Sorry!! The article you are trying to read is not available now.
Thank you very much;
you're only a step away from
downloading your reports.

Lobbyists Rebrand Themselves Consultants, Evade Campaign Finance Laws

By

Honest Leadership and Open Government Act is no match for determined lobbyists.

PrintPRINT

Other "non-lobbyists" on the GOP Convention Strategies staff also happen to be experienced government hands, including a former George H.W. Bush staffer, a George W. Bush appointee, a one-time political director for the National Senatorial Republican Committee who also served as executive vice president for public affairs at the American Gas Association, as well as the aforementioned Amy Ford Bradley – a principal at the Direct Connect Consulting Group who "has been actively involved in political fundraising and strategy for the past 18 years and served in top-level positions under Chairman Phil Gramm and Chairman Mitch McConnell at the National Republican Senatorial Committee." (Direct Connect demonstrates how flexible the rules can be about what does and does not constitute lobbying, insisting on its website: "We do not lobby; we focus behind-the-scenes to position your advocacy team to be at the forefront of opportunities that ensures your company stays a step ahead. We elevate your company's voice through the creation and implementation of a customized strategy. We research and then reach out to companies with similar interests to create a coalition to maximize your voice, and design a plan to spend your hard-earned PAC dollars in a setting that will get the undivided attention of policy makers.")

An Uphill Battle

"I'm trying to shut down parties that are hosted by lobbyists, honoring members of Congress," Craig Holman, says.

Sadly, he's not having much luck.

In 2008, the last time the quadrennial political conventions were held, Holman embarked on a similar "bird-dogging" campaign in partnership with the Sunlight Foundation.

"Out of 400 parties, I was able to shut down one," Holman says. "I'm hoping to double my record this time around."

Though carefully arranged to land just this side of the law, legislators can get testy when challenged.

At another event put on by GOP Convention Strategies and sponsored by major transportation companies including BNSF Railways (NYSE:BNI) and Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC), George Zornick of The Nation asked Senator Jim Inhofe (himself involved in legislation stripping thousands of railroad workers of federal minimum-wage and overtime protections) who was throwing the party.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
PrintPRINT

Busy? Subscribe to our free newsletter!

Submit
 

WHAT'S POPULAR IN THE VILLE