Guzy jumps from WH to Covington — Hayes joins McBee — Clients: We never …

December 10, 2013 by  
Filed under Wind Energy Tips

With Andrea Drusch

FIRST IN PI … GUZY JUMPS FROM W.H. TO COVINGTON: Law firm and lobbying shop Covington Burling announced Monday that Gary Guzy will join the firm’s environmental, public policy and government affairs practices. Guzy most recently served as deputy director and general counsel of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, where he helped develop and guide the Obama administration’s environmental, public health and clean energy agenda, bringing business insights to government policy and coordinating policy across government agencies. He’s also a former general counsel of the Environmental Protection Agency — and brings with him three decades of experience in environmental law, regulation and policy to Covington. He joins the firm’s Washington, D.C., office as of counsel effective Jan. 21, 2014. “Many industries are facing emerging environmental requirements and crises that threaten their business and value,” said Dan Bryant, chairman of the firm’s global public policy and government affairs practice. “The strategic counseling and insight from two former EPA general counsels will help our clients more easily navigate these issues.”

SCOOP … HAYES JOINS MCBEE: The firm McBee Strategic Consulting has hired Colin Hayes as an executive vice president in the firm’s energy advocacy practice. Hayes comes to the firm from the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee under Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the committee’s ranking member. “Colin’s a pro and is deeply respected in Washington for his knowledge of the political and regulatory nuance of the energy policy space,” said McBee President and CEO Steve McBee. “He’s also an A+ character. We’re excited that Colin has joined our team and we look forward to unlocking his experience, expertise and networks for our energy sector clients.” Hayes handled a broad portfolio of issues for the committee — working on bills like the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Soda Ash Royalty Reduction Act of 2006, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the Helium Stewardship Act of 2013 and others. Hayes’s areas of expertise include mining, utilities, oil, natural gas, regulation, infrastructure, transportation fuels, renewable energy, public lands, climate change and permitting. He’s also done stints with former Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) and the late Sen. Craig Thomas (R-Wyo.).

GOOD MONDAY AFTERNOON, where it’s been 48 years since the Kecksburg UFO incident. A huge fireball was seen by thousands across the United States and Canada on De. 9, 1965, before crashing in Kecksburg, Pa. Some witnesses described seeing some kind of object — sometimes described as cone-shaped or with mysterious writing or symbols. An intense military presence descended on the town after the crash. Military officials denied finding anything, but in 2005 NASA acknowledged that it had recovered debris from a Russian satellite — but claimed it had neither the debris nor the records. Send your lobbying news, gossip, tips and scoops to And keep up with PI on Twitter by following @ByronTau or @PoliticoPI.

** When you think retail, do you think innovation? Initial holiday reports show that American consumers are using mobile devices in record numbers to find products, engage with brands, and get the best customer service and price possible. Here’s what that looks like in real-time: **

CLIENTS: WE NEVER HIRED DAVENPORT MCKESSON: Two “clients” of a company calling itself Davenport McKesson have denied ever hiring the firm. In late November, Davenport filed lobbying registrations with the Department of Justice and the U.S. Senate to represent the University of Maryland and the government of Thailand. (PI reported on both off the public documents.) The problem? Both clients tell PI the registrations are fake and that they never engaged Davenport McKesson on any lobbying business.

“The assertion that Davenport McKesson Corporation is representing the University of Maryland as part of a contract with the state of Maryland is a complete fabrication. I don’t know the nature or intent of their false filing, nor do I know why this person or people chose the University of Maryland, but we contacted the secretary of the Senate, Office of Public Records, to alert them,” Andy Clark, assistant vice chancellor for government relations, told PI.

Similarly, according to a Thai embassy official: “The embassy has not engaged any service from Davenport McKesson nor is it aware of any Thai government agency doing so with the company.”

Initially contacted, Davenport’s Christopher Montgomery cited a staff-level mix-up and said his contract was with the State of Maryland not the university. Contacted again after the state of Maryland denied having a lobbying contract with Davenport, Montgomery told PI that the contract was actually with the Maryland Economic Development Corporation, or MEDCO. MEDCO Executive Director Robert Brennan said no such contract existed. Montgomery said he wouldn’t want to get in any “mud-slinging” with MEDCO and said that the relationship was pro bono and had been terminated in any case. Montgomery refused to comment on the statement from the Thai embassy. He then engaged in a bizarre and rambling email back-and-forth with PI before challenging our “prowess as a reporter” and saying that we have “a bad press instinct” and “there is no story to report here.”

