Former lobbyists now working as congressional staffers by far outnumber elected members of Congress, according to a new analysis by the research group LegiStorm.
Posts Tagged Lobbyists
The Obama years have so far been a predictable boom-time for the army of anti-regulation lobbyists paid by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Center for Responsive Politics reports that the Chamber spent $276 million over the past two years lobbying against, among other things, health care reform, environmental protections and Wall Street regulations. The Chamber is the number-one spender on lobbying this year as in years past, but it is outdoing itself, setting records in its own outrageous largess. In just the last three months of 2010, the Chamber spent $50.9 million on lobbying at the federal, state and grassroots levels. That’s a step down from last year, when in the last financial quarter as health and financial industry reform were being discussed in DC, the Chamber spent $79 million from October through December to defeat or water-down Democratic legislation.
With two close primary races for the U.S. Senate, some Colorado voters will go to the polls today or drop off last-minute mail-in ballots to determine who will battle it out in November. The vast majority of votes in what could be a record for a primarily mail-in election are already in. And the candidates for both parties would have voters believe that what’s at stake is the soul of the state – grassroots, western self-determination versus entrenched, inside-the-Beltway career political cronyism.
The ugly back and forth on the power of special interests that has shaped the U.S. Senate primary contest pitting Andrew Romanoff against Michael Bennet has so far turned mostly on abstractions and circumstantial speculations. Former state House Speaker Romanoff has railed against big money donors and highlighted Bennet votes he thought raised questions about influence. Senator Bennet has fired back that although candidate Romanoff takes no special interest money, lawmaker Romanoff was deep into the trough. Romanoff has rejected political action committee money. Bennet has said PAC spending is a matter of public record and so is not the problem Romanoff is making it out to be.
In an interview with a Colorado Springs radio talk show host Tuesday, former lieutenant governor and Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Jane Norton said she has never worked as a lobbyist. She was responding to callers looking to feel out her conservative credentials.
“On the lobbyist thing, I’ve not been a lobbyist,” she said.
DENVER– Lawmakers killed a bill in committee Tuesday that would have allowed lobbyists to bypass security lines at the capitol. The bill drew attention from the media for appearing to integrate lobbyists into the capitol culture in a way that citizens are not. The bill failed four votes to seven.
DENVER– Democratic U.S. Senate candidate and former Colorado Speaker of the House Andrew Romanoff told a crowd of about 30 students closely gathered in the Senate Room at the Auraria Higher Education Campus Wednesday that he was trying to lead by example with his so-far low-key campaign. Earlier in the day his staff announced Romanoff would not be taking Political Action Committee contributions.
DENVER — ProgressNow Colorado founder and CEO Michael Huttner today in the Capitol presented a list of high-powered Washington, D.C., lobbyists who have donated to U.S. Senate candidate Jane Norton since she launched her campaign last month. Combing through Norton’s latest finance disclosure forms, Huttner’s progressive activist organization found eleven top national lobbyists among her donors, many of them the source of ethics scandals and the targets of investigation.
Health insurance companies for decades have been exempt from federal anti-trust laws and are exploiting that privilege to generate enormous profits at the expense of patients, Senate Democrats charged Wednesday. The laws allow companies to feign competition while really colluding to set prices. The Seanate debate is fueling calls to make a public health insurance option part of any reform bill. Lawmakers — including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) — want to repeal the anti-trust exemption as part of broader efforts this year to overhaul the nation’s dysfunctional health care system.
As the Washington Independent noted on Wednesday, the U.S. House Financial Services Committee is in the midst of tackling financial regulatory reform, which has brought out the lobbyists in full force.
Here’s just a small taste of the…