Research Report: Lobbying Over a Glass of Wine

With Supercommittee drama over with for now, the First Street Research Group needed a drink, First Street style.  So, we took some time to see what the wine and vineyard organizations have been lobbying on.  While these groups are not heavyweights in the lobbying industry, there are a surprising number of them for a relatively small industry.  Over the upcoming holidays, as you partake in a glass or two, impress your friends with knowledge about the wine industry lobbying efforts.  The First Street Research group took a look at eight organizations that focus on the wine industry.

Highlights

The Wine Institute

  • Spent $255,000 on lobbying activity in 2011.
  • Wine Institute Political Action Committee has donated $98,000 to 32 Members of Congress in 2011.
  • 7 lobbyists represented The Wine Institute in 2011 including 4 who went through the revolving door.

112 H.R.1161: Community Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness Act of 2011

  • 21 organizations lobbied H.R.1161 in 201.
  • 161 lobbyists lobbied H.R.1161 in 2011.
  • 55 of the 161 lobbyists are former congressional staffers.

Other Profiled Wine Organizations That Lobbied in 2011

  • WineAmerica
  • Desert Grape Growers League
  • Center for Wine Origins
  • American Wine Heritage Alliance
  • Kendall-Jackson Winery
  • Pennsylvania Winery Association
  • California Association of Winegrape Growers

Coalition Builder Image of Wine Institute Lobbying Activity in 2011

The Wine Institute Lobbying Activity in 2011
Description: The public policy advocacy association of California wineries, The Wine Institute brings together the resources of 1,000 wineries and affiliated businesses to support legislative and regulatory advocacy, international market development, media relations, scientific research, and education programs that benefit the California wine industry.

Lobbying Expenditures for 2011:
The Wine Institute spent a total of $255,000 in 2011 on lobbying activity.
The Wine Institute hired 3 lobbying firms in 2011 and paid them a total of  $191,250.

  1. Hatfield Advisory Services: $101,250
  2. American Continental Group: $50,000
  3. Russell & Barron, Inc.: $40,000

Lobbyists Representing The Wine Institute in 2011:
Edward Barron
Currently: Registered Lobbyist – Russell & Barron, Inc.
Formerly: Minority (Democratic) Deputy Chief Counsel – Senate Committee on Judiciary
Manus Cooney
Currently: Registered Lobbyist – American Continental Group
Formerly: Staff Director, Chief Counsel – Senate Committee on Judiciary
Andrew Harker
Currently: Registered Lobbyist – Russell & Barron, Inc.
Frederick Hatfield
Currently: Registered Lobbyist – Hatfield Advisory Services
Formerly: Chief of Staff – Sen. John Breaux (D LA)
Sara Hope Murphy
Currently: Registered Lobbyist – Wine Institute
Tyson R. Redpath
Currently: Registered Lobbyist – Russell & Barron, Inc.
Formerly: Legislative Assistant on Agriculture, Budget, Financial Services, Taxes, Trade – Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)
Randall M. Russell
Currently: Registered Lobbyist – Russell & Barron, Inc.
Wine Institute Political Action Committtee Donations Made in 2011:

Beneficiary
Candidate  Amount  
Cantor For Congress Rep. Eric Cantor (R VA-7)  $    10,000
Kevin McCarthy For Congress Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R CA-22)  $    10,000
Friends of Dick Durbin Committee Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D IL)  $     7,500
Mike Thompson For Congress Rep. Mike Thompson (D CA-1)  $     6,000
Devin Nunes Campaign Committee Rep. Devin Nunes (R CA-21)  $     5,000
Friends of John Boehner Rep. John Boehner (R OH-8)  $     5,000
Ken Calvert For Congress Committee Rep. Ken Calvert (R CA-44)  $     5,000
Lungren For Congress Rep. Dan Lungren (R CA-3)  $     5,000
Nancy Pelosi For Congress Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D CA-8)  $     5,000
Prairie Political Action Committee  $     5,000
Trust PAC Team Republicans For Utilizing Sensible Tactics  $     5,000
Upton For All of US Rep. Fred Upton (R MI-6)  $     5,000
Berman For Congress Rep. Howard L. Berman (D CA-28)  $     2,500
Friends of Congressman George Miller Rep. George Miller (D CA-7)  $     2,500
Jim Costa For Congress Rep. Jim Costa (D CA-20)  $     2,500
Texans For Lamar Smith Rep. Lamar Smith (R TX-21)  $     2,500
Bill Nelson For U S Senate Sen. Bill Nelson (D FL)  $     1,000
Blumenthal For Connecticut Blumenthal, Richard  $     1,000
Friends of Dennis Cardoza Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D CA-18)  $     1,000
Friends of Farr Rep. Sam Farr (D CA-17)  $     1,000
Garamendi For Congress Rep. John Garamendi (D CA-10)  $     1,000
Levin For Congress Rep. Sander Levin (D MI-12)  $     1,000
Lewis For Congress Committee Rep. Jerry Lewis (R CA-41)  $     1,000
Lofgren For Congress Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D CA-16)  $     1,000
Pat Roberts Victory Committee, The Sen. Pat Roberts (R KS)  $     1,000
Team Emerson For Jo Ann Emerson Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R MO-8)  $     1,000
Wally Herger For Congress Committee Rep. Wally Herger (R CA-2)  $     1,000
Cooper For Congress Cooper, James H.S.  $        500
Friends of Joe Baca Rep. Joe Baca (D CA-43)  $        500
Jackie Speier For Congress Rep. Jackie Speier (D CA-12)  $        500
Louise Slaughter Re-Election Committee Rep. Louise M. Slaughter (D NY-28)  $        500
Matheson For Congress Rep. Jim Matheson (D UT-2)  $        500
McNerney For Congress Rep. Jerry McNerney (D CA-11)  $        500
Sensenbrenner Committee Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R WI-5)  $        500
Total Contributions Made in 2011  $    98,000

