United behind Illinois delegation’s ‘Open Skies’ letter – Politico

With Aubree Eliza Weaver and Daniel Lippman

UNITED BEHIND ILLINOIS DELEGATIONS OPEN SKIES LETTER: Nearly every member of the Illinois congressional delegation sent a letter last week to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross urging them to crack down on three Gulf airlines for violating Open Skies agreements. Well-paying airline jobs are now under threat as a result of the anti-competitive practices of three subsidized Gulf airlines Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways and Emirates, the members wrote. (Only Sens. Dick Durbin, Tammy Duckworth and Rep. Mike Quigley, all Democrats, didnt sign the letter.) The letter closely echoes the complaints of Delta, American and United airlines that the Gulf carriers are unfairly costing them business.

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If the letter sounds like it could have been written by a United lobbyist, thats because it was. A draft copy of the letter obtained by POLITICO shows Adam Hepburn, a United lobbyist, as the author. The draft copy is almost identical to the final letter. Isaac Sancken, a spokesman for Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), who took the lead in assembling support for the letter, confirmed that United wrote the letter and that American and Delta were involved as well. (Krista Stark of Stark Strategies, who counts American as a client, is listed as the last person to modify the draft of a second, nearly identical letter apparently intended to be sent by the Texas delegation; its not clear whether that letter has been sent.) Congressman Lipinski is happy to work with the airlines, the pilots union, and whomever else is standing up for jobs and industry success in the U.S., Sancken said in a statement.

Jonathan Grella, the executive vice president of the U.S. Travel Association, which has opposed the airlines crusade against the Gulf carriers, criticized United in a statement. Make no mistake: more growth and connectivity from under-served markets to the U.S has meant more American jobs, not less, Grella said. We believe members of Congress, like travelers, deserve respect and must never be taken for granted. United did not respond to a request for comment. Neither did Stark.

MONUMENT ADDS HOEFER: Monument Policy Group is adding a lobbyist, bringing on Joseph Hoefer as senior legislative manager. He previously worked for Liz Robbins Associates as legislative counsel, working on issues including juvenile justice reform, tax extenders and food and agriculture policy.

Good afternoon, and welcome to PI. Switching jobs? Making a hire? Give me a shout: tmeyer@politico.com. You can also follow me on Twitter: @theodoricmeyer.

SQUARE HIRES PORTERFIELD, FETTIG & SEARS: Square has hired Porterfield, Fettig & Sears as its third lobbying firm in Washington. The mobile payments company also has the Franklin Square Group and the Smith-Free Group on retainer.

ALL THE PRESIDENTS LAWYERS: Jonathan Mahler has a piece in The New York Times Magazine examining President Donald Trumps relationship with his lawyers. Working for him is not for everyone. Washington lawyers have defended spies, embezzlers, strongmen, torturers, Mahler writes. But the prospect of defending Trump has apparently given them pause. Brendan Sullivan of Williams & Connolly, who represented Oliver North, and Ted Olson of Gibson, Dunn, who represented the Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, are among the veterans of Washington scandals who have reportedly rejected overtures to join Trumps legal defense team. Full story.

SQUIRE PATTON BOGGS WILL WORK ON STADIUM REDEVELOPMENT: Squire Patton Boggs will lobby Congress and the administration on behalf of Events DC as the District works to redevelop the Robert F. Kennedy Stadium site, the firm announced on Thursday. The District leases the 190-acre site along the Anacostia River from the National Park Service. The lease, which runs through 2038, only allows for sports and recreational development of the land. To move forward with the redevelopment of the RFK Campus site plan, the team at Squire Patton Boggs will develop and execute a strategy to extend our leasehold interest or explore a land transfer for the RFK Campus site, the firm said in a statement.

AHEAD OF THE FILINGS: Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer has signed four new clients. Kevin ONeill, Charley Landgraf, Greg Louer, Dana Weekes, Amy Smith, Amy Davenport and Sam Martin will lobby for Trinidad Benham on international trade issues. Roxana Boyd, Sarah Garofalo Linder, Davenport, ONeill, Weekes and Smith are representing Baylor University. Eugenia Pierson, Kristine Blackwood and Pari Mody will lobby for Edge Therapeutics, a New Jersey biotechnology firm. And ONeill, Pierson and Linder will lobby on veterans health issues for Bruin Biometrics, a Los Angeles medical device company.

JOBS REPORT

The National Rural Electric Cooperative is bringing on Bobby Hamill as a legislative affairs manager, working on generation and transmission issues. He was previously legislative director for Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.).

Tom Murta will start next week as the next executive director of the Short Line Safety Institute. He was previously assistant vice president of safety and operations compliance for CSX Transportation.

The American Physical Therapy Association has promoted Mandy Frohlich to chief operating officer. She was previously executive vice president of public affairs.

Ashley Hunt is joining the Concord Coalition as grass roots and outreach director. She was previously an account executive at LS2group, a bipartisan public relations firm based in Des Moines, Iowa.

EMILY’s List has promoted Alexandra De Luca to press secretary. She was previously deputy press secretary.

NEW JOINT FUNDRAISERS:

None

NEW PACs:

Medicare For All PAC (MAPAC) (PAC) Republicans Preserving Our Majority PAC (RPM PAC) (Leadership PAC: Rep. Paul Mitchell) Take A Seat (PAC) WakeUp Political Action Committee (Super PAC)

NEW LOBBYING REGISTRATIONS:

Balch & Bingham, LLP: Northern Star Generation Blank Rome LLP: Dakota Creek Industries, Inc. Blue Marble Strategy LLC: Return to Freedom Dentons US LLP: ChenMed Dykema Gossett PLLC: One Nation Health Francis Edward & Cronin, Inc.: PATH Decision Support Software, LLC Greenfield Government Strategies, LLC: American Water James Edwards: Conservatives for Property Rights Peck Madigan Jones: Gentle Giant Moving Company Porter Group, LLC: University of Nevada, Reno Porterfield, Fettig & Sears, LLC: Square, Inc. Squire Patton Boggs: Westinghouse Electric Company

NEW LOBBYING TERMINATIONS:

EDF Inc.: EDF Inc. National Wildlife Refuge Association: National Wildlife Refuge Association Podesta Group, Inc.: Lend Lease (US) Public Partnerships LLC Skladany Consulting LLC: DSCN Capital The Crane Group Inc: Iheartmedia Inc (Formerly Known As Clear Channel)

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United behind Illinois delegation’s ‘Open Skies’ letter – Politico

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July 10, 2017   Posted in: Jonathan Pollard |

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