AI Made Friendly HERE

Lobbyists set out to write an influence AI code of ethics

With Daniel Lippman

NILE LAUNCHES AI TASK FORCE: AI’s potential to disrupt virtually every industry means that the scramble to regulate it has turned into a gold rush for K Street. But in the latest signal that the political community itself hasn’t managed to escape the uncertainty over the technology, the National Institute for Lobbying & Ethics, a trade group for the government affairs industry, rolled out a new task force today focused on developing a code of ethics for the use of artificial intelligence in advocacy and PAC operations.

— David Summers of fintech company Fiserv will chair the task force, which also includes NILE President Jon Gentile of the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents, Microsoft’s Suhail Khan, The Raben Group’s Damara Catlett, Mark Ames of the American Industrial Hygiene Association, Aristotle’s Austin O’Boyle, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck’s Elizabeth Maier and NILE board Chair Paul Miller.

— “I think the big thing here is we’re entering an election season that obviously is going to be filled with questionable social media content and emails and different pieces of information that are going to be floating around the internet,” O’Boyle told PI. For the influence industry, he said, “it’s important that we stay above the fray.”

— Both NILE and the Public Affairs Council, which represents PR professionals, have hosted webinars on using AI in advocacy, while a trade group for political consultants sought last year to draw a red line on “deep fake” campaign ads ahead of the elections this fall.

— Companies have popped up pitching K Street on AI lobbying software, but tons of lobbyists still eye the use of AI for their own jobs warily — even as many others concede its potential utility for cutting down on mundane tasks like covering congressional hearings (no offense, members) or combing through and analyzing dense legislation quickly.

— “I have colleagues that I work with, I have people in the industry that I know that use AI almost daily, whether it’s email generation or helping build out messaging,” O’Boyle told PI. “That’s all fine and well, but as AI continues to progress, I think it’s important to kind of have a set of standards for all of us to follow so that we don’t cross any ethical boundaries.”

— The task force will meet monthly beginning this month with the hope of submitting a report in November and releasing the group’s recommendations more broadly not long after that. A town hall event is also in the works.

— “Rather than rejecting it, professionals in the advocacy community should embrace the opportunity this new technology brings to better serve our clients and association members,” Gentile said in a statement announcing the task force.

Happy Thursday, and welcome to PI. Send lobbying tips: [email protected]. And be sure to follow me on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter: @caitlinoprysko.

FIRST IN PI — CHAMBER ADDS A BAYOU LINK: Former Louisiana gubernatorial candidate Stephen Waguespack is joining the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as a special counsel, giving the business lobby a new inroad to a congressional delegation that quickly consolidated power over the last few months of 2023.

— Waguespack, who finished third in last year’s Louisiana jungle primary for governor, is the longtime former head of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, the state’s largest business group. He also has ties to D.C., doing stints in the office of former Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) and at the lobbying firm Alpine Group. He also served as chief of staff to former Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.).

— At the Chamber, he’ll work with the group’s leadership team on special projects related to his areas of expertise, like energy and insurance, legal reform, labor, small business and state-level advocacy, the organization said.

MINORITY-OWNED BUSINESSES PUSH TO UNWIND JOINT EMPLOYER RULE: A trio of groups representing minority business owners joined the industry push for Congress to overturn the Biden administration’s new joint employer rule.

— The rule, which was set to go into effect last month before the NLRB delayed its implementation by 60 days, is already the target of a lawsuit by a coalition of business groups who argue that it would “cripple small businesses” and hurt employment and wage growth. But a separate effort on the Hill would overturn the new rule with a simple majority vote in both chambers through the Congressional Review Act.

— “We believe this rule could particularly impact minority-owned small businesses and franchisees that rely on [business-to-business contracts] to sustain and grow their businesses,” the National Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship, U.S. Black Chambers Inc. and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce wrote in a letter to lawmakers Wednesday, urging lawmakers to support the CRA resolution.

GRIECO’S NEW FIRM: Twitter D.C. alum Lauren Culbertson Grieco has launched The Ledyard Group, a consultancy that will offer political strategy and advocacy advice as well as help with government investigations and crisis management.

