Bottom Line

• CAMPAIGN FINANCE. Charles and David Koch are striking back at their critics, hiring former Sen. Don Nickles (R-Okla.) and his firm, Nickles Group, to lobby on campaign finance issues. Their company, Koch Companies Public Sector, has added the lobbying help, as Democrats attack the brothers for the millions of dollars they donate each year to conservative nonprofits and super-PACs. Nickles Group will also take aim at a tax credit for wind energy companies, according to lobbying disclosure documents. 

• IMMIGRATION. Democratic lobbyist Heather Podesta is working for Marriott International on immigration reform. Podesta and a team of four lobbyists will be tackling immigration and visa-related issues for the hotel chain. Her firm, Heather Podesta + Partners, will also be working to extend the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, which is set to expire at the end of this year. Marriott has only one other lobby firm on retainer.


• TECHNOLOGY. The Poker Players Alliance, a nonprofit that wants to “protect the right to play poker in all forms,” hired Greenberg Traurig to protect the online gambling industry. Industry groups are battling over whether Congress should take action to overturn a Justice Department ruling from 2011 that legalized many forms of Internet gambling, with many casinos fighting to outlaw the games on the Web. 

A coalition of pay TV distributors, the American Television Alliance, hired a team of lobbyists at Mercury Strategies to work on legislation affecting retransmission rules for TV programming. In lobbying forms, they point specifically to the reauthorization of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA), which is set to expire at the end of 2014. A House panel moved forward last month with the reauthorization bill, which governs the satellite television markets.

• TAX. Coca-Cola recently hired its eighth lobby firm to urge Congress to pass legislation extending certain tax credits. The disclosure forms do not go into detail about which of the “tax extenders” McConnell Valdés would be working to protect. The lobbyist working on the account, Luis Bacó, is a former chief of staff to former Del. Luis Fortuño (R-Puerto Rico).