Blue Origin: Balch & Bingham’s Biggest Loss

[This post was published a year ago on February 7, 2019. Now with $25.2 billion budgeted for NASA and a piece of the pie being allocated to Blue Origin, Balch & Bingham’s Birmingham baggage appears to have truly caused a horrific loss.]

The headlines in late January were a kick in the stomach: Blue Origin broke ground on a $200 million facility to build rockets in Huntsville, Alabama.

Once a top Balch & Bingham D.C. lobbying client, Blue Origin bailed on Balch & Bingham in 2017 days after the indictment was handed down against then-Balch partner Joel I. Gilbert.

We had written directly to owner Jeff Bezos and then-Blue Origin President Rob Meyerson in June of 2017 pleading with them to suspend or terminate Balch until they changed their unscrupulous behavior in the Newsome Conspiracy Case and North Birmingham Bribery Scandal.

Shortly after Blue Origin terminated Balch, Balch’s top D.C. lobbyist William Stiers left the firm after two decades and jumped ship to Maynard Cooper, now representing Blue Origin.

AL.com reported yesterday:

Alabama is seeing a new surge in aerospace investment as companies like Blue Origin and Aeroject Rocketdyne bring hundreds of new jobs to the state and build new facilities to put them to work.

They’re building because the government space programs based in Huntsville could soon have billions of new dollars to spend in a defense and telecommunications market that’s making rapid and expensive changes.

Ironically, after the election of President Trump and the nomination of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, the media and industry insiders thought a windfall of fees would bless Balch & Bingham.

Instead, because of the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal and Newsome Conspiracy Case, Balch appears to have been excluded from that lucrative piece of the pie, costing them millions.

Blue Origin is surging. Maynard Cooper is surging. Huntsville is surging. Yet, Balch & Bingham appears to be crumbling instead of growing. And their biggest ally in Washington, Jeff Sessions, was fired in November.

Instead of dealing with the serious consequences of their alleged misconduct, Balch appears to be, again, marching defiantly with arrogant impunity right over the edge of a lunar cliff.