Skip to comments.Initiative fortified ties to lobbyists
Posted on 01/15/2006 8:20:21 AM PST by harpu
'K Street Project,' now mired in scandal, aimed to ensure GOP control...
In 1995, they named it the "K Street Project," a kind of affirmative action for Republican lobbyists, a program to expand GOP influence in the influence business.
DeLay spokesman Kevin Madden said the K Street Project has been valuable on its own terms.
Though little known outside Washington, the project has become an issue, even among Republicans. Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, one of the candidates to replace Mr. DeLay as majority leader, has vowed that if elected, "There will be no longer be a K Street Project, or anything else like it."
Republicans argue that the project was made necessary by 40 years of a Democrat-dominated Congress. Most Washington lobbying firms were populated with Democrats at the time the K Street Project began, and the newly elected Republican majority wanted access to the high-paying jobs and campaign cash.
Mr. DeLay was unapologetic for that.
The program was wildly successful too successful, according to critics cementing the relationship between big money and party politics.
Not a new concept
One Republican lobbyist said the K Street Project may have been "crass" in its conception but had the legitimate task of redistributing the spoils of a political system that had been abused, as well, by Democrats.
But another lobbyist, a Democrat who now works for a Republican firm, said the tone changed along with the party. "Even when the Democrats were in power, we gave to Republicans on a 60-40 basis. But just changing that wasn't enough. They wanted to tell us who to hire. It was just that point blank," said the lobbyist, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity.
(Excerpt) Read more at dallasnews.com ...