Dodd v. Lobbyists

There’s been a lot written about Sen. Dodd’s claim that he’s been rather hard on the poor lobbyists (you can watch a video his campaign put out here–you may want to turn the sound down if you’re at work and don’t want people thinking you’re hiding a baby in your cubicle). Dodd’s campaign not only produced the video, but sent around an email (you can see it here) saying that:

The lobbyists can’t get meetings with Chris. He won’t return their phone calls. He even yells at them during hearings. Whether they’re lobbyists for the financial industry or health care companies, Chris just isn’t giving them the time of day.
 
Those poor lobbyists! “No one’s meeting with Dodd,” they complain. “He certainly isn’t doing things to cater to the K Street crowd.” Isn’t that a shame?

The Simmons campaign and the NRSC fired off blistering responses. The Simmons campaign accused Dodd of raising an awful lot of money from lobbyists, citing an article from NPR, which reported Dodd attending a fundraiser hosted by health care lobbyists in between meetings to craft health care policy. The NRSC thought the whole thing was a “joke,” and today has called on the Dodd campaign to return all lobbyist and PAC money.

So what’s the truth, here?

Ted Mann at The Day reports on Dodd’s fundraising, and finds that:

Dodd, a five-term veteran of the Senate, also racked up more than $456,000 in contributions from political committees connected to big business, many with serious interest in matters currently before the Congress.

Some of the PACs were those of major health insurance companies, like Blue Cross and New York Life.

In fact, in an embarrassing blunder, Dodd’s staff neglected to remove all the lobbyists from their fundraising email list before sending out the anti-lobbyist email. One irate lobbyist sent the email to the New York Times with the appropriate tag:

“Can you believe this idiot is sending this to lobbyists?”

However, the actual email was based on real lobbyists complaining that they could not get a meeting with Dodd (this is from an article in Roll Call from about a month ago).

I’d guess that the truth here is less cut-and-dried than either side would like us to believe. Dodd is obviously raising money from lobbyists. What’s unclear is how much (or how little) influence they have over the crafting of health care legislation. Expect this to become an issue next year.

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6 responses to “Dodd v. Lobbyists

  1. I’d guess that the truth here is less cut-and-dried than either side would like us to believe. Dodd is obviously raising money from lobbyists. What’s unclear is how much (or how little) influence they have over the crafting of health care legislation. Expect this to become an issue next year.

    I think you put the proper perspective on this as it’s clearly just an embarrassing staff oversight. Still, it takes some of the air out of Dodd’s claims of not being in the pocket of certain special interest groups.

  2. I see Dodd got some work done on his face. These politicians are too funny.

  3. All that happened here is that Dodd’s staff undermined his puff piece in Roll Call while trying to get some longer legs out of it (since no one reads Roll Call anyway) with their stupid mailing . The problem with lying has always been that it’s hard to keep all your stories straight.

  4. I see Dodd got some work done on his face. These politicians are too funny.

    Yes. He had twelve inches of ass skin added to his neck.

  5. I give Dodd a lot of credit here, he takes their money and then publicly attacks them. So how do they respond? By giving him more money!

    Okay you big shot lobbyisits, show him your stuff, stop giving him money and give it to Caligiuri, Simmons and Foley instead.

    Dodd knows that will never happen so let’s face it, Dodd made a brilliant move here.

  6. Dodd, a five-term veteran of the Senate, also racked up more than $456,000 in contributions from political committees connected to big business, many with serious interest in matters currently before the Congress.

    Has anyone ever stopped to figure out exactly what “big business” is? Is it one guy making a seven figure income or the TENS OF THOUSANDS of INDIVIDUALS employed by those mean, nasty horrible “big businesses” like Electric Boat, Pratt & Whitney, Aetna, Prudential, Travelers, Bank of America, Sikorsky, Hamilton Sundstrand, Pfizer, USA Waste, Tilcon, General Electric, Xerox, etc.?

    Last time I checked, those “big businesses” put a whole lot of food on the tables of your average Joe-Six Pack in this state.

    Sure you damned liberals, keep attacking “big business” and continue to put more and more people on the unemployment rolls. Go ahead Donovan and Williams, increase those corporate taxes, you show those greedy bastards who’s boss!

    In the meantime, be sure to staff up the Department of Labor to handle another record wave of unemployment claims.

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