LIV golf lobbies up – POLITICO – POLITICO


The Saudi-backed golf tour has found a hired gun for Washington, D.C. And it’s political royalty.
Benjamin Quayle is the latest Washington insider to ingratiate itself with LIV Golf, which registered to lobby. | Seth Wenig/AP Photo
Hailey Fuchs

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LIV Golf, the controversial golf tour backed by Saudi Arabia, has registered to lobby, according to a Thursday filing.
Hobart Hallaway & Quayle Ventures — the firm of former Rep. Benjamin Quayle (R-Ariz.) — noted it would lobby on “education and issues related to the game of professional golf in the United States and abroad” along with “protecting the rights of professional golfers to play when and where they choose.” Quayle, who lost a primary campaign in 2012 after redistricting and revelations of his involvement with the raunchy controversial website, and Rashid Hallaway, a former legislative assistant to former Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), will work on the account.
Quayle, son of former vice president Dan Quayle, is the latest Washington insider to ingratiate itself with LIV Golf, despite allegations of “sportwashing.” Ari Fleischer, former press secretary under President George W. Bush, has done public relations for the tour. Former President Donald Trump’s Bedminster, N.J., golf club hosted the tour in July, and Trump National Doral will do the same in October.
“HHQ Ventures is proud to advocate on LIV Golf’s behalf and is aligned with its mission to modernize and grow the game of golf on a global basis,” Hallaway said in a statement, referring additional questions to LIV Golf.
Although LIV Golf is backed by the Saudi’s Public Investment Fund, the registration was not filed with the Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Instead, it was filed under the Lobbying Disclosure Act, which requires more lenient disclosures around lobbying activities.
The PGA Tour has been on a campaign of its own against LIV Golf, its key rival. Last quarter, the PGA Tour paid law firm DLA Piper $120,000 to lobby on “Saudi Golf League proposals,” among other topics, according to a filing. The Tour has also suspended players who joined LIV Golf, and the Department of Justice has reportedly launched an antitrust inquiry into its actions.
“LIV’s priority as a startup is delivering an innovative and entertaining product to fans,” LIV Golf spokesperson Jonathan Grella said in a statement. “In light of the PGA Tour’s anticompetitive behavior, we have accelerated our plans to educate policymakers on LIV’s business model and mission to grow the game of golf.”
A spokesman for the PGA Tour declined to comment.
POLITICO reported earlier this month that the PR giant Edelman helped to launch LIV Golf, although it never registered that work with the Department of Justice. The firm argued that it did not need to register on the tour’s behalf.
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