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Lobbying Firms Switch Political Gears

Corruption scandals paved the way for Democratic ascendancy. Those scandals exposed in part how Republican Hill staffers and members of Congress sold their access and power for private gain to defense contractors, Indian tribes, and anyone who would pay top buck.

Now incoming House majority leader Nancy Pelosi plans to overhaul Congressional ethics and limit lobbyist influence on the hill. Yet those plans haven't seemed to damper K Street's enthusiasm for switching political gears by hiring up former Democratic hill staffers. Do the lobbying firms know something we the people don't?  This just in from Time Magazine:

Lobbyists who couldn't get a meeting are suddenly a hot commodity. "I've gotten a lot of calls from headhunters in the last two months," says Florence Prioleau, a lobbyist who has maintained close ties with her former boss, New York's Charles Rangel, incoming chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. Pelosi's former chief of staff, George Crawford, has just been hired by Amgen, a biotech company, to represent its interests with the new Congress. Toby Moffett, a former Democratic Congressman from Connecticut now with the Livingston Group, says he recently told a Republican lobbyist desperate to hire Democrats that he had two options: "One is to go after [congressional] staff members who are thinking of leaving, maybe someone with tuitions to pay. The second is to overpay for people who weren't thinking of leaving."

By: Beth Daley
Director of Investigations, POGO

At the time of publication, Beth Daley was the Director of Investigations for the Project On Government Oversight.

Authors: Beth Daley

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