Dems Invading K Street

In Culture of Corruption, Economic Justice, Election 2006, International politics, International Trade, Iraq War, Laws & Regulation, Misc., US Politics on August 17, 2006 at 5:06 pm

A sign that the Beltway has increasing faith in a Democratic tide change

Washington lobbying firms, trade associations and corporate offices are moving to hire more well-connected Democrats in response to rising prospects that the opposition party will wrest control of at least one chamber of Congress from Republicans in the November elections.

In what lobbyists are calling a harbinger of possible upheaval on Capitol Hill, many who make a living influencing government have gone from mostly shunning Democrats to aggressively recruiting them as lobbyists over the past six months or so.


Lobbying managers have for years tended to hire Republicans because both Congress and the White House are controlled by the GOP, and access to officials at both places is lobbying’s stock in trade. But, in recent months, many of Washington’s top lobbyists said in interviews that their decision-making has been altered by an emerging consensus among election experts that the Democrats will boost their numbers in the House and the Senate in the midterm elections Nov. 7 and have a strong shot of winning a majority in the House.

As a result, the job market for Democrats has expanded, and the K Street Project — shorthand for efforts by Republican lawmakers and lobbyists to pressure corporations and trade groups to hire GOP lobbyists only — has faded away.

The wrongs of influence-buying won’t be lessened because it’s Dems in there instead of Republoicans. Strong reforms are needed… and they were needed yesterday. We need to keep lobbying reform on the agenda through the election, because after the Dems do take control, we can’t afford to slip back under a K Street-like regime, regardless of party.


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