $25,000 for attendees. For a donation of $50,000 attendees can be named a co-host, while cutting a check to McCarthy’s joint fundraising committee for $100,000 will earn donors the title of host.
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‘VOLATILITY’ IN THE CARDS FOR TARGETS OF CONGRESSIONAL PROBES: Votes have yet to be cast in the midterms but already K Street is preparing for a potential power handoff on the Hill. The prospect of losing the majority and the perks that come along with it, such as subpoena powers, could prompt “Democrats to aggressively seize upon oversight activities as a tool for bolstering their reelection prospects, seeking to drive up enthusiasm among the party’s base,” Hogan Lovell’s Aaron Cutler and Ari Fridman wrote in a piece for Law360 on Thursday. The pair expects Democrats to ramp up existing inquiries, including those involving domestic energy companies, biopharmaceutical companies and the e-cigarette industry in particular.
— Cutler and Fridman note that at the same time, “individuals and companies that receive interrogatories or other requests from Republican lawmakers when they are in the minority should expect renewed engagement from Republicans if they gain the ability to compel cooperation.” It wouldn’t be a bad idea for these potential targets to weigh “whether enhanced cooperation with the Republican minority in 2022 could help reduce exposure to closer scrutiny from a likely Republican majority in 2023,” they argue. Overall, Cutler and Fridman predict that “increased volatility will force companies and their oversight counsel to be nimble.”
MAYORS PLEAD WITH CONGRESS FOR RESTAURANT AID: Nearly 30 current and former mayors pressed congressional leadership today to come to the aid of more than 177,000 businesses that were left without Covid relief when the Restaurant Revitalization Fund ran out of money last year. “Restaurants and bars are months beyond struggling, they are dying in plain sight,” the mayors cautioned in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and McCarthy. The letter was organized by the Independent Restaurant Coalition, an industry group that sprung up during the first months of the pandemic to lobby for targeted federal assistance.
— A confluence of factors, from a new surge in Covid cases combined with winter weather preventing many from offering outdoor dining, all on top of increased costs for food and other operating costs, has left the industry scrambling. The mayors warned that “without Congress acting urgently to replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) 86% of independent restaurants and bars that didn’t receive grants risk permanently closing.” The roughly 100,000 restaurants who received small business grants through the RRF amounted to only about a third of applicants.
— “Congress cannot only fix a third of the problem the pandemic created — representatives need to ensure these small businesses have the relief they need to navigate the uncertain future and pay down their debt,” the mayors wrote. The chief executives of the biggest cities in the country — New York’s Eric Adams, Chicago’s Lori Lightfoot and Los Angeles’ Eric Garcetti, to name a few — signed the letter, as well as the leaders of smaller cities, such as San Rafael, Calif.’s Kate Colin and Camden, S.C.’s Alfred Mae Drakeford and Burlington, Vt.’s Miro Weinberger.
WHO’S DIALING UP MANCHIN ON THE FILIBUSTER “The strongest voices lobbying Joe Manchin to change Senate rules and advance elections reform aren’t liberal activists or die-hard filibuster opponents. Instead, they’re a small group of his friends who once shared his reluctance,” POLITICO’s Burgess Everett reports.
— Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Angus King (I-Maine), all of whom previously resisted chipping away at the filibuster, “have met at least a dozen times with Manchin to talk about Senate rules, sometimes joined by other Democrats, according to participants. They’re the vanguard of a delicate effort to chip away at Manchin’s steadfast opposition to changing the filibuster.”
— “Manchin has told colleagues that his phone line has been lighting up with prominent names outside the Senate in recent days. He’s heard from former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and talk-show legend Oprah Winfrey, plus former staffers to both Manchin and former Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), according to a person familiar with the talks. Manchin’s office declined comment on those calls. But perhaps the most fertile discussions take place behind closed doors, among the senators themselves.”
EX-MPA GENERAL COUNSEL SENTENCED: Steven Fabrizio, who previously served as general counsel of the Motion Picture Association of America (now the Motion Picture Association), was sentenced to one year in prison today for sexually abusing and blackmailing a woman he met on an online dating site in 2019, the Justice Department announced. Fabrizio, who was fired by the trade group following his arrest, pleaded guilty last summer to one count each of blackmail and third-degree sexual abuse.
— D.C. Superior Court Judge Marisa Demeo sentenced Fabrizio to a total of 30 months of prison time, but suspended all but 12 months of that time on the condition that Fabrizio complete three years of supervised probation. He’ll also be required to register as a sex offender for 10 years following his release from prison.
— According to prosecutors, Fabrizio struck up a cash-for-sex arrangement with the woman and the two had consensual sex, but after the woman declined Fabrizio’s request for a second meeting, prosecutors say Fabrizio sent her text messages threatening to reveal the arrangement to her employer, parents and landlord. The woman relented to a second meeting, according to prosecutors, at which point Fabrizio allegedly sexually abused her and sent more threatening texts, prompting the woman to go to the police.
— Andrew Lewis, U.S. Navy vice admiral and former commander of the United States Second Fleet and NATO’s Joint Force Command Norfolk, will become senior vice president of policy and projects at Business Executives for National Security.
— The National Confectioners Association has promoted Dan Shorts to senior director of government affairs. He has been with NCA for more than five years, previously serving as director of government affairs.
— Jeremy Pollack has joined the Water Quality Association as their director of government affairs. He was previously manager of federal government affairs at the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.
— Holtzman Vogel Baran Torchinsky & Josefiak has promoted Christine Fort and Phillip M. Gordon to partner in the Arizona and Virginia offices respectively, and named Robert Volpe of counsel in Florida.
— D.J. Jordan will be chief of staff to Virginia A.G.-elect Jason Miyares. He currently is a senior vice president at Pinkston, and is an alum of Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.).
— Kayte Steinmetz will be a senior account supervisor on Edelman’s financial communications/capital markets team. She previously was an editorial producer at CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront.”
Foster A New Texas (Super PAC)
Ruiz & Smart Political Committee LLC (PAC)
Adams And Reese, LLP: St. Charles Parish
Capitol Counsel LLC: Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc.
Clark Hill, Plc: Inventus Power
Consilium Consulting: Comcast Corporation
Cypress Advocacy, LLC: Chime Financial, Inc.
Daimler Truck North America LLC: Daimler Truck North America LLC
Ernst & Young LLP (Washington Council Ernst & Young): S Corporation Association
G S Proctor And Associates, Inc: Melwood Horticultural Training Center
Hawley LLC: Mla Associates On Behalf Of Brainscope Company
Lxr Group: American Association For Justice
Lxr Group: Consumer Federation Of America
Lxr Group: Healthy Markets Association
Lxr Group: North American Securities Administrators Association
Masa Group, LLC: Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.
Mcguirewoods Consulting (A Subsidiary Of Mcguirewoods LLP): Galesburg Cottage Hospital
Syl Alliance, LLC: Hemlock Court Holdings Corp.
Tiber Creek Group: Siemens Healthineers
Williams And Jensen, Pllc: Lifescience Logistics
American Thoracic Society: American Thoracic Society
Braeburn Inc. Formerly Known As Braeburn Pharmaceuticals Inc: Braeburn Inc Formerly Known As Braeburn Pharmaceuticals Inc
Cordia Companies: American Public University System
Jeffery L Cardwell: Sextons Creek (On Behalf Of G2 Strategies)
Miller & Chevalier Chartered: Shee Atika, Incorporated
The Spectrum Group: Scone Medical Solutions