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Top 5 Reasons D.C. Lobbyists Yearn For A Clinton White House

- August 22, 2016

Lobbyists Are Running Her Campaign And Party, And Will Run A Clinton White House


TOP TAKEAWAYS

  • #1: Clinton will likely lift the ban on lobbyists serving in the White House and her administration.
  • #2: Clinton is taking lobbyist and PAC cash.
  • #3: Clinton brought the party back for lobbyists, with Democrat party committees, including the DNC now accepting their funds. 
  • #4: Clinton has hired lobbyists to run her 2016 campaign.
  • #5: Lobbyists are excited for another Clinton presidency.

During Her 2008 Presidential Campaign, Clinton Defended Lobbyist Contributions, Saying "Lobbyists Represent Real Americans." "At the time, Clinton defended her acceptance of lobbyist contributions at the progressive YearlyKos conference in 2007, saying, 'A lot of those lobbyists, whether you like it or not, represent real Americans.' Her remarks drew a round of boos from the audience." (Sam Stein and Paul Blumenthal, "Clinton Campaign Will Accept Donations From Lobbyists And PACs," The Huffington Post, 4/16/15)

#1: CLINTON WILL LIKELY LIFT THE BAN ON LOBBYISTS SERVING IN HER ADMINISTRATION

Today, The Washington Post Questioned Whether A Clinton Administration Will Me More Open To Lobbyists. "But the question is how Clinton could loosen the restrictions without appearing to endorse outside influence peddling, especially after a campaign that saw cries against the 'rigged system' from both sides of the aisle." (Catherine Ho, "Signs Suggest Hillary Clinton May Be More Open To Lobbyists In Her Administration," The Washington Post , 8/22/16)

Clinton’s Campaign Won’t Say If It Will Alter Obama’s Executive Order Banning Lobbyists From Serving In The Administration Without A Waiver. “Would a Hillary Clinton administration welcome back lobbyists with open arms? The Clinton campaign did not respond to multiple requests for comment. … If Clinton wants to, changing Obama’s executive order barring lobbyists would be relatively simple. Executive orders do not expire when the administration that issued them exit the White House. However, they can be superseded by new executive orders issued by a fledgling administration. In other words, all Clinton would have to do in January — hypothetically — is issue an order that would revise or override the previous administration’s decision.’” (Catherine Ho, "Signs Suggest Hillary Clinton May Be More Open To Lobbyists In Her Administration," The Washington Post , 8/22/16)

A Democrat Lobbyist Predicted An “80 Percent Chance” Clinton Will Loosen Obama’s Ban On Lobbyists. “Rich Gold, a Democratic lobbyist who’s fundraised for Clinton, said there is ‘probably an 80 percent chance’ either Obama or Clinton will make changes to the lobbyist policy, but ‘who that is and how they do it is speculation at this point.’” (Catherine Ho, "Signs Suggest Hillary Clinton May Be More Open To Lobbyists In Her Administration," The Washington Post , 8/22/16)

According To The Center For Responsive Politics, 84 Of Clinton's Staffers Have Passed Through The Revolving Door, Either Joining Clinton's Staff "After Representing Private Interests" Or Leaving Her Office "For A Lobbying Position." (Center For Responsive Politics, Accessed 4/14/16)

#2: CLINTON IS TAKING LOBBYIST AND PAC CA$H

The Huffington Post Headline: "Clinton Campaign Will Accept Donations From Lobbyists And PACs" Sam Stein and Paul Blumenthal, "Clinton Campaign Will Accept Donations From Lobbyists And PACs,"The Huffington Post, 4/16/15)

In April 2015, Clinton's Campaign Announced It Will Accept Donations From Lobbyists And PACs. "Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign will accept donations from lobbyists and political action committees, a difference in policy from the man she's hoping to replace, President Barack Obama. The Clinton campaign confirmed that there would be no prohibition on such donations, after The Huffington Post was tipped off by two lobbyists supportive of the former secretary of state's run for the White House." (Sam Stein and Paul Blumenthal, "Clinton Campaign Will Accept Donations From Lobbyists And PACs," The Huffington Post, 4/16/15)

The Washington Post Headline: "Lobbyists Have Raised $7 Million For Hillary Clinton. For Trump? Zero." (Catherine Ho, "Lobbyists Have Raised $7 Million For Hillary Clinton. For Trump? Zero." The Washington Post , 7/20/16)

#3: CLINTON BROUGHT THE PARTY BACK FOR LOBBYISTS

Clinton Was Supportive Of The "Controversial" Rule Change Loosening Allowing For Lobbyists To "Directly Raise Money For The Various Democratic Committees…" "In February, the restrictions were further eased to allow lobbyists to directly raise money for the various Democratic committees, the convention and any events that don't directly involve President Obama, Vice President Biden or their wives. The move was controversial at the time as it was supported by former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. Her rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, opposed the change." (Jay Newton-Small, "Lobbyists Celebrate Democratic Party's New Embrace At Convention," Time, 7/26/16)