112 H.R.1161: Community Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness Act of 2011
Purpose: to reaffirm state-based alcohol regulation, and for other purposes.
Co-Sponsors: 114 (50D, 64R, 0I)
Committee Assignments: House Committee on Judiciary
Organizations that have lobbied H.R.1161 in 2011:

  1. Natl Assn of Manufacturers
  2. Distilled Spirits Council of The U.S., Inc.
  3. Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc
  4. Diageo North America
  5. Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America, Inc
  6. Beer Institute
  7. Brown-Forman Corporation
  8. American Bar Association
  9. National Beer Wholesalers Association
  10. Bacardi Limited
  11. Wine Institute
  12. MillerCoors LLC
  13. Anheuser-Busch Inbev
  14. New York Farm Bureau, Inc.
  15. County of Riverside
  16. Brewers Association
  17. Crown Imports, LLC
  18. Heineken USA, Inc.
  19. American Farm Bureau Fed
  20. Owens-Illinois, Inc
  21. WineAmerica

Lobbyists Who Lobbied  H.R.1161:

  • 161 registered lobbyists
  • 55 former congressional staffers
  • 15 former federal agency staffers

WineAmerica
Description: The mission of WineAmerica is to encourage the dynamic growth and development of American wineries and winegrowing through the advancement and advocacy of sound public policy. The Association also provides membership services to assist wineries with a variety of business operations. We invite you to explore the site to learn more about WineAmerica’s activities, membership, and benefits.
Amount Spent on Lobbying: $50,000 in 2011
PAC Donations: Donated $250 to Rep. Richard Hanna (R NY-24) in 2011
In-House Lobbyists Employed:

  1. Cary Greene, Esq.
  2. Michael Kaiser
  3. Jennifer Montgomery

Desert Grape Growers League (DGGL) Lobbying Activity in 2011
Hired Lobbying Firm: Schramm, Williams & Assocto
Issues Lobbied On: Trade (Domestic & Foreign) – “Table Grape Marketing Order; International Trade Agreements”
Amount Spent on Lobbying: Less than $5,000 each quarter  of 2011

Center for Wine Origins Lobbying Activity in 2011
Description: The Center for Wine Origins is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is involved in many activities aimed at educating consumers, policymakers and the media about the importance of keeping wine labels accurate. The center aims to offer better resources for consumers so that they are able to make informed choices when selecting their wines.
Hired Lobbying Firm: Chlopak, Leonard, Schechter and Associates, Inc.
Issues Lobbied On: Beverage Industry – “Monitoring relevant trade and regulatory issues that impact Champagne or Port (no specific legislation).”
Amount Spent on Lobbying: Less than $5,000 each quarter  of 2011

American Wine Heritage Alliance Lobbying Activity in 2011
Hired Lobbying Firm: Mr. Robert Kalik
Issues Lobbied On: Trade (Domestic & Foreign) – “International Trade”
Amount Spent on Lobbying: Less than $5,000 each quarter  of 2011

Kendall-Jackson Winery Lobbying Activity in 2011
Hired Lobbying Firm: Alston & Bird, LLP
Amount Spent: Less than $5,000 each quarter of 2011

Pennsylvania Winery Assocation Lobbying Activity in 2011
Hired Lobbying Firm: Versant Strategies LLC (formerly known as Wolff Strategies, LLC.)
Issues Lobbied On: Agriculture – “Lobby members of the of the PA Delegation on issues related to the wine and beverage industry.”
Amount Spent on Lobbying: Less than $5,000 each quarter of 2011

California Association of Winegrape Growers Lobbying Activity in 2011
Description: Organization that represents the interests and concerns of wine and concentrate grape growers throughout the state.
Hired Lobbying Firm: Clark & Weinstock
Amount Spent on Lobbying: $60,000 in 2011
PAC Donations: Donated $1,000 to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D CA) of 2011
Legislation Lobbied on 2011:

  • 112 H.R.2164: Legal Workforce Act
  • 112 H.R.390: Family Farm Preservation and Conservation Estate Tax Act
  • 112 H.R.1831: Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011
  • 112 H.R.2414: Farmers’ Freedom Act of 2011

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