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Secretly Recorded Lobbyist: I'm in 'Endless War'

Richard Berman tells execs to 'win ugly or lose pretty'

(Newser) - If Richard Berman likes keeping his tactics from the press, he won't like this. The corporate lobbyist was secretly recorded at a June event telling company executives how he "play[s] dirty" by publicizing embarrassing factoids about liberal celebrities and green activists, the New York Times reports via AllGov... More »

Jill Kelley Wanted $80M for Lobbying Gig: Report

Energy company president says he was shocked

(Newser) - The price for hiring Jill Kelley as a lobbyist? A mere $80 million, according to a businessman who says he tried to negotiate an agreement with her, the Daily News reports. Adam Victor, president of a New York-based energy company, says he wanted her to lobby South Korea's president... 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 »

Nazi Party Registers Washington Lobbyist

The 'ANP' hopes to be a player in DC

(Newser) - The newest registered lobbyist on Capitol Hill represents none other than the American Nazi Party. No joke: John Bowles registered this week to represent the "ANP," reports the Hill . He says his main focus will be to try to loosen up election laws to make it easier for... 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 »

Abramoff: Reforms Won't Stop 'Bribery' in Congress

Tells CBS he had once pull with 100 lawmakers

(Newser) - Lobbyists still “own” Congress, according to Jack Abramoff, dismissing the “faux reform efforts” passed in the wake of the scandal that landed him in prison . “The system hasn’t been cleaned up at all,” Washington’s most infamous ex-peddler of influence tells 60 Minutes in an... More »

Scott Walker Gives Donor's Kid an $81K Job

Brian Deschane gets job despite lack of college degree, experience

(Newser) - Don’t you hate those overpaid public employees? Why, just look at Brian Deschane. He’s racked up two drunk driving convictions, has little experience, and no college degree, yet Scott Walker’s administration is paying him $81,500 a year, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports. How did he get the... 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 »

State Politics: Hotbed of Sleaze, Booze, Scandal

ABC investigation finds no shortage of sleaze at state level

(Newser) - You hear a lot more about the sleaze in Congress and governors' mansions than the sleaze at the state legislator level, but that's not because of a lack of low-down behavior, an ABC News investigation finds. Five grad students sent to cover a national convention of state legislators in Louisville,... More »

GOP's 'Pledge' Written by Former Oil, Pharma Lobbyist

Boehner aide lobbied for AIG, Exxon, Pfizer, Chamber of Commerce

(Newser) - The new “ Pledge to America ” the GOP intends to unveil today, as a kind of sequel to the "Contract with America" of old, was written by a guy who was, until a few months ago, a lobbyist for insurance giant AIG, along with big oil and pharma... More »

Abramoff Working at Pizzeria

Disgraced lobbyist helps with marketing from halfway house

(Newser) - It's a far cry from his old perk-filled life, but it sure beats prison: Disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff is in a halfway house and helping a Baltimore pizzeria with marketing and strategy, reports the Baltimore Jewish Times . Abramoff served 43 months in prison for his shady lobbying practices in DC,... More »

Taxpayers Send $40K a Month to Ex-speaker, Now Lobbyist

Dennis Hastert gets paid by both sides

(Newser) - Taxpayers are doling out more than $40,000 a month to pay for Dennis Hastert’s office, staff, cell phone, SUV, and satellite TV subscriptions—even though the ex-speaker of the House now works as a lobbyist. It’s a troubling situation, ethics experts tell Politico , because though the law... More »

How Obama Screwed Up

Lack of bipartisanship undercuts campaign promises

(Newser) - It's polarized, lobbyist-laden business as usual in Washington, and President Obama is largely to blame despite his campaign pledges to change the way business is done in the capital, writes Fred Barnes. Obama mistook his personal election victory for a victory for liberalism and failed to try hard enough for... More »

Soda Tax Threat a Boon for Food Lobbyists

Industry pours millions into fight against it

(Newser) - Capitol Hill’s flirtation with a national excise tax on sugary drinks has been good for someone: food lobbyists. Soda makers, supermarkets, and fast-food restaurants have spent more than $24 million fighting the tax, the Huffington Post reports. “We are reacting to the situation we find ourselves in,"... More »

Apple Quits US Chamber, Slams Climate Stance

Computer giant goes with outward flow over lobbyist's climate position

(Newser) - Apple has joined a growing list of companies to ditch the US Chamber of Commerce over its skeptical view of climate change. “We strongly object to the Chamber’s recent comments” calling for a “Scopes Monkey Trial for the 21st century” to expose climate change fallacies, says a... More »

Health Bill Author Baucus Reaps $1.5M From Industry

Finance chairman raked in donations while crafting measure

(Newser) - It's no secret that Capitol Hill is awash in money from the health-care industry but the amounts involved are far larger than many realize, according to a new report from a watchdog group. The Sunlight Foundation found that many senators—especially Montana Democrat Max Baucus, chair of the Senate Finance... More »

Calif. Pol Quits After Boast of Spanking Sex With Lobbyist

One utility company lobbyist was a 'bad girl,' assemblyman leered over hot mike

(Newser) - Some lobbyists will apparently do anything for work. A California assemblyman and family-values crusader has quit after boasting about spanking sex with a utility company lobbyist and "hot" sex with another. He went into graphic detail over a broadcast mike he didn't realize was live, reports the Los Angeles ... More »

Under Obama, It's the 'Summer of the Lobbyist'

'It Girl' emerges as health, climate, economy converge

(Newser) - Barack Obama the candidate railed against lobbyists' influence—but under his administration, the Washington movers and shakers are flourishing. With health care reform, the environment, and the economy in focus all at once, it’s the “Summer of the Lobbyist,” writes Manuel Roig-Franzia in the Washington Post. At... 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 »

Anti-Earmark Rep. Scores Earmark for Blimp Research

Sessions' $1.6M went to firm not in his district

(Newser) - Rep. Pete Sessions is a vocal opponent of earmarks, but last year he scored one for a company that's not even in his district. Thanks to Sessions, $1.6 million for airship research went to a firm with no experience in either government contracting or blimp-making, Politico reports. Seems that... More »

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