— Grieco previously served as head of government affairs and public policy for the U.S. and Canada for Twitter, and before that was a Senate spokesperson and ran a consultancy helping Silicon Valley unicorns like Twilio establish stand up offices in the nation’s capital. She’s remaining with Blue Owl Group, the firm led by fellow Twitter D.C. alum Colin Crowell, as a senior adviser.

DREAMING OF DOHA: “When Senator Robert Menendez arrived in Qatar in 2022 to attend the country’s lavish production of the men’s soccer World Cup, he gave an unusual interview to the authoritarian government’s news agency praising the progress that Qatar had made on labor rights,” The New York Times’ Vivian Nereim and Tariq Panja report.

— “The tiny Gulf state was facing an onslaught of international criticism over its preparations for the world’s biggest sporting event … But Mr. Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, said he preferred to highlight positive aspects of the games, and the host nation.” Now, Menendez is charged with taking bribes of cash, gold and luxury goods in exchange for wielding his influence to benefit the governments of Qatar and Egypt.

— “While the indictment does not accuse the Qatari government or the Qatari royal family member of illegal activity, it is the latest in a line of cases in which Qatar, a major natural gas exporter, has appeared to seek greater influence in the United States and Europe by forging relationships with powerful government officials, or people connected to them.”

A BLAST FROM THE PAST: The Wall Street Journal’s Jack Gillum and Kate O’Keeffe report that “China and Saudi Arabia topped a list of 20 countries whose governments or state-linked entities pumped millions of dollars into Donald Trump’s properties while he was president, according to a new report and previously undisclosed records that shed light on Trump’s potential business conflicts as he seeks a second term.”

— “Public documents and internal financial records obtained by Democrats on the House Oversight Committee and seen by The Wall Street Journal showed that countries spent lavishly at Trump’s hotels in Washington and Las Vegas. They also shelled out for payments at his New York properties, spending a total of at least $7.8 million during his time in office.”

— “The Chinese government and entities linked to it spent more than $5.5 million, or nine times that of Saudi Arabia, the next biggest spender, according to the report published Thursday by the panel’s Democratic minority. It argued that the foreign payments identified are ‘likely only a small fraction’ of the true total because of incomplete disclosures.”

TEAMSTERING UP?: “After huddling privately with former President Donald Trump, Teamsters President Sean O’Brien said late Wednesday that the Republican primary frontrunner will meet with union members at its headquarters later this month,” our Nick Niedzwiadek reports. “The union backed President Joe Biden in 2020 but is undertaking a more wide-ranging endorsement process this year.”

CLOSING TIME: The Qatar America Institute for Culture, which aimed to expose Qatari and broader Middle Eastern culture to an American audience, is shutting down, Daniel reports. “We have been privileged to host hundreds of events and exhibitions, featuring a dynamic array of creatives, artists, scholars, and storytellers from the United States, Qatar and the larger Arab and Islamic world,” Executive Director Fatima Al-Dosari said in an email announcing the closure.

— An accompanying statement said that among the achievements were the creation of D.C.’s first Perfumery Museum, the IMPART artist grant program and the Arab Film House, which is a joint initiative with the Doha Film Institute. The email and statement did not give a reason for the closure except to say: “The decision was realized through the fulfillment of goals achieved through its wide-ranging outreach.”

— Adav Noti is now executive director of the Campaign Legal Center. He was previously senior vice president and legal director at the group.

— Mark Bednar is joining the American Exploration & Production Council as vice president of communications. He was previously head of communications for former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

— Whitney Potter Schwartz is joining the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable as senior vice president of communications and operations. She was previously deputy chief of staff for Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and is an ACLU alum.

— James O’Brien will be a director at Invariant. He most recently was a professional staff member at the House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee.

— Dentons Global Advisors has added Ashish Bhatt, Linzell Harris and Peter Mirijanian as senior advisers. Mirijanian will remain president of Peter Mirijanian Public Affairs. Bhatt was previously managing director at Gatehouse Advisory Partners and Harris was previously senior vice president of global supply chain and strategy for AstraZeneca.

— Alex Payne is now director of advocacy, higher education at Arnold Ventures. He previously was director of higher education and oversight strategy at the Education Department.

