With Daniel Lippman
PAYROLL ADVANCE APP BUILDS OUT D.C. PRESENCE: Earnin, one of a growing group of apps that provides users advances on their paychecks in exchange for “tips,” has hired tech startup vet Ben LaRocco to grow out its D.C. office. LaRocco previously worked in government relations for e-scooter companies Superpedestrian and Lime, as well as Amazon and Procter & Gamble.
— Earnin is part of a burgeoning payroll advance or earned wage access industry that includes apps offering similar services like Dave, PayActiv and Brigit that pitches itself as an alternative to payday lenders — there are no mandatory fees or interest rates, and Earnin users connect their bank accounts so that their cash advance is deducted when their paycheck is deposited.
— The industry, which has grown increasingly popular as Americans faced cash crunches during the pandemic, was already under scrutiny by state regulators, a dozen of whom in 2019 announced an investigation into companies who it said appeared to be evading caps on interest rates for what are essentially small loans. In January Earnin was one of five payroll advance companies to cut a deal with California’s consumer financial protection agency to share data on their business models, including consumer fees and complaints, and in March a federal judge OK’d a settlement in a class action lawsuit against the app filed by users over overdraft fees they incurred.
— In April, Earnin hired its first federal lobbyists, a team from Forbes Tate Partners, to focus on “issues related to banking and consumer protection legislation,” according to a disclosure filing. Dave, which is backed by Mark Cuban and this month announced plans to go public via a SPAC, appears to be the only other payroll advance app to have representation in Washington, hiring a team from FS Vector in January.
FIREHOUSE ADDS SEC, THUNE VET: Public affairs firm Firehouse Strategies has hired Chandler Smith Costello as a senior vice president. Costello most recently served as deputy public affairs director at the Securities and Exchange Commission, and before that spent a decade on the Hill as Senate Minority Whip John Thune’s communications director and for former Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.). She also previously served as vice president of government communications at the American Hotel and Lodging Association.
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KEATING OUT AT BOEING: “Tim Keating, Boeing’s executive vice president of government operations, the company’s chief lobbyist and political strategist in Washington, D.C., and a leading figure on the jet maker’s leadership council, is ‘no longer with the company.’ That was the curt wording in a Monday afternoon memo from Chief Executive Dave Calhoun to Boeing’s government operations team,” The Seattle Times’ Dominic Gates reports. Marc Allen, the aerospace giant’s chief strategy officer, would take over the role on an acting basis “effective immediately,” Calhoun’s memo said.
— “Calhoun’s memo provided no explanation for Keating’s sudden departure, which happened without warning or transition. His message included not a word of praise or thanks for the departing executive, indicating that Keating has been ousted against his will. Keating’s bio immediately disappeared from the list of executive biographies on Boeing’s corporate website.
— Keating, a Clinton administration, Honeywell and Timmons & Company alum, joined Boeing in 2008 “to leverage his political clout after Boeing initially lost the Air Force aerial refueling tanker contract to Northrop Grumman, which had proposed a tanker based on an Airbus jet. In 2011, Keating’s aggressive lobbying of Congress was instrumental in Boeing reversing that decision and winning the KC-46 tanker contract.” He also helped guide the company as it grappled with the fallout of deadly 737 MAX crashes and the grounding of the fleet.
KHANNA, PORTER SEEK DETAILS ON JPMORGAN’S FOSSIL FUEL LOBBYING: “Reps. Ro Khanna and Katie Porter on Monday pressed JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon for details about his bank’s financial ties to troubled energy companies and the extent to which it lobbied the Trump administration to bail out the oil and gas industry,” POLITICO’s Victoria Guida reports.
— “The California Democrats in a letter expressed concern about emails obtained by advocacy group Friends of the Earth, which they say showed that the bank advocated for government assistance of the fossil fuel industry during the pandemic — a claim the bank denies.” The pair requested “information about JPMorgan’s relationship to the oil and gas sector, both direct and indirect. They said the firm is the biggest banker for the fossil fuel industry, providing nearly $317 billion in lending and underwriting for those companies between 2016 and 2020, according to the Rainforest Action Network.”
WELL ISN’T THAT IRONIC: “If you pay at least $725 per year, Sen. Amy Klobuchar will invite you into an elite club of donors who have regular policy talks with her” — including a discussion tonight with Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) about the For the People Act, which aims to curb the influence of money in politics, according to a fundraising invite obtained by Insider’s Robin Bravender and Dave Levinthal.
— “The North Star Series offers a unique opportunity to stay in touch and grow a dialogue with U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar through a salon style series of conversations and opportunities,” the email to prospective donors reads. “Members who contribute at least $725 annually have access to ‘quarterly virtual gatherings with the Senator and special guests, a monthly newsletter, and other unique opportunities.’ Members will also serve as ‘grassroots advisors’ to Klobuchar in advance of her 2024 reelection campaign, the email says.”
