6 months into the Biden administration, several Trump-connected firms together are down millions of dollars in fees; one prominent firm with Trumpworld ties has collapsed, and another has withdrawn from Washington entirely
“It’s definitely been quiet.”
“We talked to them about that, and they were very honest with us,” said Keith Wilkins, the city administrator for the City of Pensacola, Fla., which is a Ballard client. The firm assured him they were working to develop “relationships with some of the leading Democrats in the state of Florida,” he said.
With Trump gone, Ballard Partners has worked to adapt to President Joe Biden’s Washington. It hired more Democratic lobbyists this year and saw its revenue grow slightly from the first quarter to second quarter of 2021.“We’re institutionalizing our business rather than getting the one-time quick hit,” Ballard said.
Other lobbying firms that thrived during Trump’s presidency haven’t fared as well.Avenue Strategies, the lobbying firm started by Corey Lewandowski and Barry Bennett in late 2016, closed up shop after Trump lost. (Lewandowski cut ties with the firm years earlier.) Bennett subsequently started a new firm, but he’s registered to lobby for only a single client: America’s Power, a coal industry trade group. headtopics.com
And former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s lobbying firm, Christie 55 Solutions, which earned more than $1.1 million last year lobbying the Trump administration, stopped lobbying for all eight of its clients earlier this year.Bennett and Christie didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Not all lobbying firms with ties to Trump have suffered in Biden’s Washington.David Tamasi, a longtime Washington lobbyist who raised money for Trump’s 2016 and 2020 campaigns,told POLITICOright before the Nov. 3 election that he expected his lobbying firm’s business to decline 5 to 10 percent if Trump lost. But he said on Wednesday that he was wrong: business hasn’t declined at all.
While his lobbying firm, Chartwell Strategy Group, brought in $435,000 in lobbying fees during the second quarter of this year — down from $550,000 in the second quarter of 2020 — the firm’s revenue in the first half of this year is higher than it was in the first half of 2020. The firm is bipartisan, which has helped insulate it from the transition to a Democratic White House and Congress.
“Last year was our best year, and we’re on track this year for an even better year,” Tamasi said in an interview.The lobbying firm Michael Best Strategies, meanwhile, where Trump’s former White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, is chairman, has seen its lobbying earnings balloon over the past year as it has hired former Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and has given former Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) a bigger role. Michael Best Strategies brought in nearly $2 million in lobbying revenue in the second quarter of 2021, up from $1.1 million in the second quarter of last year. headtopics.com
“Michael Best is one of the fastest growing and smartest shops in DC and we couldn’t be happier with our progress,” Priebus wrote in an email to POLITICO.Michael Best Strategies’ rising fortunes aren’t necessarily surprising. Many K Street firms have seen their revenues boom as Congress has authorized trillions in new spending to combat the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting economic fallout,
and as Biden has pushed for trillions more.At the same time, it’s potentially risky for firms to hire lobbyists with ties to Trump at a time when Democrats control Congress and the White House, and Congress is setting up a commission to investigate the storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters in January. The payoff, instead, could come years down the road if Republicans return to power.
“The risk is somewhat obvious,” said one lobbyist whose firm has discussed bringing on a lobbyist with ties to Trump to bolster its lobbying of Trump allies in Congress. “The rewards are maybe in 2023.” Read more: POLITICO »
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Oh cry me a river...boo fricking hoo! Don't hate the players...Hate the game. The system is corrupt 📢💰💰😎 But there is an upside for Republicans in Congress. A lot of the lobbying money especially from foreign sources were diverted from them to Trump before because it provided better returns. Now, at least some of it will flow back to them.
Failure follows failure. Good… next ETTD they’ve been warned multiple times What’s wrong with Washington? “We’re institutionalizing our business rather than getting the one-time quick hit,” Ballard said.
Disney Unveils The Joe Biden Animatronic That's About To Bump The Robo-TrumpThe new Hall of Presidents will also feature one of Biden's signature accessories.
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