Monster Energy Co. has retained superlobbyist Tony Podesta’s Podesta Group to handle legislation and oversight regarding energy beverages, according to its federal filing released Jan. 24.

MEC reached out to Podesta in November following news that the Food & Drug Administration opened a probe into five deaths possibly linked to its products. It paid a $60K fourth-quarter fee to PG.

Podesta leads MEC lobbying team composed of Izzy Klein (former communications director to Sen. Chuck Schumer and press secretary to Rep. Ed Markey); Josh Holly (ex-spokesperson for the Arms Services Committee under Rep. Buck McKeon); Claudia James (ex-aide to Sen. Chris Dodd and VP-government relations at the American Newspaper Publishers Assn.); Sean McLaughlin (assistant attorney general in the Bush II White House), and David Morgenstern (former aide to Sens. Paul Coverdell, Lincoln Chafee and Lamar Alexander).

Meanwhile, MEC rival Red Bull North America is working with Heather Podesta + Partners to educate Congress and other policymakers regarding energy beverages. That firm received a $20K Q4 payment.

The husband and wife team of Tony and Heather announced Jan. 15 their plan to separate.