From Washington Free Beacon:
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s son-in-law has joined private equity giant Blackstone as a “managing director of government affairs,” the latest addition to the New York Democrat’s family lobbying empire.
Michael Shapiro, who recently served as President Joe Biden’s deputy assistant secretary for economic policy at the Department of Transportation, will focus on infrastructure investments and projects at Blackstone, according to the firm (web info below).
Shapiro lands the new gig as Schumer is poised to decide the fate of legislation on infrastructure spending and tax loopholes of interest to Blackstone. Schumer is already under fire for blocking a vote on legislation opposed by companies that employ other members of his family. Progressive groups and Republicans have unsuccessfully pressured Schumer to schedule a vote on antitrust legislation that would rein in Big Tech firms. Schumer’s daughters, Jessica and Alison, are lobbyists for Amazon and Facebook’s parent company Meta, respectively.
Blackstone is the world’s largest private equity firm by capital commitments. Not to be confused with Blackrock, although the companies were linked at one point, Blackstone’s private equity business has been one of the largest investors in leveraged buyouts in the last three decades, while its real estate business has actively acquired commercial real estate. As of 2021, the company’s total assets under management were approximately US$880 billion.
Blackstone operates through four primary departments: private equity; real estate; hedge funds; and credit. Blackstone’s most notable real estate investments have included EQ Office, Hilton Worldwide, Trizec Properties, Center Parcs UK, La Quinta Inns & Suites, Motel 6, Wyndham Worldwide, Southern Cross Healthcare and Vicinity Centres. Blackstone’s marketable alternative asset management segment, is one of the largest credit platforms in the alternative asset management business, with over $21 billion under management.
In 2019, a United Nations report found that Blackstone’s massive purchasing of single-family homes after the financial crisis of 2007–2008 had “devastating consequences.” The report alleged that Blackstone had abused tenants with exorbitant fees, rent hikes, and aggressive eviction practices, and that Blackstone’s real estate practices had a disproportionate impact on communities of color, in part because the company targeted foreclosures resulting from subprime loans.
Blackstone has been condemned for “using its significant resources and political leverage to undermine domestic laws and policies that would in fact improve access to adequate housing.” Blackstone spent at least $6.2 million to defeat California’s Proposition 10, which would have allowed cities to enact rent control. Blackstone is a member of the Real Estate Roundtable, a special interest group which spends millions on lobbying and political donations every year.
In separate cases in 2018 and 2019, the hotel chain Motel 6, owned by Blackstone, agreed to settle for a total of $19.6 million for giving guest lists to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) without a warrant.
Government Relations – New York
Michael Shapiro is a Managing Director of Government Affairs for Blackstone, with a focus on infrastructure investments and projects.
Before joining Blackstone, Mr. Shapiro was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation. Prior to joining the Biden Administration, Mr. Shapiro was a founding team member and Vice President at Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners (SIP), a company backed by Alphabet (the parent company of Google) and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) that owns, acquires, and invests in advanced infrastructure, where he was responsible for the origination, diligence, and execution of investments, as well as public-private partnerships, government relations, and external communications. He previously led economic policy for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Presidential campaign, and served in roles in economic policy at the White House and Executive Office of the President in the Obama Administration.
Mr. Shapiro holds a B.A. from the Princeton University School of Public and International Affairs, and a J.D. from Yale Law School.