— Donors can contribute $1,450 to become a North Star Committee member, per the email, or $725 to be a North Star friend and $500 to be a sponsor or $100 to be a guest, which appears to be enough to get supporters in the virtual door for tonight’s talk on the bill, which Klobuchar and Warnock co-sponsored, following a doomed procedural vote this evening.
NEW SETTLEMENT TRADE GROUP TAPS LEADERSHIP: The American Association of Settlement Consultants, a trade association representing settlement planners that formed earlier this year, has elected Rebekah Reedy-Miller as its president. The group also tapped the American Trucking Associations’ Jennifer Wieroniey to serve as its executive director and chief executive of the group’s PAC, which will support the industry’s allies in Congress.
WYDEN HOPES TO SPARK NEW DRUG PRICING TALKS: “Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden on Tuesday outlined a proposal for curbing prescription drug prices as pressure ramps up on Democratic lawmakers to use the reforms to pay for other priorities in a massive infrastructure package,” POLITICO’s Alice Marie Ollstein reports.
— “The new framework, which Wyden has discussed for months with members of his influential committee and Democratic leadership, proposes building on the bipartisan plan he and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) offered last Congress that never came up for a floor vote due to GOP leaders’ opposition. It would also include provisions similar to the House’s landmark drug pricing bill, H.R. 3 (117), that would empower Medicare to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies and apply those lower prices across other public and private insurance programs.
— “The Wyden plan comes as drug pricing talks in Congress remain uncertain. A group of House Democratic moderates have raised concerns over government negotiations, casting in doubt Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s pledge to include her drug pricing bill in infrastructure legislation. Wyden told POLITICO he’s been talking to Republican lawmakers and Democratic colleagues close to drugmakers to build support for his proposal, arguing it would not hamper research and development, as critics of pricing reforms argue.”
— Rory Cooper has been promoted to partner at Purple Strategies. He’s been a managing director at the firm since 2014 and is an Eric Cantor, White House, Energy Department and NASA alum.
— Andrew Miller is now a legislative specialist in Clark Hill‘s government and regulatory affairs practice. He was previously bodyman and legislative staff for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
— Jill Pike is returning to Finsbury Glover Hering as a managing director in the Los Angeles office. She most recently was vice president of communications at Vox Media, and is an NFL alum.
— Matt Fuehrmeyer is now president of The American Independent, the progressive news organization founded by David Brock. He most recently was owner of Furious Strategies and is a DCCC, Al Franken and Harry Reid alum.
— Rachel Weiss is now communications director in HHS’ Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs. She previously was director of external affairs at UnitedHealth Group.
— Bryan Wells is now a director at Stanton Park Group. He most recently was senior health policy director for former Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.).
— Jana Denning is joining the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists at the AFL-CIO as director of government affairs. She currently is executive vice president at Emerald Collaborative Partners.
Arizona Deserves Better PAC (Super PAC)
Building America Together (PAC)
End Discriminatory Prohibition (PAC)
Fire Ken Paxton PAC (Super PAC)
Indian American Physician Federal PAC (PAC)
Pacific Northwest PAC (PAC)
Shield AI Political Action Committee (SAIPAC) (PAC)
Avisa Partners US, Inc.: Banco Azteca, S.A., Institucion De Banca Multiple
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP: Highly Innovative Fuels
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP: The Institute Of Internal Auditors
Evergreen Consulting LLC: Bird Shippers Of America
Govbiz Advantage, Inc.: Bell & Lindsay (For Everglades University)
Govbiz Advantage, Inc.: Bell & Lindsay (For Southeastern College)
Govbiz Advantage, Inc.: National Whistleblower Legal Defense & Education Fund
Grayrobinson Pa: The Petrizzo Group, Inc. Obo Magnolia Medical Technologies
High Street Strategies LLC: Watershed Results LLC On Behalf Of Esa Mitigation (Coalition)
Holland & Knight LLP: The Western Union Company
Husch Blackwell Strategies: Coalition Of Hope Foundation
Invariant LLC: Cmc Materials, Inc.
J M Burkman & Associates: Rockdale Farmers
Lkb Strategies LLC: Coalition To Stop Flu
Lkb Strategies LLC: Organon & Co.
Muroff Law Firm, LLC: African Cultural Alliance Of North America (Acana)
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough: Tidelands Health
Polsinelli Pc: Western Michigan University
Prime Policy Group: Sharkninja Operating LLC
Putalastrategies: Flint Law Firm, LLC
Reston Strategy Group, LLC: Karman Missile And Space Systems
Robert White Associates, Inc.: Kindred Healthcare
Shipt, Inc.: Shipt, Inc.
Shopify Inc: Shopify Inc
Alvarez & Associates: Airline Service Providers Association
Polsinelli Pc: Ficohsa Express, LLC
Polsinelli Pc: Ficohsa Express Louisiana, LLC
Polsinelli Pc: Ficohsa Express New Jersey, LLC
Polsinelli Pc: Ficohsa Express New York, LLC
Polsinelli Pc: Ficohsa Express North Carolina, LLC
Polsinelli Pc: Ficohsa Express Virgina, LLC