Banking Government Funds Lobbying To Obtain Covid Aid In Minor League Baseball

Greg Rosenbaum at the 2016 Olympics

US Army photo by Tim Hipps, IMCOM Public Affairs | Wikipedia

A bank director and owner of a minor league baseball team made efforts to save various teams by hiring lobbyists to secure federal Covid bailout when the new season begins.

Greg Rosenbaum, who owns a Cincinnati Reds farm team, is the manager driving the effort.

Minor league baseball, which represents over 100 teams across the country, was hit by the coronavirus pandemic last year when the season was canceled.

A report by Sportico found that minor league baseball clubs lost $ 800 million in revenue in the past year alone. Baseball America reported in March that minor league clubs were banned from receiving Covid bailout funds in the $ 1.9 trillion package recently signed by President Joe Biden.

CNBC discovered Rosenbaum’s involvement in the effort after reviewing a lobbying disclosure report signed earlier this month that listed the address of its Maryland-based investment firm Palisades Associates as the client’s address. The Rosenbaum company listed on the lobbying registration form is Minor League Baseball Relief, Inc.

The lobbying report shows that the Rosenbaum-led company registered lobbyists for the influential Akin, Gump, Strauss company in April. Ed Pagano, one of the lobbyists listed on the registration form, has experience in the White House of former President Barack Obama. Another has direct links with former Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan.

According to the registration report, the focus of the lobbying campaign is on “Emergency aid for minor league baseball clubs affected by Covid-19”. It remains unclear how much the lobbyists will ask of the federal government.

The form doesn’t say whether the lobbyists will contact Biden’s government or Congress. None of them responded to CNBC’s request for comment.

Jeff Lantz, a spokesman for minor league baseball, said it was his understanding that multiple teams are involved in the effort, but he referred CNBC to Rosenbaum for further comment.

Although Rosenbaum refused to provide any further details, including the cost of the campaign, he did not deny his involvement or that he was leading those efforts. “We have nothing more to offer than what appears in the lobbying disclosure statement,” he said in an email to CNBC on Thursday.

A Major League Baseball spokesman didn’t respond to one Request for comments.

Infielder DJ Burt # 9 of the Amarillo Sod Poodles throws a throw during the game against the Midland RockHounds at HODGETOWN Stadium on May 23, 2021 in Amarillo, Texas.

John E. Moore III | Getty Images

Rosenbaum has ties to the Democratic Party and Wall Street. Mergr, a website that provides data on private equity deals, says Rosenbaum was the founder and CEO of the Carlyle Group prior to founding Palisades Associates. He also worked for the Boston Consulting Group.

Rosenbaum’s role as an actor within the Democratic Party has largely disappeared under the radar.

He is listed as a member of the Board of Directors of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a progressive 501 (c) (4) that was once presided over by current Biden White House advisor Neera Tanden. Rosenbaum was also chairman of the National Jewish Democratic Council and was nominated as vice chairman of the platform committee for the 2016 Democratic National Convention in 2016.

Although he contributed to Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign, Rosenbaum’s larger donations came before the final election cycle, according to data from the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics. He donated over $ 33,000 to the Democratic National Committee in 2016 when Hillary Clinton ran for president. Rosenbaum gave the DNC $ 25,000 during the 2012 cycle when Obama was running for re-election.

Rosenbaum and his employees bought the Ohio-based Dayton Dragons in 2014. The team is a Class A subsidiary of the Cincinnati Reds of MLB.

Dayton Dragons’ group of owners, Palisades Arcadia Baseball LLC, received a federal loan of over $ 860,000, according to ProPublica. The PPP loan application portal closed days ago.

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