As 2010 comes to a close and we begin to look forward to the new year, we would be remiss if we did not look back on the year that was. We have counted down our top ten lobbying quotes of 2010. Enjoy!
10. “It is good for guys like us. I think you will see instead of a flattening or retrenchment of lobbying, you will see an uptick.” – Marc Lampkin, a Republican lobbyist with Quinn Gillespie & Associates and former aide to Speaker-elect John Boehner (R-Ohio) on what the 112th Congressional agenda means for lobbyists.
9. “What I don’t want to see happen to transparency is what happened to break dancing…A brief commercial success that becomes not hip in 2012.” – Sunlight Foundation president John Wonderlich.
8. “Some of us are joking that the next proposal [to curb lobbyist influence] will be to put RFD tracking chips in lobbyists’ necks so they know where we are at all times.” – Rich Gold, partner, Holland & Knight
7. “There is no nefarious handshake meeting that is being kept secret.” – Scott E. Talbott, a lawyer and lobbyist for the Financial Services Roundtable.
6. “The rhythm of the town is going to switch. You walk through the hallways. The rooms are all the same, a lot of people are the same, but there’s a lot of change…You can’t put too much stock in the old ways. There’s going to be a powerful current of change, and you’ve got to adapt to that.” – Jack Howard, lobbyist and former aide to Newt Gingrich on the post-swearing-in changes lobbyists can expect on the Hill.
5. “He exaggerates our power, but he increases demand for our services,” Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta says of President Obama. Not only does the president’s agenda include a number of deeply divisive issues, but the exaggerated power “makes people who don’t have a lobbyist want one,” Podesta says.
4. “We have to take action on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue — to end the outsized influence of lobbyists; to do our work openly; to give our people the government they deserve.”– President Obama in the January State of the Union address on the remedy to the “deep and corrosive thoughts about how Washington works” he believes politicians face.
3. “This is not sexy at all. It is a different kind of lobbying…Halftime is over. The legislators have left the field and the regulators have taken over” -Talbott again on the new environment lobbyists will face approaching the executive branch and regulatory agencies.
2. “Whatever they’re gonna do, they’ll do,” he said. “They can ban lobbyists from having drivers licenses. We’ll all get cars and drivers.” – Podesta again on the increased scrutiny and executive orders banning lobbyists in the Obama Administration and the perseverance lobbyists exhibit in the face of such orders.
1. “Next to God, faith, and country, nothing is more important than influence.” – Jack Abramoff, as portrayed by Kevin Spacey in 2010’s “Casino Jack.” It’s true. Influence shapes country and faith. And for some, maybe even God.