Lobbyist Julie Domenick received a request for documents in an Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) investigation into eight House lawmakers who solicited campaign contributions from financial institutions while reform legislation was being debated, according to The New York Times. But who is she, exactly? Domenick is president of lobby firm Multiple Strategies LLC and appears to be its sole lobbyist, according to lobbying disclosure documents examined by the Center for Public Integrity. Since its founding in July 2007, Multiple Strategies has raked in over $2 million from six clients.
Domenick hosted a fundraising party at her home – which doubled as her firm’s office – last Dec. 10 to raise money for Democratic Rep. Joseph Crowley of New York, who sits on the House Ways and Means Committee. According to the Times, “After collecting thousands of dollars in checks, Mr. Crowley returned to the floor of the House just in time to vote against a series of amendments that would have imposed tougher restrictions on Wall Street.”
The financial reform bill is expected to narrowly win Senate approval in a vote as soon as today.
In comments to the Center, Domenick said the fundraiser she hosted had nothing to do with the timing of financial reform legislation. The fundraiser was arranged more than a month earlier, on November 4th, she said.
She showed the Center a November 4th e-mail she received from Sara Conrad of The Conrad Group, a homeland security consulting organization, according to its website. Conrad has arranged numerous fundraising parties for several Democratic members of Congress, according to a Sunlight Foundation compilation of party invites.
“I can’t believe I am going to ask about an event in December but I know we haven’t done anything for Joe at your house in a really long time,” wrote Conrad to Domenick. “We are wanting to do an end of the year event for Crowley for Congress and currently have December 10th held on the calendar – 6 p.m. just a reception.”
“Would your house be available and would you want to host Joe?” asked Conrad.
“In a heart beat,” Domenick responded, “My pleasure.”
Domenick told the Center that the event “had nothing to do with what was going on on the [House] floor” and, according to her records and memory, none of her lobbying clients attended the fundraiser. When House members are fundraising year-round and legislation is always being considered, she said “there’s always a tension,” referring to the timing of fundraising. “When do you do this?” she asked.
The OCE is examining all fundraising activities arranged by Multiple Strategies for Crowley from January 2009 through the present, according to an OCE document request letter the Times made available online.
According to lobbying disclosure documents, Multiple Strategies represented the following six organizations; the first three paid Domenick to lobby on financial reform:
1) Federated Investors -- $698,500 in lobbying fees paid to Multiple Strategies
The Pittsburgh-based financial services company paid Domenick to lobby on “Financial Services Regulatory Reform,” “money market mutual fund issues,” “municipal bond issues,” and “retirement security issues” from January 2009 through the present. Federated Investors describes itself as “one of the nation's largest investment managers with nearly $350 billion in assets under management,” according to its website.
2) AXA SA -- $480,000
On behalf of this French-based insurance and asset management company, Domenick lobbied on the “Holocaust Insurance Claims Accountability Act” and “Financial Services Regulatory Reform legislation” from 2009 to the present.
3) Investment Company Institute -- $470,000
Domenick lobbied since 2009 for this influential association of U.S. investment companies on “Financial Services Regulatory Reform,” “Mutual Fund Issues,” “retirement security issues as relates to mutual funds and 401k plans” for the Institute. According to her LinkedIn profile, Domenick worked at ICI from 1981 through 2004 as an executive vice president at ICI. ICI members manage total assets of $11.42 trillion and serve nearly 90 million shareholders, according to ICI’s website.
4) Teaching Strategies Inc -- $290,000
This Bethesda, Md.-based educational publishing company paid Domenick to lobby on “Head Start,” “Early Childhood Education,” and the “No Child Left Behind reauthorization” in 2009 through the present.
5) Comcast Corporation -- $250,000
The mammoth media and information services provider has paid Domenick to lobby on “Digital transmission,” “Net Neutrality” and “Comcast/NBCU” since 2009.
6) Cummins Allison Corp – no payments listed
The OCE’s review began in late May, soon after Domenick sold her four-bedroom, 2.5-bath Capitol Hill home for $1.3 million, according to the website Block Shopper.
Correction: The original version of this story said lobbyist Julie Domenick was a target of an OCE investigation into eight lawmakers. The article has been updated to more accurately reflect that she only received a request for documents related to fundraising for Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y.; only lawmakers and congressional staff can be targets of an OCE probe.