Lobbying at a Glance

LOBBYISTS ARE CLAMORING for a mention in the President’s big speech next Wednesday. According to Bob Deans of the Natural Resources Defense Council:“A lot of people compete for space in the State of the Union, and it’s weeks, months in the works….Every single priority lobbies hard for inclusion. We understand space is tight, time is limited and time is valuable.” - Roll Call

James Pinkerton, co-chair of the RATE Coalition: “Everybody hangs on every word the president says in the State of the Union, looking for their word, their sentence, their phrase, with fingers crossed,” said James Pinkerton, who co-chairs the RATE Coalition, which lobbies for a lower corporate tax rate.

Year-end disclosure reports reveal that the energy drink business is beefing up its lobbying efforts: “Since November, Monster Energy has spent $100,000 to lobby on ‘legislation and oversight regarding energy drinks.’….[Since] Nov. 26, Red Bull has spent $20,000 on lobbying.” – The Washington Post

This comes in the wake of FDA investigations into “adverse events” linked to the drinks. According to a November press release published just weeks before Red Bull and Monster began their lobbying crusade:

So-called “energy” products are relatively new to the market, and manufacturers of these products have labeled some as dietary supplements and others as conventional foods….FDA cautions consumers that products marketed as “energy shots” or “energy drinks” are not alternatives to rest or sleep….If you are thinking about taking one of these products, please consult your health care provider…

(Imagine hearing “ask your doctor if Red Bull is right for you.”)

The Post article continues:  “Between 2004 and October 2012, 17 people died and more than 100 had chest pains, cardiac arrest and other health problems after consuming 5-Hour Energy, Monster and Rockstar beverages, according to FDA data. The FDA noted that the reports do not mean the drinks necessarily caused those ailments.”

Jake Perry, aide to Harry Reid since ’98, has set up lobby firm Jake Perry + Partners: “Jake Perry + Partners is currently based in downtown Washington and is aiming to sign on a broad range of clients, including those in the financial services sector. Perry, who still has family in Nevada, says he plans to one day widen his company’s base of operation to his home state as well.” – POLITICO

The Medical Marijuana PAC slashed “Medical” from its name: “The move came in the aftermath of two members of Congress introducing a bill to legalize and regulate marijuana at the federal level. And it’s a sign that pot advocacy groups are moving away from the ‘medical’ argument – which was always seen as a first step towards full legalization – and embracing the argument for full-on recreational usage.” – POLITICO

 

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