Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tommy and the "Oldest Dodge in the Book"

Tommy Thompson made millions peddling his influence among the big D.C. special interests.  He worked for much of the last decade at a well known law firm and lobby shop.  Even though this is well documented and everyone knows exactly what he was doing, he continues to insist that he was not a lobbyist.  Even when presented with FEC documents that lists him as a lobbyist, he still tries to deny it.

Even with his many denials, some in the media have verified in multiple ways that Tommy Thompson was functioning as a lobbyist during his decade in Washington D.C.
  • Thompson Was Hired By D.C.-Based Lobbying Powerhouse Akin Gump After Leaving HHS. [Wisconsin State Journal, 1/12/06]
  • Politifact has said that “Thompson Has Sold His Influence And Connections To Firms To Whom It Would Benefit On Capitol Hill.” 
  • The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel described Thompson as Tommy Inc. when they described his influence peddling in D.C.
  • Both the Wisconsin State Journal and the Associated Press described Thompson as a lobbyist.[Wisconsin State Journal, 9/14/11; Associated Press State & Local Wire, 8/18/11] 
  • Even Tommy's Republican primary opponent Eric Hovde described him as a "corporate lobbyist"[Press availability, 7/12/12] 
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will be in Wisconsin stumping and attending fundraisers for Tommy Thompson. However I wonder if the bully governor will put Tommy in his place on this denial about being an influence peddling lobbyist? Christie has been known to go on the attack when people sell their influence to special interests in D.C. but still claim not to be an actual lobbyist. 

In a Meet the Press interview, Mitt Romney surrogate Chris Christie said of Newt Gingrich’s claim not to be a lobbyist, “The speaker, and I heard his comments just now, a strategic adviser, that is the oldest Washington dodge in the book. That's because he didn't want to register as a lobbyist.., He got paid $1.6 million. First, he said he was a historian, now he's a strategic adviser. I mean, let's be serious. It's the oldest dodge in the book. He was using his influence that he obtained in public office to try to help them. That's why they paid him $1.6 million. He can call it whatever he wants to call it, but that's what it is.” [NBC, Meet the Press, 1/22/12]

So will anyone in the Wisconsin media actually ask Chris Christie how Gingrich's lobbyist dodge is any different than Tommy's?   

No comments: