Glover Park Group now lobbying for Lyft

Lyft hired K Street firm Glover Park Group this month to lobby on its behalf.

The forms, signed on June 27 but effective June 1, say the firm will be working on issues that affect “transportation network companies” generally.

Democratic lobbyists Gregg Rothschild and Catharine Ransom are listed on the account. 

{mosads}Rothschild’s Capitol Hill resume includes work as a senior staffer on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and on the Senate Small Business Committee. Ransom held senior roles with the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and former Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.).

Lyft also has the Podesta Group, which it hired last year, to lobby federal officials. There are five lobbyists on the account, including former Senate Transportation Committee GOP aide Randall Gerard and Oscar Ramirez, who served as a senior adviser to former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.

Work includes talking to policymakers about ride-sharing policies and independent contractors. Drivers for the platform are not considered employees, but are referred to as independent contractors.

Both Podesta Group and Glover Park Group have in-house public relations components.

The ride-hailing app, founded in 2012, operates in dozens of cities nationwide. Lyft and its primary competitor, Uber, have clashed with state and local regulators and the limo and taxi industry.

Uber has been ramping up its own K Street operations, spending $320,000 on lobbying in the first three months of this year, compared to $470,000 in all of 2015. In addition to its in-house team, Uber has Federal Hill Group, Franklin Square Group and The Doerrer Group on retainer.

Lyft, meanwhile, spent $130,000 on lobbying services last year.

Earlier this year, Lyft terminated lobbying contracts with both Gephardt Government Affairs, a lobbying firm run by former Rep. Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.) and Jochum Shore & Trossevin.

Since signing up with Gephardt in 2014, disclosure documents listed “no activity” — signifying the firm did not do any work for the company. Lyft terminated the contract on March 31.

Jochum Shore has been lobbying for Lyft since March 2014, according to forms. Disclosures say that the firm had been working to “secure equal access for users of transportation network services in the Surface Transportation and Reauthorization Act” and “ensuring equal access to the commuter benefit for users of transportation networking companies.” That work ended on April 8, termination reports say.

Lyft also has its own in-house lobbyist, Lauren Belive, who worked on the House Rules Committee, in the White House’s Office of Legislative Affairs under President Obama and as a staff assistant for then-Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) on the House Oversight Committee.



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