So what do we know about the so-called lobbying firm Davenport McKesson?

— It has no other lobbying registrations other than for Thailand and the University of Maryland, according to public records.

— Despite its own claims of having 10 years of lobbying experience, it registered its website in October 2013, according to the WHOis database.

Incorporation paperwork in Massachusetts describes Davenport as a 501c(3) nonprofit charitable organization in what would certainly be a no-no for a for-profit lobbying organization.

— On the Foreign Agent paperwork filed with the Department of Justice, Davenport spelled the foreign minister of Thailand’s name incorrectly, and listed an incorrect address for the foreign ministry.

— Board members, management or lobbyists listed on filings with the DOJ, Senate and state of Massachusetts seem to have no real social media presence on sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or social media.

— Christopher Montgomery also refers to himself as Wayne Montgomery or Wayne C. Montgomery in emails to PI and others. He and a Jennifer Dunn were the lobbyists listed on the University of Maryland account. Dunn and Wayne Montgomery have previously been listed on lobbying reports for a company named Quantico North, which has a similarly thin online presence.

— Quantico North — originally named Brookfield McKesson Global — had its corporate status revoked by Massachusetts in 2012.

— Quantico North claims to have received some measure of equity funding in 2010, according to filing with the SEC.

GENERAL DYNAMICS HIRES APPROPRIATIONS HELP: Defense contractor General Dynamics is bringing on Winning Strategies Washington to monitor defense appropriations bills and track health care provisions. Podesta Group and C. Baker Consulting are among the 21 firms lobbying for General Dynamics, which spent more than $2 million in Q3 of 2013. Donna Mullins, Michael Merola and Scott Mackenzie will work on the account for Winning Strategies.

WHITE COLLAR CRIME CENTER HIRES A LOBBYIST: Nelson, Mullins, Riley Scarborough will lobby for the National White Collar Crime Center on criminal justice issues. According to the Senate’s lobbying database, this is the center’s first hire. NW3C began as the Leviticus Project, based on the biblical verse, “thou shall not defraud thy neighbor.” It provides training and support to state and local law enforcement, and has more than 4,000 member agencies in the U.S. Former Rep. Alan Mollohan and his former legislative assistant Ashley Lantz will work on the account.

AIRBNB INVITES BDB’S FAMILY TO GIVE SITE A SPIN: Sharing economy short-term rental website Airbnb has invited the friends and family of New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio to try its service while they’re in town for his inauguration. In a new video released Monday, several New York City Airbnb hosts congratulate de Blasio on his election and invite his family and friends to book short-term room or apartment rentals on the site. Airbnb is engaged in a fight with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman over the practice of residents or landlords offering homes, apartments or condominiums up for short-term rental on the site. The state alleges that many users are dodging taxes and flouting state and local hotel laws. In October, Schneiderman subpoenaed data on the site’s New York users — sparking a legal fight between the site, the broader Silicon Valley tech community and the state.

VLIETSTRA UPPED AT NASE: The National Association for the Self-Employed has promoted Katie Vlietstra to vice president for government relations and public affairs. She’ll manage the Washington, D.C., office and direct all government relations and public affairs activities. She previously held the position of director of government affairs.


ABA EYES CALIFORNIA SODA FIGHT: The San Francisco Chronicle reports: “The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is still cobbling together details of a proposed ballot measure to tax sodas and other sugary drinks, and voters won’t have their say for another 11 months. But the American Beverage Association is already gearing up for a fight, and supporters of the tax say they’re expecting what they call ‘Big Soda’ (in the vein of Big Oil and Big Tobacco) to spend millions or even tens of millions of dollars to quash their effort.”

CONGRESS IS SWEET ON SUGAR: Congress looks likely to keep a safety net for some sugar growers, the WaPo reports.

MONEY GIVEN: Shockingly, intelligence contractors gave millions to lawmakers overseeing government surveillance.




Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness: Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness

KL Gates: Solyav America

National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities: National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities

Nelson, Mullins, Riley Scarborough: National White Collar Crime Center

Penn Hill Group: Waterford Institute

Winning Strategies Washington: General Dynamics

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