A bank manager and owner of a minor league baseball team launched an effort to help save several teams by hiring lobbyists to secure federal Covid relief funds as the new season kicks off.
Greg Rosenbaum, who owns a farm team in Cincinnati Reds, is the manager making the effort.
Minor league baseball, which stands for more than 100 teams across the country, was ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic last year when the season was canceled.
A report from Sporty noted that minor league baseball clubs collectively lost $800 million in revenue last year alone. Baseball America reported in March that minor league clubs were barred from receiving Covid relief money in the $1.9 trillion package recently signed into law by President Joe Biden.
CNBC discovered Rosenbaum’s involvement in the effort after reviewing a lobbying disclosure report signed this month addressing its Maryland-based investment firm, Palisades Associates, as the address of the client. The Rosenbaum-listed company on the lobby registration form is Minor League Baseball Relief, Inc.
The lobbying report shows that in April the Rosenbaum-led firm registered lobbyists from the influential firm Akin, Gump, Strauss. Ed Pagano, one of the lobbyists listed on the registration form, has experience in former President Barack Obama’s White House. Another has direct ties to Paul Ryan, former Speaker of the Republican House.
The focus of the lobbying campaign is “emergency relief for Minor League Baseball Clubs affected by Covid-19,” according to the registration report. It remains unclear how much the federal government lobbyists will charge.
The form does not state whether the lobbyists will work with the Biden administration or Congress. None of them responded to CNBC’s requests for comment.
Jeff Lantz, a spokesperson for Minor League Baseball, said he understands multiple teams are involved in the effort, but referred CNBC to Rosenbaum for further comment.
Although Rosenbaum declined to provide further details, including how much the campaign will cost, he did not deny his involvement or that he is leading this effort. “We have nothing more to offer than what is apparent from the lobby’s disclosure,” he said in an email to CNBC on Thursday.
A Major League Baseball spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.
Rosenbaum has ties to the Democratic Party and Wall Street. merge, a website which provides data on private equity deals, says Rosenbaum was a founder and director of the Carlyle Group before founding Palisades Associates. He also had a stint with the Boston Consulting Group.
Rosenbaum’s role as a player within the Democratic Party has largely remained under the radar.
He is mention as a member of the board of directors of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a forward-thinking 501(c)(4) once led by current adviser to Biden White House Neera Teeth. Rosenbaum was also the chair of the National Jewish Democratic Council and was nominated in 2016 as Vice President of the platform committee for the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
While he did contribute to Biden’s 2020 campaign for president, Rosenbaum’s larger donations came before the most recent election cycle, according to data from the impartial Center for Responsive Politics. In 2016, he donated more than $33,000 to the Democratic National Committee when Hillary Clinton ran for president. Rosenbaum gave $25,000 to the DNC during the 2012 cycle when Obama ran for reelection.
Rosenbaum and his associates bought Ohio-based Dayton Dragonss 2014. The team is a Class A affiliate of MLB’s Cincinnati Reds.
The Dayton Dragons ownership group, Palisades Arcadia Baseball LLC, received a federal loan from the Paycheck Protection Program worth more than $860,000, according to data from ProPublica. The PPP loan application portal closed days ago.