Russia continues to fund US media

With Daniel Lipman

RUSSIAN STATE MEDIA MONEY KEEPS FLOWING: Months after Russia invaded Ukraine and media companies abandoned the country’s state programming, Russian government funding continues to flow to American media.

Between April and the end of September, the Russian state media group Rossiya Segodnya channeled $3,284,169 to Ghebi, a company that produces articles, newswires and a number of radio shows. During that same period, Ghebi spent $2,183,640.72 on behalf of his client, according to an October filing with the Justice Department under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

POLITICO Influence reported in August that Ghebi and the agency, which controls the outlet Sputnik, had renewed their contract, with a one-year budget set at $7 million, the largest since Ghebi began reporting his contracts to the Justice Department. Although companies, including Youtube and Direc TV abandoned Russian state media, the country’s government seems to continue to see value in media spending, even as it wages war on Ukraine.

That same month, Rebel Media Productions – a company run by a controversial former local news anchor Benjamin Swan – registered to represent Russian government-backed media organization TV Novosti. The production company would oversee video production for TV Novosti and other clients, focusing solely on the Indian, Chinese and South American television markets. A filing also noted that Rebel Media Productions received $609,792 to pay for the layoff. RT America employees.

Happy Thursday and welcome to PI! My name is Hailey Fuchs, and I cover POLITICO’s money and influence. I’ll be taking over the newsletter for the rest of the week. Send me all your advice on [email protected]. Follow me on Twitter: @Hailey_Fuchs.

FEDERAL LOBBYING SPENDING EXCEEDS $3 BILLION: “Federal lobbyists raised $3 billion in the third quarter of 2022, a record in what will likely be the most expensive year for federal lobbying yet,” reports Open SecretsTaylor Giorno.

– “The trend follows unprecedented lobbying spending of $1.1 billion in the first quarter of 2022, which ballooned to $2 billion spent in the second quarter.”

— “Organizations are only about $743.6 million away from the record $3.8 billion spent on federal lobbying in 2021. There has not been a quarter since 2008 where federal lobbyists have received less than $743.6 million, anything but ensuring that 2022 will be a record year for the federal government. lobbyists when the fourth quarter disclosures are filed on January 20.

— “More than 13,400 organizations deployed more than 11,900 federal lobbyists in the first nine months of 2022. The 10 clients who spent the most money on federal lobbying during this period represented 8% of all federal lobbying expenditures.

MERCURY DEVELOPS ITS PRACTICAL STATES: The lobbying and consulting firm Mercury announced on Thursday that he had expanded his “multi-state base practice.” The practice will be led by Robert Jonesformer senior vice president of U.S. government relations and public affairs at Pfizerand John Moffettformerly of TALK Strategica South Carolina public affairs and communications firm.

— “States are often overlooked in Washington, but they are an essential complement to any national effort,” said the CEO of Mercury. Kieran Mahoney said in a press release, announcing the company’s growth. “We have invested significant resources in building our state offices to meet the needs of clients, often amplifying their message in Washington. No plan is complete without a significant state-level operation to identify threats and opportunities.

– POLITICO noted in June that K Street was looking to states for new revenue, amid a standoff in Washington. Read this story here.

RESUME OF THE MENENDEZ INVESTIGATION: Sen. Bob Mendez (DN.J.) Under Investigation, POLITICO Reports Matt Friedman.

“’Senator Menendez is aware of an investigation that was reported today. However, he doesn’t know the scope of the investigation,’ adviser to Menendez Michael Suleiman said in response to an inquiry. “As always, if formal requests are made, the senator is available to provide any assistance requested of him or his office.”

— “Quoting two sources, the digital news agency Semafor reported that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York is investigating Menendez – five years after he beat federal corruption charges.

FARA’S CONFUSION HITS AT LAWYERS“The first planned U.S. overhaul of foreign lobbying disclosure rules in 30 years is rooted in more aggressive Justice Department enforcement that has left a growing number of lawyers practicing in the space uncertain of its reach. “, reports Bloomberg Lawit is Ben Penn.

— “Practitioner interest and confusion surrounding the Foreign Agents Registration Act comes amid investigations and lawsuits seeking to compel lobbying transparency from prominent figures. Cases have involved allies of the two previous presidents, including an investigation into whether Rudy Giuliani was acting as an unregistered agent for Ukrainian nationals and an indictment of Obama’s White House lawyer Greg Craig. Giuliani was not charged and Craig was found not guilty.

— “Sentences up to five years in prison for willful violators, FARA mandates public disclosure when individuals, businesses, or nonprofits act on behalf of foreign interests. It contains exceptions that apply to lawyers, which have proven difficult to interpret for work at the intersection of legal representation and political advocacy.

Mary Comella launched the strategic communications and advocacy company Comella & Cie. She was most recently Head of Public Affairs and Brand at CLEAR, and held senior management positions for both former governors. Chris Christie (RN.J.) and Andrew Cuomo (DN.Y.), and on several presidential campaigns.

Michael Chang, former deputy assistant secretary for Commerce Department policy, heads to nonprofit Strada Educational Network become its Chief Strategy Officer.

Jennifer Pensiveformer political adviser to SEC Chairman Gary Gensler is heading to the private sector to join the law firm Paul, Weiss as a member of the firm’s private fund group.

Antonio De Loera-Brust is now Director of Communications at United Farmworkers. He was previously a special assistant at the State Department.

Robert Smith joined Platinum Advisors the government relations team. He was previously Managing Director at Mercury Public Affairs and is a Joel Hefley, Wes Watkins and RNC alumnus.

Andre Cohen joined the US German Marshall Fund as its very first editor. He was previously Director of Communications at Pew Research Center.

Brad Smithpresident and vice president of Microsoft, and Julie SweetChairman and CEO of Accenture, will chair a new AI Council at Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Kevin L. Miller and Jason B.Caron rejoin Latham and Watkins to further expand the company’s healthcare offerings, the company said.

Increase salary with Fetterman Fund (Fetterman for PA, Fems for Dems PAC)

DemsMight (Super PAC)

We’re sick of it (Super PAC)

Every job is essential PAC (Super PAC)

Liebman & Associates, Inc.: WEC Energy Group Inc.

LSN Partners, LLC: Disaster Technologies Incorporated

Dentons Global Advisors Government Relations LLC: Semiconductor Component Industries LLC

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP: Woodside Energy

Mcguirewoods Consulting (a subsidiary of Mcguirewoods LLP): Finger Paint One, LLC

The Halcrow Group LLC: Advanced Technology International (on behalf of the National Armaments Consortium)

High Street Strategies LLC: Island Institute

Thorn Run Partners: Naval and Maritime Consortium

Thorn Run Partners: Process Technology

Thorn Run Partners: Classone Technology Inc.

Thorn Run Partners: Nanoshift LLC

Liebman & Associates, Inc.: Stonewater Minerals, LLC

Liebman & Associates, Inc.: Arcimoto, LLC

Vendorpass, Inc.: Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC

Fifestrategies, LLC: Draken International, LLC

Jenner & Block LLP: Mapetsi Policy Group LLC on behalf of the San Carlos Apache Tribe

Jenner & Block LLP: Mapetsi Policy Group LLC on behalf of the Samish Indian Nation

LLC Watershed Results: Mystic Aquarium

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