As Joe Biden appeared on his way to the 2020 presidential election, several companies and groups of companies made a hiring frenzy for lobbyists who could influence the future administration.
Both in the run-up to Election Day and in the days that followed, at least a dozen companies hired lobbyists, some of whom had ties to Biden himself. Biden had most of the national polls before President Donald Trump on November 3rd. NBC News and other major outlets called the former vice president race on November 7th.
A recent series of disclosure reports shows that these companies hired lobbyists during this period as the industry prepared for the possibility of a new president.
Some of the lobbyists brought on board have ties with President-elect Biden and his team, including his new White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain.
Steve Ricchetti, Biden's campaign chairman and former lobbyist, is poised to get a job in administration. One of the roles being considered for Ricchetti is the head of the White House Bureau of Intergovernmental Affairs, according to a person briefed on the matter. This person declined to be named in order to speak freely.
Lyft Inc., the San Francisco-based hail-fighting company, hired a lobbyist who, according to the disclosure report, was Biden's vice president of legislation. Sudafi Henry, former Biden Legislative Director, and Darrel Thompson, who previously held numerous positions under former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, were registered to begin lobbying on November 6th. Reid has been a staunch ally of Biden for years.
Henry and Thompson both work for the lobbying shop TheGroup DC. Lyft, the file says, asked the company to focus on "issues related to transport policy and worker classification". The hail-fighting company is part of a larger fight against California's Proposition 22. The law certifies mobile app-based drivers as employees, not contractors.
The Medical Alley Association brought T.J. Petrizzo, head of the Petrizzo group. Members of the Minnesota-based medical association are Boston Scientific, EcoLab, FedEx, GE Healthcare, and United Healthcare.
After recently hiring Petrizzo for a variety of issues, some of which were related to coronavirus relief bills, the Medical Alley CEO sent a letter to Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, and their transition team.
"We are ready and willing to inform the recently appointed COVID or to provide a virtual overview
Task force on a specific aspect of Medical Alley's commitment in responding to the virus, "Shaye Mandle, CEO, wrote Monday.
"What we are doing now is to immediately contact the new administration and the new Congress to discuss who we are, what we have done and where we are going, and to offer to work with them and on the now necessary guidelines to work together. " "Petrizzo said in an interview with CNBC.
The California Life Sciences Association brought in a group of lobbyists from Forbes-Tate who had previous experience with Biden's allies in Congress.
Rachel Miller, a partner in the firm, was the Legislative Assistant to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. Beginning November 10th, the company will assist the trade association with "Life Science Industry Issues".
KPMG, a versatile consulting giant, has hired a group of long-time lobbyists for the Consilio Group, according to a recently submitted report. They started lobbying on November 4th and are focused on "disaster relief," the lobby report said. They give the company's address in Ivory Coast as the location where they focus their efforts.
Oliver Meissner, Consilio's CEO, later told CNBC that the company is keeping an eye on Georgia Senate drains and that Consilio believes its efforts will be backed by a Biden administration.
"We see the upcoming Biden administration as positive for our projects and are working on relief measures related to Covid-19," he said in an email. "We are working at the interface with the transition team, preparing for the momentum of Congress, including the Georgia Senate drains that could directly impact certain initiatives, including the size and upcoming Covid-19 relief and other funding efforts. "
Biden hosted a joint meeting with union leaders and senior executives from large tech, retail and auto companies on Monday. Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, Brian Cornell, CEO of Target, and Sonia Syngal, CEO of Gap, attended the virtual meeting.
A Biden interim spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.