Campaign 2010

Dec 09, 2010

Questionnaire to House Republican Freshman: Which Lobbyists Are You Hiring?

Dear House Republican Freshman,

Now that you’ve scrapped your pledge to change the way business is done in Washington, please fill out the following questionnaire about your specific plans to get cozy with K Street:

1.      Which special interest do you plan on hiring to run your congressional office?

2.      After hiring your special interest, what will you do first to help them protect their profits?

a.       Fight to protect tax loopholes that reward big corporations for shipping American jobs overseas
b.      Make it more expensive for middle class kids to borrow money to go to college
c.       Allow Wall Street to go unchecked
d.      Allow big health insurance industries to make being a woman a preexisting condition
e.       Give tax breaks to Big Oil companies to continue our dependence on foreign oil while raising gas prices

3.      What excuse will you give to voters for hypocritically cozying up to K-Street lobbyists despite promising to shake up the Washington establishment during the campaign?

a.       I need to hire people who are ‘savvy’ in the ways of Washington
b.      Lobbyists need more access to Congress
c.       He/she made a very generous contribution to my campaign
d.      Did I promise to shake up Washington? Hmm…I don’t remember saying that.

4.      Where should we send your personalized “Gone Washington” bumper sticker?

Background:

  • According to The Hill newspaper, at least nine federally registered lobbyists have accepted offers to become chiefs of staff to newly elected Republican House members and senators, according to a review of press releases and media reports as well as interviews by The Hill. [The Hill; December 8, 2010]

o   For example, Representative-elect Bob Dold has hired a special interest lobbyist, Eric Burgeson, to run his Congressional office.  Burgeson’s clients include the “U.S. Chamber of Commerce in China.”  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent more than $100,000 to help Bob Dodd get elected.

o   Representative- elect Raul Labrador hired, “John Goodwin of the National Rifle Association, one of Washington's most powerful lobbying groups…” [The Hill; December 8, 2010]

o   Representative-elect Chip Cravaack, “former lobbyist Rod Grams as his interim chief of staff…” [Washington Post; December 8, 2010]

o   Representative-elect Charlie Bass has hired , “John Billings with the Food Marketing Institute…” [The Hill; December 8, 2010]

o   Representative- elect Steve Pearce hired, “…Todd Willens, who has lobbied at Vitello Consulting…” [The Hill; December 8, 2010]

o   Representative-elect Jeff Denham hired Jason Larrabee who, “… lobbied for several local California water agencies and an energy research and development company this year, according to lobbying disclosure records.” [The Hill; December 8, 2010]