— Sarah Gallagher is joining Push Digital as director of affiliate relations. She most recently worked for Tim Scott’s presidential campaign and is a Firehouse Strategies alum.

— Scott Gelbman has been promoted to government affairs adviser at K&L Gates.

— Ashley Montenegro Alexander has been named partner and co-leader of the state attorney general practice at strategic government affairs firm CATALYST, and Cynthia Stern Lynch was named senior partner and co-leader of the state attorney general practice at the firm.

— Amber Swinson is now recruiting coordinator at Stand Together. She most recently was scheduler for Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.).

— Allen Klump has joined the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance as its vice president of government relations. He was previously chief of staff to Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.).

— Tom Erickson will head the NRCC’s independent expenditure team this cycle. He most recently has been the committee’s battleground director, leading House GOP candidate recruitment efforts.

— Cody Sargent is now communications director at Heritage Action. He previously was assistant director of media and PR at the Heritage Foundation and is a Tommy Tuberville and PLUS Communications alum.

— Samuel Jockel, Matthew Johnson and Bhanu Mathur have been promoted to partners in Alston & Bird’s D.C. office.

— Kathleen Slattery Thompson has been appointed vice president of policy and advocacy at USTelecom | The Broadband Association.

— David Dove is joining Troutman Pepper to lead the firm’s regulatory and state economic investment practice in Georgia. He most recently served as executive counsel to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp.

— Holtzman Vogel Baran Torchinsky & Josefiak PLLC has promoted John Cycon to partner, Joshua Pratt to of counsel and Ken Daines to senior associate.

Moreno Victory Committee (Bernie Moreno for Senate, Best At Bringing Entrepreneurial Results Imagined Or Envisioned Pac (BETTER BERNIE PAC), NRSC)

Cartwright Wild Fund (Reps. Matt Cartwright, Susan Wild)


Next Generation Veteran Fund (Super PAC)


ThayerMahan Inc. Intelligent Oceans PAC (PAC)


Alki Strategies LLC: Arcanum Federal Solutions LLC

Alpine Group Partners, LLC.: Atom Computing

Ben Barnes Group Lp: Element Fuels Holdings LLC

Ben Barnes Group Lp: Renco Corporation/Blue Star Nbr

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP: Baylor College Of Medicine

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP: Envoy Medical Corporation

Carpi & Clay, Inc: Jurupa Community Services District

Covington & Burling LLP: American Tire Works, Inc.

Lanny J. Davis & Associates, LLC: Solway Investment Group Gmbh

Laura Wood Peterson Consulting, Inc.: Graphyte

Mehlman Consulting, Inc.: Archer Daniels Midland Company

Ml Strategies, LLC: Mintz (On Behalf Of Fulgent Genetics, Inc.)

Totalenergies Washington Office, F/K/A Total Washington, Dc Representative Office LLC: Totalenergies Washington Office, F/K/A Total Washington, Dc Representative Office LLC

Tulsa Community College: Tulsa Community College

Alta Ridge Global LLC: Central American Bank For Economic Integration

Ambassador Hugo Llorens And Global Partners LLC: Alejando Chahin

Dotchin & Associates, LLC: California Dairies, Inc.

Dotchin & Associates, LLC: Cigar Association Of America, Inc.

Laura Wood Peterson Consulting, Inc.: Millborn Seeds

Manatt, Phelps, And Phillips: Ncats Alliance, Inc

Mcdermott+Consulting LLC: Advanced Care At Home (Ach) Coalition

Mcdermott+Consulting LLC: American Association Of Colleges Of Osteopathic Medicine (Aacom)

Ms. Brenda Viehe-Naess: Reinsurance Association Of America

Nexxus Consulting, LLC: Serrato Corporation

Paul Hastings LLP: Blockchains Inc.

Pebble Limited Partnership: Pebble Limited Partnership

Porter Group, LLC: For Kilmarnock Inc

Rokala Public Affairs: Neste

Tiber Creek Group: North American Subaru, Inc.

Washington Strategic Consulting: Trauma Center Association Of America

Originally Appeared Here

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