Posts Tagged ‘lobbyist’
Three former Cabinet ministers, Stephen Byers, Patricia Hewitt and Geoff Hoon, have been suspended from the Parliamentary Labour Party over allegations they tried to sway policy decisions by lobbying the Government.
The allegations came after the three MPs were caught in an undercover sting by Channel Four’s Dispatches programme boasting that they had changed government policy and secured preferential access to ministers for private companies.
Recordings showing MPs in a series of meetings with bogus lobbyists were broadcast by the programme. The MPs offered their services for up to £5,000 a day.
The decision to suspend the three was said to have been taken by Chief Whip Nick Brown and General Secretary Ray Collins following the screening of tonight’s Channel 4 Dispatches documentary.
The three were secretly filmed by an undercover reporter discussing the possibility of working for what they thought was an American lobby company.
Wow! This is a very big deal in the UK.
Looking out across the pond from the U.S., I guess I’m a little bit extra embarrassed because this is close to “ordinary” behavior here.
Martinez and McCain dancing together after a so-called healthcare forum
Daylife/AP Photo used by permission
It used to be that lawmakers were coy about any ideas they had about heading for K Street, waiting until their terms ended before announcing they were beginning a more lucrative career.
But in recent years, members of Congress planning to become lobbyists have not been able to wait. In fact, when Florida Republican Mel Martinez this week accepted a position with the mega-lobbying and law firm DLA Piper — less than two weeks after resigning from the Senate — it brought to five the number of former lawmakers since 2007 who have abandoned their constituents midterm and almost immediately resurfaced with lobbying firms, according to data provided by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.
“This used to be considered unacceptable, but it really is a growing phenomenon,” said Meredith McGehee, who lobbies for stricter lobbying and ethics regulations for the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center. “The reality is that the money has gotten so big and so tempting these days, that I think a lot of these members are saying, ‘I don’t think I’ll go back into political office, first of all, and, the money is just too big to turn down.’”
Martinez was traveling in Brazil and could not be reached for comment, but in February, his office insisted he would serve until the end of his term in January 2011 before retiring from Congress to spend more time with his family. Last month, though, he reversed course, announcing he would step down as soon as Florida Gov. Charlie Crist appointed a successor…
Lobbyists’ salaries are not public information, but last year, Martinez’s new firm DLA, which registered nearly 50 lobbyists, reported more than $11.8 million in lobbying revenue, which doesn’t include legal and consultation fees unrelated to lobbying.
Martinez, who is barred from lobbying his former colleagues for two years, will advise clients on government affairs, litigation, financial services, real estate, energy, defense, infrastructure development and other matters, according to a DLA press release announcing his arrival.
Slime. Pure, unadulterated slug exudate. Only now he’ll be paid directly and above the table.
U.S. congressional investigators said Tuesday they have uncovered five more forged letters sent to Congress regarding energy and climate legislation.
The letters are designed to make recipients think they were sent by senior centers and elderly services organizations, Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., said in a statement.
Markey, chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, said the five letters released Tuesday bring to 13 the number of fraudulent letters sent by the Washington lobby group Bonner & Associates. The firm was subcontracted by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity to lobby Congress.
The 13 fake letters purport to represent nine different community groups, including the non-profit Erie Center on Health & Aging; the Charlottesville, Va., NAACP chapter; the Hispanic advocacy group Creciendo Juntos; and the American Association of University Women.
“We’ve seen fear-mongering with our nation’s senior citizens with healthcare, and now we’re seeing fraud-mongering with senior citizens on clean energy,” Markey said.
These letters are about as authentic as any of the alarums raised by Republican Do-Nothing politicians in Congress.
This just happens to concern a single issue; but, the Party of No is pretty consistent about lying and cheating when confronted by attempts to change business as usual in American politics.
In case I haven’t noted this, lately – I happen to be certain that “clean coal” is a possibility. Seems like fairly reasonable science. But, the fossils in charge of the industry are accustomed to getting their way via the usual channels of sleazy corporate politics, glossy advertising and backroom deals. Doesn’t help their cause at all.
A prominent evangelical lobbyist has resigned over his remarks in a National Public Radio interview, in which he said he supports permitting same-sex civil unions.
The Rev. Richard Cizik, vice president for governmental affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), later apologized for the remark, said the Rev. Leith Anderson, president of the 30 million-member organization.
But, Anderson said, “he lost the leadership’s confidence as spokesman, and that’s hard to regain.”
Asked by Terry Gross in a Dec. 2 interview on NPR’s Fresh Air whether he had changed his position on same-sex marriage, Cizik responded: “I’m shifting, I have to admit. In other words, I would willingly say that I believe in civil unions. . . . We have become so absorbed in the question of gay rights and the rest that we fail to understand the challenges and threats to marriage itself — heterosexual marriage. Maybe we need to reevaluate this and look at it a little differently.”
The remark, anathema to most evangelical Christians, who believe that the Bible permits marriage only between a man and a woman, caused an uproar in the group and in other evangelical organizations.
All the Bilbos who profit from an obedient bible-thumping brigade of followers can’t begin to tolerate someone who learns from a changing world – and revises his opinion to match reality.
Perish the thought, Cizik even felt human beings should begin to own up for responsibility for screwing over the Earth, environment and climate change. He’ll not be allowed into the wealthiest temples, again.
Daylife/AP Photo by Rogelio V. Solis
Charles R. Black Jr. says he is going back to lobbying after his stint advising 2008 Republican U.S. presidential nominee John McCain on his campaign.
“I’m happy to work with good friends and with clients whom I like and respect,” Black told the Washington Times.
Black resigned from BKSH early this year to work full time for McCain after McCain prohibited lobbyists from working on his staff while continuing to be paid by lobbying firms. Black had acknowledged making lobbying telephone calls from McCain’s campaign bus, the Times noted.
Black’s clients at BKSH have included AT&T, Alcoa, JPMorgan and U.S. Airways, the Times reported.
[Sudden gasp of disbelief] You mean John McCain wasn’t the maverick candidate?
A lobbyist with close ties to the White House is offering access to key figures in George W Bush’s administration in return for six-figure donations to the private library being set up to commemorate Bush’s presidency.
Stephen Payne, who claims to have raised more than $1m for the president’s Republican party in recent years, said he would arrange meetings with Dick Cheney, the vice-president, Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, and other senior officials in return for a payment of $250,000 towards the library in Texas…
During an undercover investigation by The Sunday Times, Payne was asked to arrange meetings in Washington for an exiled former central Asian president. He outlined the cost of facilitating such access.
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