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Saturday, March 31, 2018

Interest Group Notes

Judy Kurtz at The Hill:
President Trump may or may not be attending the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) dinner this year, but some of Hollywood’s most well-known fictional political pros are poised to be in town.
Richard Schiff, who played White House communications director Toby Ziegler on NBC’s “The West Wing,” and Reid Scott, who plays a former deputy communications director on HBO’s “Veep,” are some of the entertainers leading a lobbying push on Capitol Hill on the eve of the April 28 dinner.

The actors will join the Creative Coalition meeting with lawmakers as part of an annual advocacy day tied to "Nerd Prom," before attending a gala in Washington held by the nonprofit the night before the WHCA festivities.
“We’re bringing our group — what I call the 51st state of Hollywood representing all 50 states — for one reason: to ensure that arts funding survives in this country,” Creative Coalition CEO Robin Bronk told ITK on Tuesday.
Alexander Hertel-Fernandez at Vox:
Imagine your bosses tell you that a proposed law would be good for your company. They then push you to contact your member of Congress to lobby for the bill and support the politicians who end up voting for it. That could have happened to you — as it did to so many others — during the push to pass big tax cuts this past December. US companies large and small used town halls, emails, and calls to prod workers into telling their legislators that workers supported the tax overhaul.
For a new book, Politics at Work: How Companies Turn Their Workers into Lobbyists, I surveyed workers and managers and interviewed dozens of top executives to show how these political calls to action have become a common practice for American companies.
One in four American employees said in a nationally representative survey I commissioned in 2015 that they have received political messages or requests from their top managers and supervisors.
From Bloomberg:
Facebook Inc. is on a hiring spree in Washington as the social network bulks up its ranks of lobbyists in the midst of a privacy scandal that cuts to the heart of its business model.

As a chorus of calls mounts for answers about its data practices, Facebook is looking to hire at least 11 people for policy-related positions in Washington, according to its website. The company started hiring new lobbyists last fall after revelations Russians exploited its platform to help elect President Donald Trump.