Washington lobbyists

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As Feds Go Digital, Paper Industry Wages Secretive War

'Consumer' group was developed by the paper industry

(Newser) - In 2011, the Social Security Administration put the kibosh on mailing paper statements to 150 million future retirees, at an annual cost savings of $72 million. But last month's budget contained language that forces the government to plan for restarting these paper mailings. Ridiculous? Not according to a group... More »

Tobacco Defender in Congress Now Paid Lobbyist

Steve Buyer once compared it to lettuce

(Newser) - It takes a man of strong conviction to stand up in Congress and compare tobacco to lettuce—he was talking about the smokeless variety, but still. Well, Steve Buyer is no longer a congressman, and, hey, what do you know, he just landed a job as consultant and lobbyist for... More »

Chemical-Soaked Danger Lurks in Your Couch

Deadly chemicals in furniture illustrate lobbyist dangers

(Newser) - To you, the sofa is probably just a place to park your butt. But to Nicholas Kristof, writing in his latest New York Times column, it is a symbol of how money and politics ruin everything. That's because nearly all couches in the United States contain flame retardant chemicals... More »

Lobbying Firm to Banks: We'll Cripple Occupy

Former Jay Boehner employees drummed up $850K plan

(Newser) - So John Boehner's old employees are at least trying to profit from Occupy. Sam Geduldig and Jay Cranford, partners at a well-known Washington lobbying firm, are two authors of a proposed $850,000 scheme to drum up negative stories about Occupy Wall Street and any politicians who support it—... More »

Herman Cain: Former Biz Whiz? Try Lobbyist

GOP hopeful fought smoking bans, minimum wage increases

(Newser) - Herman Cain is known as the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza and an upstart GOP presidential candidate. But between those pursuits, he filled his Washington Rolodex as a highly effective industry lobbyist in the late 1990s, the New York Times reports. His industry: restaurants. His major issues: fighting smoking... More »

Thousands Ditch Congress for Lobbying Firms: Study

Study says almost 5,400 have jumped ship in past decade

(Newser) - There’s a veritable car pool lane connecting Capitol Hill to K Street, according to a new study, which found that almost 5,400 ex-congressional staffers and nearly 400 former lawmakers have taken jobs with lobbying firms over the past decade. The road goes in the opposite direction as well,... More »

Feds: Pakistan Spies Funded DC Lobby Group

Kashmiri group's director arrested

(Newser) - American-Pakistani relations slumped further downhill yesterday with the arrest of a Washington-based lobbyist accused of being in the pay of Pakistan's spy agency. Federal investigators say Pakistan spent millions of dollars attempting to influence American policy on the disputed territory of Kashmir with campaign donations to members of Congress... More »

Obama Aides Take Lobbyist Meetings Across Street

That way, they're not seen in visitor logs

(Newser) - Apparently Barack Obama’s opposition to lobbyist influence isn’t as strident as advertised. Obama’s aides still consult with lobbyists, Politico reports—they just do it across the street from the White House. These chats, held in meeting rooms just off the White House campus, aren’t recorded in... More »

Spill Causes Boom in Oil Industry Lobbying

And most lobbyists used to work for the feds

(Newser) - The Gulf oil spill has created a bonanza for oil industry lobbyists, as the firms involved ramp up damage control and the industry as a whole works to fight new anti-drilling legislation. The American Petroleum Institute, the chief lobbying group for big oil, spent $2.3 million between April 1... More »

My That's a Big Cigar You Have, Congressman

Lobbyists may have set up networking group in violation of rules

(Newser) - The Huffington Post is blowing smoke in the eyes of a congressional networking group that the blog contends is backed by lobbyists, possibly in violation of congressional rules. Tough to get your maduro lit when you poke around like that. According to HuffPo: "Lobbyists for major banks, insurers, pharmaceutical... More »

Democrats Maul Indiana Senate Hopeful Dan Coats

Former senator gets painted as lobbyist, carpetbagger

(Newser) - Dan Coats would like to take his seat again as senator from Indiana, but first the Republican needs to get by an avalanche of Democratic opposition research. In the week following his announcement of plans to challenge Evan Bayh, Dems, resolved not to repeat the unexpected loss in Massachusetts, hit... More »

Tobacco, Oil, Bank Lobbyists Crowd Dem Senators' Retreat

Miami guest list doesn't quite jibe with anti-'fat cat' rhetoric

(Newser) - Lobbyists for some of the industries most often blasted by Democrats—oil, big tobacco, banks—made up a good chunk of the guest list at a Miami retreat featuring a dozen Senate Democrats. A $30,000 contribution to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is typical, reports Politico , which scored a... More »

Lobbyists See Advisory Roles Clipped by New Obama Rule

Feds aim to cut special-interest access; K Streeters demur

(Newser) - An Obama administration rule taking effect over the next few months will take potentially thousands of those oh-so-evil Washington lobbyists off panels advising federal officials on everything from consumer protection to environmental policy. The panels’ web is so tangled, the Post reports, that the feds aren’t even sure how... More »

Health-Care Reform Holds 'Bonanza' for Insurers

(Newser) - Regardless of how health-care reform eventually shakes out, one industry will likely reap a windfall: health insurance companies, reports the Los Angeles Times. All the leading overhaul proposals would require all citizens to have health insurance, which would guarantee tens of millions of new customers. "It's a bonanza,"... More »

MSNBC Will ID Analyst as PR Exec

(Newser) - From now on MSNBC will alert viewers that commentator Richard Wolffe also serves another boss—a high-powered Washington public relations and lobbying firm, where he works as a strategist. Executives made the decision following complaints that Wolffe may have pushed agendas for his clients under the guise of being an... More »

Lawyers Rush In to Grab Work From Lobbyists

Having fewer restrictions on lawyers' activities attracts clients

(Newser) - The Obama White House may have toughened rules on lobbyists, but the bonanza of new spending and regulation ushered in by the new administration has created a gold rush of lobbying opportunities, nonetheless, and law firms are horning in on the action, Politico reports. Staffing up with experts who provide... More »

Obama's Lobbyist Ban Haunting Him

He's losing good people for hard-to-fill administration spots

(Newser) - President Obama’s campaign pledge to run a lobbyist-free White House is coming back to haunt him, writes Jonathan Martin in Politico. The problem is that there’s an army of Democratic specialists in hard-to-master policy areas who worked as lobbyists during the Bush administration—and they're all off-limits. “... More »

GOP Launches Offensive on Pro-Union Bill

Big business is paying big bucks to lobby against 'card check' bill

(Newser) - Republican lobbyists are swarming Capitol Hill this week, launching the battle over the pro-union Employee Free Choice Act—a fight one Chamber of Commerce exec describes as "Armageddon." Legions of GOP operatives are being enlisted to spend tens of millions of dollars offered by large corporations like Wal-Mart,... More »

In Daschle's DC, Money Doesn't Talk, It Swears

Under Obama, influence peddling may be on the way out

(Newser) - It’s not your parents’ Washington anymore. DC used to be a cultural and social backwater, but no longer, writes Norman Ornstein for the New Republic. The “sheer amount of money sloshing around” the capital destroyed Tom Daschle's bid to head HHS nominee; he got "caught up in... More »

Bailout Bucks Go to Lobbyists

Bailed-out firms' spending on lobbying threatens to spark government backlash

(Newser) - A surprising number of firms that reaped billions in bailout funds from the government have been spending big to lobby the government for more, the New York Times reports. Citigroup, General Motors, and at least seven others have paid lobbyists millions since October. Some recipients actually increased the amount they... More »

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