Power Players

Think the latest series of lobbying reforms is going to cut the cord between lawmakers and lobbyists? Says the Wall Street Journal: think again. The story highlights activities of top lobbyist Heather Podesta to illustrate, among other things, the prevailing power of campaign cash and challenge in overcoming an atmosphere of exclusivity around our lawmakers and their lobbyist friends.

 

The last section of the story is particularly telling; it begins with House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi's spokesman lauding the lobbying reform package for severing ties between lobbyists and Congress and ends with Podesta's conversation with Hillary Clinton's campaign finance director:

 

On Feb. 1, Ms. Podesta decided to join the Clinton camp. "Hillary's in and so am I," Ms. Podesta said, in a telephone call with the campaign's finance director, Jonathan Mantz.

Mr. Mantz outlined the campaign's plans to set up a regional fund-raising network spanning the country. Ms. Podesta agreed to try to generate $250,000 for the Clinton campaign. "The maximum I can do is $4,600," Ms. Podesta confirms, committing to the top amount permitted from an individual for the primary and general election. "I'm going to do that today," she adds.

"Beautiful," Mr. Mantz says.