Mitt Romney loves to call himself a Washington outsider who won’t play “politics as usual” but a close examination of the GOP presidential hopefuls “kitchen cabinet” paints a very different picture. That’s because Romney has surrounded himself with some of the top Republican influence peddlers in the country.
Among his closest advisers are Charles Black (lobbyist for Walmart and AT&T), Wayne Berman (Chairman of Ogilvy Government Relations and represents Pfizer), and Vin Weber (managing partner for Clark & Weinstock.), all of whom run some of Washington’s best run lobbying firms.
In addition to those big names the Romney campaign is working closely with 294 registered lobbyists who have donated at least $401,000 each to Romney’s campaign while other “bundlers” have donated at least $2 million.
Outside of his GOP primary campaign Romney’s policy team and various positions have been awarded to various clients who would benefit from a Mitt Romney presidency.
According to Newser:
One lobbyist who helped work on Romney’s coal-friendly energy platform, for example, helps represent one of the country’s largest coal producers.
It isn’t just Romney looking to lobbyists for help, as one adviser told the New York Times:
“If you want to go someplace to find expertise, it’s probably going to be in Washington. That’s why candidates look to us—some a little less, some a little bit more.”
Lobbyists exist in all facets of politics, I won’t pretend to claim that Mitt Romney is the only candidate working a lobbyist angle but the shear number of lobbyists working directly for his campaign and donated to his campaign should raise a few eyebrows among groups worried about influence peddling during political campaigns.
Does the sheer number of political lobbyists working for and backing Mitt Romney worry you?
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