Politico, which has never been particularly liberal, nevertheless has a article whose headline says it all “GOP goes on K Street hiring spree”.
As Republicans take control of Congress, they are bringing in veteran influence peddlers to help them run the show. Nearly a dozen veteran K Streeters have been named as top staffers to GOP leaders or on key committees as lawmakers prepare to take the gavel in January.
For example, the new Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell has picked for his policy director Hazen Marshall, who has spent the last ten years as a lobbyist representing telecoms including AT&T and Comcast, and energy companies like Exelon.
When Obama became president, he implemented rules that limited the number of registered lobbyists who could join his administration, even putting a slight freeze on the practice. But with Republicans taking over the Senate, one high level Washington headhunter says “The ‘Scarlet L’ is fading and it is fading rapidly”.
Even so-called Tea Party candidates, who claim to dislike the money-driven politics as usual, are hiring lobbyists. For example tea-partier Dave Brat, who ousted Eric Cantor in a revolt from the right, hired as his chief of staff Erin Siefring who previously worked as a lobbyist for big accounting firm KPMG and represented banks.
Now that campaign money is free speech, politicians are even more bought and paid for.