“Now these are to you the unclean among the swarming things which swarm on the earth: the mole, and the mouse, and the great lizard in its kinds.” (Leviticus 11:29)
Should we go ahead and add “lobbyists” to this list of the “unclean”? The National Law Journal headlines its piece on the frantic FinReg lobbying efforts afoot in D.C., “Bank Lobbyists Swarm Senate Over Reform Bill.” One wouldn’t normally want to read too much into a verb choice, but then article’s lede gives up the game entirely: “Lobbyists for banks and finance companies big and small were crawling all over Capitol Hill last week as the Senate worked on a bill to overhaul the financial regulatory system.” (Other things that “crawl” include snakes and worms.)
Anyway, as previously noted here, it is reasonable to assume that the money that will be spent trying to influence the financial reform bill could make the amount spent on the health care bill look like a pittance. The NLJ article provide some details that bear out that assumption:
JPMorgan Chase & Co. reported spending $1.5 million on lobbying in the first three months of the year, roughly 15 percent more than the same period last year. Goldman Sachs reported $1.15 million, a 72 percent jump. … Bank of America reported $940,000, a 42 percent increase.
And since the bill will be even less comprehensible to the public, the lobbyists can be more aggressive. This is an interesting fight, with myriad parties with clashing agendas at stake in this process. The NLJ article checks in with a few of the major unclean players and their clients, including K&L Gates and Venable, who between them can count Bank of America Corp., Dun & Bradstreet, JPMorganChase, McGraw-Hill, and the new Swaps and Derivatives Market Association as clients.
- posted by brian