Jan Baran comes out of retirement | #movie | #romancemovies | romancescams | #scams

With Daniel Lippman and Theodoric Meyer

PROGRAMMING NOTE: POLITICO Influence will not publish on Monday, Jan. 18. We’ll be back on our normal schedule on Tuesday, Jan. 19. Please continue to follow POLITICO Influence.

FIRST IN PI — ‘DEAN OF CAMPAIGN FINANCE’ COMES OUT OF RETIREMENT: The law firm Holtzman Vogel Josefiak Torchinsky has talked veteran campaign finance lawyer Jan Baran out of retirement, scooping up the longtime GOP attorney as a partner. Baran had planned to hang it up for good at the end of last year after 35 years at Wiley Rein, but a tribute on the Senate floor by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a past client and longtime friend, sparked a torrent of interest from incredulous clients and former colleagues that lured Baran back into practice, he said in an interview.

— “Instead of rendering what some people might’ve considered a eulogy, it was basically a letter of recommendation,” Baran joked about McConnell’s speech last month, which called Baran “an integral part of legal teams that have defended Americans’ political speech rights before the U.S. Supreme Court.” Baran said that when Jill and Alex Vogel reached out following McConnell’s remarks, “it didn’t seem like it was a new opportunity. It seemed more like a homecoming.”

— Baran represented McConnell in the senator’s legal challenge to the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, and his amicus brief in the Citizens United case was cited by both the prevailing and dissenting opinions. “Corporations for decades have relied on his advice and counsel,” said Jill Vogel, the firm’s managing partner, adding that “everyone in the firm” is “elated” about Baran joining.

CHAMBER LAUNCHES INFRASTRUCTURE PUSH: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Bipartisan Policy Center launched a new coalition today tying passage of a prospective infrastructure package to the Fourth of July. Tom Donohue, the Chamber’s chief executive, made infrastructure a central part of his pitch to help American business rebound from the coronavirus-induced recession in a speech Tuesday. The new push comes as confidence swells on K Street that the incoming Biden administration, paired with Democratic control in both houses of Congress, will pass a huge, likely bipartisan infrastructure deal this year.

— Nearly 150 trade groups, unions and other stakeholders have already signed on to the “Build by the Fourth of July” campaign, including North America’s Building Trades Unions, the National Wildlife Federation, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the National Association of Home Builders.

Good afternoon, and welcome to PI. Send your tips and best K Street gossip: [email protected]. And follow me on Twitter: @caitlinoprysko.

FIRST IN PI — NARRATIVE CONTINUES TO STAFF UP: Narrative Strategies has tapped veteran GOP strategist Zach Hunter as a managing director. Hunter was previously the vice president of the Republican leadership-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund and American Action Network, whose tens of millions of dollars in outside spending helped Republicans claw back seats in the House in November’s election. The strategic communications firm, started last year by Ken Spain, Patrick O’Connor and Ed Mullen, now has a staff of nearly two dozen and added Jill Farquharson, a longtime aide to Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), last month after Biden’s win.

SHOT: NRSC Chair Rick Scott (R-Fla.) maintains “he can still effectively lead the Senate GOP’s campaign arm, even as Republicans in Congress remain divided and a growing number of companies pledge not to donate to lawmakers who voted against certifying two states’ Electoral College votes,” a group that includes the freshman senator.

“Despite his vote last week, Scott said he won’t have trouble raising money, noting he’s been meeting with donors in recent days,” Roll Call’s Bridget Bowman writes. “‘If a company believes in high taxes and more regulations and bigger government and less money for the military, they ought to go fund the Democrats,’ Scott told CQ Roll Call in an interview. ‘If they believe what Republicans believe in, I think they’re going to fund us.’”

CHASER: Another powerful industry lobby has joined the chorus of groups that are freezing political contributions to Republicans who voted against certifying the election results, POLITICO’s Susannah Luthi reports. The American Hospital Association, whose PAC spent nearly $1.2 million on congressional candidates during the 2020 election cycle — though it mostly gave to Democrats — will suspend its contributions to Republican election objectors indefinitely.

— “Rep. Michael Burgess of Texas, the top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee who joined the dissenters, was a top recipient of AHA giving in the last campaign cycle, as was House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California.”

AND: “The powerful Koch political network, funders of the Tea Party, will ‘weigh heavy’ the actions of members of Congress in the days leading up to and after last week’s siege of the Capitol when considering future donations,” POLITICO’s Maggie Severn reports, “in a sign that the GOP’s megadonor class is uncomfortable with the party’s recent actions.”

RELATED: The liberal group End Citizens United released a round-up of corporate donors to the eight senators and four of the GOP congressmen who objected to the election certification last week.

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