Fox’s top lobbyist, a former Biden staffer, is leaving the network
The paperwork prompted outrage from top Democrats in Washington, together with Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Home Minority Chief Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.). It has additionally sparked discussions inside Democratic circles about icing out the network. The White Home, for its half, sidestepped having Biden sit down with Fox for an interview round the Tremendous Bowl — breaking with custom that the host network of the sport get a one-on-one with the president.
Fox confirmed O’Brien’s departure in a assertion.
“FOX is presently interviewing for our Head of Authorities Relations function and talking with inner and exterior candidates,” spokesman Brian Nick mentioned. “We want to thank Danny for his years of excellent service to our Firm and want him the better of luck on his subsequent endeavor.”
O’Brien joined Fox in 2018 as head of its Washington workplace, the place he led the firm’s legislative, regulatory and coverage agenda and its authorities relations crew. Earlier than that, he served as a world authorities affairs and coverage government for what is now GE Transportation.
But it surely’s his previous roles in the public sector which have made O’Brien’s positioned of employment particularly intriguing.
O’Brien labored on Democratic campaigns for years, earlier than shifting to the Hill to work for former Sen. Robert Torricelli (D-N.J.). He then served as chief of workers in Biden’s Senate workplace from 2003 to 2006, and later held the identical function with Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), along with turning into workers director on the Senate International Relations Committee. When Biden ran for president in 2008, O’Brien was tapped as his coverage director.
At Fox, O’Brien had constructed up an in-house lobbying store that employed extra Democrats (3) than Republicans (1). In 2019, he employed veteran broadcast lobbyist Jamie Gillespie away from the Nationwide Affiliation of Broadcasters, and final yr O’Brien recruited a staffer straight from Biden’s West Wing, Carissa Pleasure.
O’Brien is not the first Democrat to steer Fox’s D.C. workplace — his predecessor, Chip Smith, helped lead former Vice President Al Gore’s 2000 White Home bid.
And forward of final yr’s midterms, Fox said its corporate PAC gave roughly evenly to Republicans and Democrats, together with most donations to every social gathering’s nationwide committee and Home and Senate marketing campaign arms. Democratic recipients of Fox’s marketing campaign money included a few of Fox Information’ favourite punching luggage, corresponding to Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), and several other of every social gathering’s most susceptible incumbents.
In his new function at Qcells, O’Brien will virtually assuredly be engaged on the implementation of certainly one of Biden’s legacy legislative achievements as president, the local weather and tax spending invoice handed final yr.
Final month the firm and Biden introduced a $2.5 billion greenback funding for an current Qcells photo voltaic manufacturing plant in Georgia that was attributed particularly to the Inflation Discount Act. Qcells additionally just lately introduced a partnership with Microsoft, and mentioned that O’Brien will lead its coverage, communications and sustainability groups as Qcells “expands throughout the clear vitality worth chain in the United States.”
Daniel Lippman contributed to this report.