The Previous Ban On Lobbyist Fundraisers Coupled With The "Lack Of Effort To Enact New Rules" Leaves An Opening For "A Legion Of Lobbyists" To Fund The Groundwork For A Clinton Candidacy. " Podesta is just one of a legion of lobbyists coming out of the proverbial closet this convention, free to raise money, support candidates and be proud of it for the first time in nearly a decade. For many influence brokers, the distinction is an important one. Facing a fundraising shortfall after Congress ended public funding for the conventions, the Democratic National Committee eased the ban in 2012 to allow corporate funding of external convention events. That led to lobbyists and private industry largely funding much of the 2012 Democratic convention. Campaign finance reformers have watched the change happen with dismay. 'The stricter rules regarding lobbyists that the Obama administration and Democratic Party first put in place have been eroded and there has been a lack of effort to enact new rules, so this is not surprising,' said Lawrence Noble, general counsel for the Campaign Legal Center." (Jay Newton-Small, "Lobbyists Celebrate Democratic Party's New Embrace At Convention," Time, 7/26/16)

One In Seven Superdelegates That Elected Clinton At The Convention Were Lobbyists

Superdelegates Were "Often Cited As A Firewall" For Clinton's Presidential Primary Campaign. "Many of the dissidents were women -- a rich irony, given that superdelegates in 2016 are often cited as a firewall guarding Hillary Clinton's path to becoming the party's first female nominee. This election's insurgent Democrat, Bernie Sanders, has complained about how many superdelegates lined up behind Clinton, and how early they did so." (Laurence Arnold, "Superdelegates Didn't Seem So Super to Democratic Women Early On," Bloomberg, 4/15/16)

Superdelegates Consist Of "Establishment Insiders Who Get Their Status After Years Of Donations And Service To The Party" As Well As Democrat Governors And Members Of Congress. "But this group, which consists of 21 governors, 40 senators and 193 representatives, only makes up about a third of the superdelegates. Many of the remaining 463 convention delegates are establishment insiders who get their status after years of donations and service to the party. Dozens of the 437 delegates in the DNC member category are registered federal and state lobbyists, according to an ABC News analysis." (Jeff Naft, "The Reason Why Dozens Of Lobbyists Will Be Democratic Presidential Delegates," ABC News, 2/29/16)

When You Remove The Elected Officials From The List Of Superdelegates, One Of Seven Are Former Or Currently Registered Lobbyists. "In fact, when you remove elected officials from the superdelegate pool, at least one in seven of the rest are former or current lobbyists registered on the federal and state level, according to lobbying disclosure records." (Jeff Naft, "The Reason Why Dozens Of Lobbyists Will Be Democratic Presidential Delegates," ABC News, 2/29/16)

  • "That's At Least 67 Lobbyists Who Will Attend The Convention As Superdelegates. A Majority Of Them Have Already Committed To Supporting Hillary Clinton For The Nomination." (Jeff Naft, "The Reason Why Dozens Of Lobbyists Will Be Democratic Presidential Delegates,"ABC News, 2/29/16)

#4: CLINTON HAS HIRED LOBBYISTS TO RUN HER 2016 CAMPAIGN

"Not Only Is Hillary Taking Money From Lobbyists; She's Also Hiring Them To Run Her Campaign." (Patrick Caldwell, "Clinton's Top Aides Have Lobbied For Companies Liberals Despise," Mother Jones, 7/8/15)

"There Are At Least Six Clinton Campaign Staffers Who, At One Time Or Another, Earned A Paycheck As A Registered Lobbyist." "There are at least six Clinton campaign staffers who, at one time or another, earned a paycheck as a registered lobbyist. They've lobbied for a range of controversial special interests, from the Keystone pipeline and Lehman Brothers to SeaWorld and some of the country's largest corporations." (Patrick Caldwell, "Clinton's Top Aides Have Lobbied For Companies Liberals Despise," Mother Jones, 7/8/15)

John Podesta, Clinton's Campaign Chair, Is A Former Lobbyist. " Three decades ago, he also helped his brother Tony Podesta found a profit-driven lobbying firm, the Podesta Group. While he was getting the Center for American Progress set up, John Podesta did some lobbying for the group. His clients for the Podesta Group included eBay, the American Insurance Association, and the Agency for Nuclear Projects, an arm of the Nevada government." (Patrick Caldwell, "Clinton's Top Aides Have Lobbied For Companies Liberals Despise," Mother Jones , 7/8/15)

Clinton's Campaign Treasurer, Jose Villarreal, Is A Former Lobbyist. "Villarreal hasn't worked as a federal lobbyist since 2009, but when he was in the lobbying world he was particularly active. Over the course of a decade lobbying at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Field, LLP, his clients included the largest players in corporate and financial America. A brief sampling: NASDAQ, Nationwide Mutual Insurance, Bridgestone, Boeing, AT&T, Citigroup, Dow Chemical, the Motion Picture Association of America, Disney, PG&E Corporation, Paypal, and the Coalition for 21st Century Patent Reform (funded by 3M, General Electric, and others)." (Patrick Caldwell, "Clinton's Top Aides Have Lobbied For Companies Liberals Despise," Mother Jones, 7/8/15)

