Posts Tagged ‘Nancy Pelosi’

Weekly Lobbying News Round-Up

Friday, October 8th, 2010 by James

Opponents say Nancy Pelosi’s “swamp-draining” ethics pledge of 2007 seems to be a low priority for theWeekly news embattled speaker.

The State Department has rolled out new per diem rules after a series of lawmakers admitted to keeping excess funds from overseas travel.

More on the mid-term problem for some candidates of having to “overcome” lobbyist ties. (From Open Secrets)

Following up on reports that lobby shops are beefing up their Republican practices in anticipation of a heavily-favored GOP mid-term season, The Hill reports on K St. firms making advances towards Democratic lawmakers in danger of losing their seats.

The House has passed a bill to resolve conflicts between states’ pay to play laws, according to LobbyComply blog. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), sponsored the bill; Rep. Quigley is a legislator who is noted for his work toward continuing ethical best practices (his Transparency in Government Act included new disclosure requirements for lobbyists).

Congressional cage match! It’s the Rahalls v. the lobbying firm that used to employ Tanya Rahall (sister of Congressman Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.). The firm (which hasn’t done much lobbying in recent years, according to their Senate LDA filings) claims that Ms. Rahall improperly used client data.

I’m a little foggy on the details of public pensions placement agents, but if that phrase makes any sense to you, you may want to read this report from Pay to Play Law Blog on California’s new lobbyist registration law.

Meredith McGehee of the Campaign Legal Center has an interesting look at the OCE’s recent cases, and what the outcome “should have been.” Worth a read!

The Onion riffs off those press releases you see all the time about such and such organization hiring so and so to advance their lobbying goals. (And their fictional lobbyist “Jack Weldon” works for Patton Boggs.)   “American People Hire High-Powered Lobbyist to Push Interests in Congress.”

Quote of the Week

“[CDFPAC] policy dinners are ‘one of the best things that happen in Washington… [they’re] a little bastion of enlightenment and intellectual discourse… If I’m gonna give money, I’d rather have it go to this than to some inane TV commercial,’” Former Rep. Toby Moffett, a Democratic consultant, Politico, 10/5/2010

Weekly Lobbying News Round-Up

Friday, September 24th, 2010 by James

The Hill reports on Kenya’s lobbying expenditures. According to the article, “Lobbyists for the KenyanWeekly newsgovernment have focused on strengthening security ties, as well as increasing trade, between the two countries. They have also worked to secure a direct flight route between Atlanta and Nairobi.” The article further reports that the African nation has retained Chlopak, Leonard, Schechter and Associates (CLS) for PR services and  the Moffett Group to provide lobbying services.

Round-up of some articles on the DISCLOSE vote, from Eric Brown.

Need a quick look at the House ethics process? Ethics lawyer Stan Brand takes you through some of the steps. (Video).

Open Secrets notes this study on the “revolving door” from the London School of Economics, which found that ex-staffers turned lobbyists benefit financially from being in influential offices.

Eliza Newlin Carney of National Journal writes on Rep. John Boehner and Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lobbyist / special interest ties will matter to voters. “Will Boehner’s Bucks Rankle Voters?”

Quote of the week:

“The recession has actually created a map where all roads now lead to Washington.” – Kevin O’Neill,  Patton Boggs, Washington Post, 9/20/2010

“It is true that my fights against powerful special interests have not made me popular with the Washington crowd… I take the fact that I’m considered the lobbyists’ number one enemy as a compliment, because my job is to fight for the people of Wisconsin, not the special interests in Washington.” – Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.), Politico, 9/20/2010

“Democrats don’t like to go to K Street as much as Republicans do…  Republicans ‘don’t care. They will work for oil, energy, gas, PhRMA, insurance, cigarette companies, gambling. It’d take something pretty damn bad for them not to do it.’” – “K Street recruiter,” Roll Call, 9/20/2010

Boehner and Pelosi’s Lobbying Ties

Thursday, September 16th, 2010 by Autumn

The New York Times published an article last Sunday detailing the connections Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) has with

John Boehner and aides (Source: New York Times. Photo credit: David Lassman/ Post-Standard)

lobbyists in Washington.  This article is by no means an isolated event.  Various other news articles have been questioning Boehner’s corporate, “special interest” ties.

At a speech in Ohio, President Obama mentioned Boehner’s name eight times.  As of now the only source of information that hasn’t commented on Boehner is my network of 14 uncles who tend to send me long-winded chain emails.  But I’m sure those will start to come in any day now.

The New York Times article did much more than detail Boehner’s golfing and smoking habits while tossing in an obvious joke about his complexion (we get it, he’s tan … new joke, please.)  The article listed some of Boehner’s former aides and “longtime associates and friends” who are lobbyists.

Given the tone of the article, this information seemed to belong on the editorial page; it should not have been presented as just basic information.  In response, The Washington Examiner released an article which stated that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has raised twice the amount of money from lobbyists as her GOP counterpart.

To take all of this one step further, a search of Lobbyists.info showed more lobbyists who previously worked for Pelosi than for Boehner.  Given the rhetoric (which comes from both sides of the aisle) about the evils of the “revolving door,” perhaps members of Congress would be wise to run a quick check on what their own former staffers are doing.

Pelosi’s lobbying ties include former staffers who are now registered lobbyists at The Podesta Group, Akin Gump, Amgen Inc., and King & Spalding.  Not all of Pelosi’s former staffers are registered lobbyists, despite working for registered organizations and coalitions.  Individuals fitting this bill include persons at Planned Parenthood of America and United for Medical Research.

In addition to the individuals listed already by the NYT, Boehner has connections through former employees to lobbyists at Marriot International Inc., Boeing, and the lobbying firm Arent Fox.

Now I’m no political strategist, but it seems that crying wolf over lobbying ties might not be the best course of action for Speaker Pelosi. Perhaps it’s time for both parties to call a lobbyist-as-the-bad-guy truce.

New travel rules for the House

Monday, May 24th, 2010 by James
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tightened up travel requirements for House members and staffers last week, after reports surfaced of some Representatives enjoying perks on taxpayer funded delegation travel.

The House has had rules governing travel in place since the 1970s, but the Wall Street Journal recently reported that some Representatives had enjoyed extensive perks on the taxpayer dime while traveling overseas, including purchasing alcohol, gifts, and items for family members, or pocketing leftover per diems.

The main changes to the rules include a provision forbidding lawmakers on official travel from flying business class on trips shorter than 14 hours, and requiring them to return any unused travel funds to the Treasury. Members and staffers travelling on official business are also prohibited from using funds for personal reasons. Certain aides are also now prohibited from accompanying members on overseas junkets. Attempts at making Congressional delegations bipartisan are also now required to be documented.

Members’ official travel (using government funds) is restricted to committee delegations. However, Members are also able to travel on private trips with approval; such trips fall under a strict, highly regulated approval and guidance structure. Speaker Pelosi has the authority to make changes to the travel rules unilaterally.

The rules from Speaker Pelosi can be found here, and Roll Call’s coverage of the new rules is here.

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