Balch Rocked by Politico Story; Hits Mute Button


NONPROFIT AIRS ADS ATTACKING LOBBYING FIRM: The Consejo de Latinos Unidos, a nonprofit that’s been waging a quixotic campaign against the lobbying firm Balch & Bingham for months, is going on up on the air with TV ads going after the firm. The ad’s narrator says that Balch “ought to be ashamed” after federal prosecutors charged a former Alabama state representative with accepting bribes from an unidentified former partner at the firm. The former state representative, Oliver Robinson, took a plea deal last month, according to Watch the ad here.

— The nonprofit has been fighting for months to convince Congress and the White House to ban Balch from lobbying the Trump administration as part of a wide-ranging campaign against the firm. It has also accused the firm of engaging “in a cover-up of the firm’s lobbying efforts to change Russia sanctions,” as PI reported last month. The nonprofit is spending just $10,000 to air the low-budget ad on cable in Washington, Atlanta and Birmingham, Ala. But it’s supplementing its efforts by emailing nearly a dozen of the firm’s lobbying clients, including Blue Origin and Southern Company, and urging them to cut ties with the firm. K.B. Forbes, the nonprofit’s executive director, said he’d already gotten a concerned phone call from the chief executive of one of the firms.

Julie Wall, a Balch spokeswoman, said that a trial judge had ordered the parties involved in a separate case over which the Consejo de Latinos Unidos has criticized Balch to refrain from discussing the case with the press. “Accordingly we will have no further comment,” Wall wrote in an email.