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Business as usual

By Michael J. Smith on Monday July 27, 2009 12:11 PM

CQ Politics reports:

Pelosi's Door Revolves for Top Lobbyist

The revolving door is wide open in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office just two years after she promised to crack down on the practice of congressional aides moving into lobbying shops and then back into government.

Pelosi announced Monday that she is hiring one of Washington's top lobbyists, Richard Meltzer, to be her policy director....

Pelosi's aides say... her agenda will not be unduly influenced by his former clients... [including] heavy hitters with serious interests in the outcome of Democratic agenda items, including a health care overhaul, energy legislation, the financial services bailout, the government's stake in the auto industry and others. In addition to ExxonMobil and R.J. Reynolds, his recent clients include health products giant Johnson & Johnson, Pacific Capital Bancorp (which has received more than $180 million in bailout funds), Ford Motor Company, Microsoft, General Electric, Aetna, and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.

Quite a rogue's gallery. I don't know which one I fear most. I think maybe it's Aetna.

Comments (3)

Well, this part is true: "her agenda will not be unduly influenced."

Two objects first have to differ before one can alter the other, right?


William Greider's Who Will Tell the People was my favorite expose of how the government really works -- up 'til now. In Greider's sketch, lobbyists hang around Gongressional offices, go out to lunch with staff, put on fundraisers, write helpful summaries of the issues, and most of the text of big bills. I just didn't know that a Congressperson would out and out hire one as her "policy director". Score one for making government more transparent, though!

I'd probably be most afraid of "Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association." That name is far too bland not to be evil. They probably grind up orphans for chili and sell it to starving 3rd world nations.

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