Monday, August 24, 2009

Heather Podesta, a Storm in the Summer of the Lobbyist

Podesta is right there in the eddy, an It Girl in a new generation of young, highly connected, built-for-the-Obama-era lobbyists. She gets an undeniable boost from a famous name -- she is the sister-in-law of John Podesta, the insider's insider who was Bill Clinton's White House chief of staff and Obama's transition director, and the wife of ├╝ber-lobbyist Tony Podesta. Heather and Tony run his-and-hers lobbying shops. His grew a staggering 57 percent in the first six months of this year compared with the same period the year before, taking in $11.8 million, fourth-highest among major lobbying firms. (Full disclosure: Tony Podesta has long represented The Washington Post, which paid him $10,000 in 2009 and $80,000 the year before, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.) Her six-person shop grew even faster, rocketing 65 percent to $3.4 million.

Somehow, coming from the Post, I sense that none of this is intended as criticism regarding how corrupt our system has become. The Post after all has never seen a Democrat it didn't like.

Which is not to say that the Republicans aren't corrupt too.

It's just that many Republicans claim a preference for smaller government.

And the smaller government gets, the less corruption matters.

I guess we won't entertain that concept again any time soon though.

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