Monday, March 24, 2008

Super Lobbyists-Keeping your hand in many pockets

A small number of lobbyists are super insiders. They don’t just donate money to their favorite congressional causes — they serve as treasurers of the lawmakers’ campaign committees.

One of them is Janice Enright, a registered lobbyist who is also treasurer of HillPAC, one of the political committees of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton , D-N.Y.

Cleta Mitchell of the Foley & Lardner lobbying firm is treasurer for two congressional political action committees: Wyoming Values PAC, affiliated with Sen. John Barrasso , R-Wyo., and Fund for a Conservative Future, affiliated with Sen. James M. Inhofe , R-Okla.

Those in the business of seeking favors and those in a position to grant favors can be intertwined in such ways without running afoul of lobbying or ethics laws or congressional rules.

Congressional Quarterly’s examination of campaign finance, lobbying and legislative records found 18 members of Congress who entrusted registered lobbyists with responsibility for the record-keeping of their re-election campaign committees or leadership PACs during 2007.