Blackstone Lobbying Backfires

Private equity firms ‘overreach’ with claim they help the poor
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2007 8:10 PM CDT

(Newser) – Private equity firms launched their first coordinated effort at lobbying this year—and overshot by a long stretch, Bloomberg reports. Blackstone and 11 other firms joined hands to fight a tax hike on carried interest—fund managers' share of profits—and have gone so far as to argue that the lower rate they enjoy spurs development in poor communities. As one GOP  congressman put it, "When they start talking about women and children, they're overreaching.''

The group has already spent $5.5 million on the effort—four times as much as they spent all of last year, says Bloomberg. Among the lawmakers who were unimpressed was Ways and Means chair Charles Rangel, who quipped earlier this month, "It's going to be hard for me to draft a minority and women set-aside to rip off the system.''