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K Street, Congress, and Lobbying

Saturday’s New York Times takes an indepth look at the career of one Congressional staffer turned K Street lobbyist, Letitia White, a former staffer for Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-California). The article is linked to this post at Government Bytes, the blogsite of the National Taxpayers Union, by John Berthoud, NTU’s president.

Berthoud puts the NY Times article into perspective when he writes, “This is the type of incestuous, big-government stuff that so infuriates conservatives across America. Republican politicians on the Hill and their allies in cushy lobbying firms just don't get it. They rant that all the recent Congressional scandals are unfairly tarnishing them. Supposedly, the difference between Duke Cunningham and most Members of Congress is black and white. The truth is that the difference is probably a very slight shade of grey (at most) . . . Sadly, too many people come to Washington to do good and they end up just focusing on doing well. Count Mr. Ashdown among those of us who remain committed to doing good. As for Ms. White, judge for yourself.”

Re: the mention of Mr. Ashdown. He is vice-president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, and his analysis, as mentioned in the NY Times story, “identified earmarks in the current fiscal year benefiting more than two-thirds of Ms. White’s 53 clients.” Reporters may call them earmarks, but taxpayers know them as pork-barrel spending.