Clinton's Chief Administrative Officer, Charlie Baker III, Is A Former Lobbyist. "Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, [Charlie] Baker did a bit of federal lobbying for Northwest Airlines through Dewey Square, but the bulk of his lobbying work has come at Boston law firm DLA Piper LLP. He's regularly advocated before Congress for Rhode Island-based Citizens Bank. Other lobbying clients included the pharmaceutical firm Medicines Company, defense contractor Raytheon, and gambling trade association group Interactive Gaming Council. At the local level in Massachusetts, he's lobbied for AOL, earning DLA $120,000 between 2008 and 2009, and the Sterling Suffolk Racecourse, netting his law firm more than $300,000 between 2008 and 2011. According to disclosures in Massachusetts, Baker personally earned more than $250,000 from that work." (Patrick Caldwell, "Clinton's Top Aides Have Lobbied For Companies Liberals Despise," Mother Jones, 7/8/15)

Clinton's Consultant On Delegates, Jeff Berman, Worked As A Lobbyist For TransCanada And Lobbied Clinton's State Department For The Construction Of The Keystone XL Pipeline. "The newest hire for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign is a longtime strategist who played a key role in her 2008 primary defeat while working for then-Sen. Barack Obama. He's also a Washington lobbyist who lobbied the State Department - led, at the time, by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton - on behalf of the company seeking to build the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. Clinton's new consultant, Jeff Berman, has followed, in many respects, a well-worn path for those in Washington D.C. He spent a large chunk of his career in the public sector before a stint on K Street, and now he's back again." (Sam Stein, "Hillary Clinton's Newest Consultant Was A Major Keystone Lobbyist," The Huffington Post, 6/25/15)

Clinton's Campaign Adviser And Fundraiser Steve Elmendorf, "Was Retained By Goldman Sachs As One Of The Bank's 'Primary Lobbyists' Working To Weaken the Dodd-Frank Bill." "Steve Elmendorf, a campaign adviser and fundraiser who has collected $30,505 for Clinton, was retained by Goldman Sachs as one of the bank's "primary lobbyists" working to weaken the Dodd-Frank bill. Records show that after the bill was signed into law, Elmendorf continued to work on behalf of a number of Wall Street clients to ensure the implementation was favorable to financial industry interests." (Lee Fang, "Top Hillary Clinton Advisors And Fundraisers Lobbied Against Obamacare," The Intercept, 2/8/16)

  • Elmendorf Was Also "Tapped By Citigroup" To "Pass The Swap Jurisdiction Clarity Act" Which "Allow Banks To Avoid Financial Regulation By Moving Some Operations Overseas." "Elmendorf was tapped by Citigroup, for example, to help the House of Representatives pass the Swap Jurisdiction Clarity Act, a bill strongly supported by Republican leadership in Congress to allow banks to avoid financial regulations by moving some operations overseas - a change that experts say could lead to another financial meltdown." (Lee Fang, "Top Hillary Clinton Advisors And Fundraisers Lobbied Against Obamacare," The Intercept, 2/8/16)

Clinton's Top Iowa Campaign Operative Is A Former Monsanto Lobbyist. "Her top campaign operative in Iowa is former Monsanto lobbyist Jerry Crawford, who's also a veteran of Iowa politics and Clinton campaigns." (S.A. Miller, "Hillary's Agribusiness Ties Give Rise To Nickname In Iowa: 'Bride Of Frankenfood,'" The Washington Times, 5/17/15)

#5: LOBBYISTS ARE EXCITED FOR ANOTHER CLINTON PRESIDENCY

The Hill Headline: "Lobbyists Hopeful For Clinton Thaw" (Megan R. Wilson, "Lobbyists Hopeful For Clinton Thaw,"The Hill , 7/24/16)

Time Headline: "Lobbyists Celebrate Democratic Party's New Embrace At Convention" (Jay Newton-Small, "Lobbyists Celebrate Democratic Party's New Embrace At Convention," Time, 7/26/16)

The Wall Street Journal Headline: "After Ban Four Years Ago, Lobbyists Enjoy Their Return At Democratic Convention" (Rebecca Ballhaus, "After Ban Four Years Ago, Lobbyists Enjoy Their Return At Democratic Convention," The Wall Street Journal , 6/28/16)

The Hill Headline: "At K Street's No. 1 Lobby Shop, Ties To Clinton Run Deep." (Megan R. Wilson, "At K Street's No. 1 Lobby Shop, Ties To Clinton Run Deep," The Hill, 5/21/15)

DC Lobbying Firms Are "Position[ing] Themselves Nicely" Should "Hillary Become President." "Akin Gump boasts a slew of Clinton connections, including the campaign's treasurer, José Villarreal, who remains an active consultant for the firm. 'It's obvious that political connections are hugely important in the lobbying game, and certainly Akin has positioned themselves nicely, should Hillary get the Democratic nomination and then become president,' said Ivan Adler, a principal at The McCormick Group." (Megan R. Wilson, "At K Street's No. 1 Lobby Shop, Ties To Clinton Run Deep," The Hill, 5/21/15)


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