Saturday, January 7, 2017

Trump insiders head for big K Street paydays

Former aides look to disrupt a lobbying industry where Trump connections are rare.

By ISAAC ARNSDORF and KENNETH P. VOGEL 01/06/17 07:01 PM EST, [original article contains links.]

Jolly image from
The latest Trump insider to head for K Street is Stuart Jolly, who was among the first employees of Trump’s campaign, for which he worked as national field director until mid-April.
Jolly has accepted a position as president of a boutique lobbying and government affairs firm called SPG, according to a message the firm sent to its clients last month, which was obtained by POLITICO. ...
Such connections could be a major asset to SPG, which is bringing on Jolly, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, to focus on the firm’s “growing global private diplomacy portfolio,” according to the client message.
SPG, which stands for Sonoran Policy Group, describes itself as a “public diplomacy firm,” and has mostly maintained a low profile in Washington, representing an eclectic array of clients including an arms dealer that the Justice Department charged with illegally selling weapons into Libya. (Prosecutors dropped the case, which threatened to embarrass the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton.)
SPG hasn’t been registered to lobby Congress since 2012. But last month it filed with the Justice Department to represent the New Zealand embassy and its hiring of Jolly suggests it may be ramping up its Washington operation under Trump. The firm is partnering with Salem Media to host an inauguration week party that has become a hot ticket among incoming Trump officials and is expected to draw high-profile Trump backers like actor Jon Voight.
The firm is led by Robert Stryk, a former GOP congressional staffer who has his own ties to members of Trump’s team. For instance, he brokered a $1.2-million book deal for former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski last year, which was withdrawn partly because Lewandowski declined to show the publisher his non-disclosure agreement.
In his firm’s message to clients, Stryk said Jolly’s “broad experience across the political, policy, and business sectors further enhance our holistic approach to identifying opportunities, managing risk, and solving complex challenges.”
By going straight to K Street, Jolly ... [is] sidestepping Trump’s proposed five-year ban on administration officials becoming lobbyists and lifetime ban on lobbying for foreign governments. ...

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