Thursday November 30, 2023

PGA Tour Hires Top Republican Strategist Amid LIV Golf Clash

  • Jeff Miller is close to the next likely House speaker and was a top fundraiser for President Trump.
  • The PGA Tour could be seeking help on the antitrust front.
PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan speaks to media ahead of PGA Championship 
Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports
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A lobbyist with close ties to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has been hired by the PGA Tour, the latest salvo in its battle with LIV Golf. 

Jeff Miller, founder of Miller Strategies, is a longtime Republican powerbroker and was a top fundraiser for former President Donald Trump. A source with knowledge of the situation confirmed that the PGA Tour had retained Miller. 

The move comes as the GOP takes over the House of Representatives next month, with McCarthy (R-California) expected to become speaker. Axios was the first outlet to report Miller’s hire. 

The PGA Tour has long had the mega law, and lobbying firm DLA Piper represents it in D.C., spending $330,000 through the first nine months of 2022 per Open Secrets. But DLA Piper’s lobbyists were focused on tax and commercial matters on behalf of the PGA Tour. 

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One veteran Capitol Hill insider told FOS that Miller’s addition shows the PGA Tour is looking for help on two subjects in particular: 

  • The antitrust investigation launched earlier this year by the Department of Justice focuses on alleged anticompetitive behavior in response to LIV Golf.
  • The PGA Tour possibly seeking an antitrust exemption like Major League Baseball has had for about a century, which would give the PGA Tour immunity against lawsuits like the one LIV Golf is pursuing currently

Miller, who did not respond to a text message sent by FOS, is expected to highlight LIV Golf’s financial backing by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. It also puts Miller on the opposite side of Trump, whose golf courses are a staple of LIV Golf’s schedule. 

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Beyond serving as an advisor for McCarthy, Miller was the finance chair of the 2020 Republican National Convention and was vice chair of Trump’s inaugural committee.

According to Miller Strategies’ website, Miller is a board member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and sits on the national board of the Republican Jewish Coalition.

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