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POLITICO Influence: GO BIG MEDIA ADDS GORDON

POSTED one year ago BY Go BIG Media, Inc.

API adds two lobbyists — Rwanda hires Rubenstein PR — Starz Entertainment, tea party group hire firms

By TARINI PARTI

8/13/15 1:59 PM EDT

With Cate Martel and Aaron Mak 

GO BIG MEDIA ADDS GORDON: Go BIG Media, a D.C. and Florida based digital media firm, has brought on Andrew Gordon as director of campaigns. The hire is a part of the firm’s expansion ahead of the 2016 cycle. Gordon has worked on congressional, statewide, and legislative level races in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, North Carolina and California, among others. He will be based on Austin, Texas.

FIRST IN PI ... API ADDS TWO LOBBYISTS: American Petroleum Institute has hired two new lobbyists for its advocacy team: Will Hupman, who will serve as director of government affairs, and Vincent Erfe, who will serve as  director of government affairs. Hupman previously served as director of federal government and external affairs at Alpha Natural Resources, and Erfe previously served as legislative director to Rep. Michael Turner.

"We are excited to announce new staff who bring Capitol Hill and private sector experience to API’s advocacy team,” said Louis Finkel, executive vice president of API, in a statement. “These new additions will have key roles in our growing education outreach efforts on behalf of the oil and natural gas industry — a critical component for our economy and millions of American jobs."

FARA UPDATE — RWANDA HIRES RUBENSTEIN PR: Rwanda Development Board, Tourism and Conservation has hired New York-based Rubenstein Public Relations to “actively disseminate press releases to U.S. domestic and international media,” according to documents filed under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. The firm will facilitate interviews with Rwandan ambassadors and Rwandan nationals and contact “high profile individuals and media” to attend the Kwita Izina gorilla naming ceremony, an annual event aimed at protecting mountain gorillas and their habitat.

LATEST REGISTRATIONS — STARZ ENTERTAINMENT, TEA PARTY GROUP HIRE FIRMS: Starz Entertainment has hired Venable to lobby on “the importance of preserving and promoting diverse programming and to discuss solutions to potential negative impacts of industry consolidation,” according to Senate lobbying disclosures. The firm’s Gregory Gill will be working on behalf of Starz, which has been negotiating a new distribution pact with AT&T. This is the first time the company has brought on a firm to lobby the federal government. TheTeaParty.Net has hired P Intel LLC to lobby on a “range of advocacy efforts related to good governance and the U.S. Constitution,” disclosures show.

GOOD THURSDAY AFTERNOON, where it’s been 73 years since Disney's "Bambi" opened at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. It’s almost the weekend, but don’t forget to send us your tips, news and gossip or just say hi to tparti@politico.com.

BLACKBERRY JOINS CYBER ALLIANCE: Blackberry has joined the National Cyber Security Alliance as a partner “in an effort to educate its community to keep data secure and information protected,” according to a press release. Ed Hearst, vice president of U.S. government business development at BlackBerry and former senior counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, will represent the company on the board.

CARTWRIGHT TO HOST SESTAK FUNDRAISER: Rep. Matt Cartwright is hosting a fundraiser for former Rep. Joe Sestak's Senate bid, making him the second Democratic member of Pennsylvania's congressional delegation to take sides in the contested Senate primary, reports Campaign Pro’s Kevin Robillard.  An email invitation shows Cartwright is hosting the fundraiser on Sept. 3 at the Scranton Club. The minimum donation is $250, with sponsor-level tickets costing $2,700 and "Sponsor +" tickets costing $5,400.

"This will be one of the most closely watched races of 2016, as it will help determine control of the U.S. Senate," the invite from Sestak reads. "Your support, therefore, will have a meaningful impact on the direction of our country in the years and decades to come. And with Sen. [Pat] Toomey being bankrolled by wealthy conservative groups — like Club for Growth, of which he was president — I will need your support." Sestak supported Cartwright in 2012 when he successfully challenged a moderate incumbent congressman, Tim Holden, in a Democratic primary. And Cartwright donated to Sestak's 2010 Senate bid.

CANTOR CHOOSES BANKING OVER LOBBYING: Via POLITICO’s Zachary Warmbrodt, “Eric Cantor left Congress a year ago with about $400,000 in his political action committee and unlimited earning power if he were to decide to return as a lobbyist. But now that he legally can, he’s not going to. Next Tuesday marks the anniversary of the former House majority leader’s resignation, and the date when he could begin making direct pitches to his former colleagues as a lobbyist. But people who know the Virginia Republican, including his new employer, insist he will continue with his career change.” Full story here: http://politi.co/1N83UQs

SEXUAL POLITICS BOOST BID FOR ‘PINK VIAGRA': “A drug company that makes so-called pink Viagra — a libido-boosting pill for women — is on the verge of FDA approval for the drug after enlisting thousands of women’s activists and members of Congress in a campaign about gender double standards and sexual politics,” reports POLITICO’s Sarah Karlin. “The only problem? The medical evidence that the drug actually works safely is weak.When the FDA rejected flibanserin twice before, in 2010 and 2013, it said the drug’s minimal benefits failed to outweigh the safety risks. Now, some health experts are concerned the agency will bow to political pressure rather than decide based on the scientific merits, especially after an advisory panel recommended approval in an 18-6 vote in June. The FDA isn’t bound to follow the panel’s recommendations, but it usually does. It is expected to make a decision, based on new safety data, by Aug. 18.” Full story here: http://politi.co/1Mmcevg

ELSEWHERE IN THE INFLUENCE WORLD: 

RAND GROUPS SHELLS OUT ON ADS: America’s Liberty PAC is spending $450,000 on TV ads supporting Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s presidential campaign, reports Gregory Giroux of Bloomberg Politics.http://bloom.bg/1INHIWK

FEINGOLD’s IN-STATE CASH PLEDGE: Russ Feingold's early fundraising breaks his longtime campaign-finance pledge, reports Andrea Drusch of National Journal. http://bit.ly/1MmerXN

NEW JOINT FUNDRAISING COMMITTEES

None

NEW PAC REGISTRATIONS (Type of PAC)

No Sharia Law USA (PAC)

AWARE PAC (PAC)

Permobil Federal Political Action Committee (PAC)

Virginia for USA (PAC)

NEW LOBBYING REGISTRATIONS (Firm: Client)

Cornerstone Government Affairs, LLC: Landauer

Covington & Burling LLP: Avantel S.A.

Holland & Knight LLP: Lloyd's America, Inc.

JEH Government Services, Inc.: MAXPower

Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein: Newburgh Professional Firefighters Association, Local 589, IAFF, AFL-CIO

P Intel LLC : TheTeaParty.Net

Venable LLP: Starz Entertainment, LLC

NEW LOBBYING TERMINATIONS: (Firm: Client (Type of Termination))

Practical Government Solutions: Hire Calling (Q3 Termination)

Spectrum Consulting Group, LLC: County of Cole, Missouri (Q3 Termination (no activity))

Washington Partners, LLC: National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform (Q4 Termination (no activity))

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