When K Street Lobbyists No Longer Have Connections in Congress

Some influential, well connected, well compensated lobbyists are scurrying to rebrand themselves as their former bosses on Capitol Hill leave Congress.  The truth is, even after members of Congress leave, many of their former staff-turned-lobbyists remain just as influential as ever.  That’s why conservatives call on the Republican Party to be a party of the people, not of K Street lobbyists, whose influence is more often than not, not in America’s best interest.

Holly Yeager of the Washington Post writes:

The retirement of several powerful members of Congress is being felt across the lobbying industry, in which former staffers who used their ties to the lawmakers to help build businesses are being forced to rebrand themselves or risk becoming irrelevant.  The impact is likely to be greatest among tax lobbyists, a K Street specialty that is rich with former aides to Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), who this month gave up his post as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee to become the U.S. ambassador to China….

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Cronyism Chronicles: Lobbying the 113th Congress

“Everything’s on the menu, which is why business is good.  Those fiscal deals potentially impact everybody. There’s almost no client who’s not interested in the outcome. And it’s hard to predict.”

That statement is disconcerting both because of who said it and what he was referring to.  It’s what Steve Elmendorf, a Democratic strategist who runs Elmendorf|Ryan, had to say (sub. req’d) about prospects for K Street lobbyists in 2013.  In other words, they’ll be very busy.

Special interest lobbyists are getting to know new members as well as those who have just assumed committee or subcommittee chairmanships.  When these guys are hard at work, some special interest groups may very well benefit, but rarely does the country as a whole. 

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