Skip to comments.K Street Project Revealed!
Posted on 01/18/2006 2:58:31 PM PST by Johnson2
From The Hotline:
January 18, 2006
That Mysterious K Street Project....
Care to peek inside the K Street Project? That sensitive Republican project designed to rid lobbying firms and trade associations of Democrats and populate them with staunch conservative allies of lawmakers?
It's there, in plain view: at its website, www.kstreetproject.com.
The project's mission statement engages in a bit of misdirection.
The "K Street Project," it says, "is non-partisan research of political affiliation, employment background, and political donations of members in Washington DC's premier lobbying firms, trade associations, and industries."
In other words -- anyone who adheres to free market principles is a team player. Well, no. The process of researching the info may be non-partisan -- in the sense that Google searching is non-partisan -- but the project has, in reality, made it harder for Dems of any ideological stripe to join K Street firms and lobbyists. And it's given senior Republicans on the Hill an unprecedented degree of input in the process.
The "research" component of the K Street Project website tracks lobbyist hires and uses FEC databases to discover what parties and candidates the potential recruits and hires have given to.
"The American Gas Association is seeking to hire a lobbyist, preferably a Democrat. Interested job candidates should contact Rick Shelby."
"Jack Thomas Tomarchio is now Director of Intelligence for the Department of Homeland Security. Prior, Tomarchio lobbied for Buchanan Ingersoll. Tomarchio has given political contributions to Representative Joe Hoeffel (D-PA), Representative Jim Gerlach (R-PA), Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), Republican Federal Committee of Pennsylvania, and Senator Joe Biden (D-DE)."
The site asks for tips on potential firm and association hires. It does not mention Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX), who worked with Norquist in the 1990s to exploit the database in Congress and nominate pedigreed staffers to to fill open K Street jobs.
Senate GOP input for the K Street Project has been coordinated by several lawmakers, including Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA); until recently, maj. whip Roy Blunt's helped to guide the program in the House.
The irony of Democrats protesting their inability to join white shoe lobbying entities is beyond the scope of this post, and it's true that labor unions often possess a quiet veto of Dems appointed to government posts. Liberal interest groups certainly exercise their influence when Dems control the executive branch.
Still, Dems familiar with the history of what Brooks Jackson has called "Honest Graft" insist that they've never directed legislative favors to liberal interests in exchange for hiring -- or not hiring -- certain candidates. (Grover Norquist, not surprisingly, claims to have reams of evidence suggesting otherwise."
While it's true that Dems in power must negotiate between labor and corporate interests, and correct that Republicans, as Nick Confessore wrote in a partisan but smart Washington Monthly piece, ,demand total unity of purpose, of message, and in job-placement -- The Dems doesn't really need to worry that conservatives will suddenly rush to lobby for labor unions -- or that labor unions would hire them if they did. [MARC AMBINDER]
Also today, a memo defending the project was distributed to attendees at Grover Norquist's Wednesday meeting of conservatives, libertarians and GOP staffers.
The memo pegs the origin of the project to the "late 1980s" in response to "an advertisement" in Roll Call "placed by a Fortune 500 company" seeking a DC lobbyist. The ad said the firm "was looking for a Democrat. Only a Democrat." That "was the straw that broke the camel's back." The men and women that companies hired to lobby for them "had spend their lives regulating, taxing and expanding government." The "goal of the K Street Project was and is quite simple."
The project "advises companies and trade associates to hire men and women who understand free-market economics, who support their principled positions for free trade, against tort law abuse and for lower and more transparent taxation." From the memo: "The old model of Jim Wright and Tony Coehlo of hiring for access must be rejected."
Posted at 11:39 AM
Welcome to FR.
I'm in. Yaaaaaaaaaaay!
Welcome to FR. Your article is very...interesting.
I just hope you don't get the big Z, what with this being your first post and all.
You seem to be a nice and fairly intelligent new freeper
Please tell me you're not a troll.
oh, and 'Democrats doesn't need to...". Just caught that. Whoever wrote this article should be slammed with the almighty Mace of Proper Grammar and Vocabulary.