K Street Project (All Rights Reserved)

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Aha! Two days ago, there was a story in The Hill that Grover Norquist was seeking to trademark “K Street Project.”

Well, you can see the application here. It turns out, despite all of Norquist’s chest thumping about suing anyone who gets “the real phrasing” wrong, that it really pertains to the “K Street Project” icon – yes, that same icon we’ve posted here for you to see (since it’s not yet trademarked, we can show it to you without fear of hearing from Norquist’s lawyers).

Obviously Norquist was just blowing smoke when he said, “We will jealously guard the real phrasing the way Kleenex and Coca-Cola do. We will sue anyone who says it wrong and make lots of money.” That doesn’t seem likely to happen unless someone uses his icon while saying “it wrong.” But you know, just to rib him, we’ll be using this little bugger whenever we bring up the K Street Project – his application is likely to take upwards of 18 months to process, so we should get plenty of use out of it.According to Norquist, the K Street Project is a public service, a non-partisan effort to ensure that lobbying firms and trade associations “should hire people who agree with [them] philosophically. That means, labor unions, you should hire liberals.” Just how much energy does Norquist spend making sure labor unions hire liberals? Right.

In reality, Norquist’s K Street Project is there to keep tabs on K Street – sort of like the low-level thug in a protection racket who occasionally checks in on the local shop owners.

People mean two things when they say “K Street Project” – or, rather, Norquist means one thing and everyone else another. Most everyone knows the K Street Project as an organized effort by Republicans to stack K Street with their own. What Norquist is talking about is an organization, called the K Street Project, which he started in 1989. In order to rid K Street of Democrats, of course, you have to know which firms are hiring them. So that’s what Norquist’s K Street Project does. As the trademark request describes, the K Street Project provides a list of job openings on K Street. They also feature “product ratings of the consumer goods and services of others in the field of posting the most recent job hires in Washington DC’s premier lobbying firms, trade associations, and industries.”

I’m not sure how they evaluate other job listing services, but this study on the top ten corporate PACs might give a hint. The PACs are rated by how much they give to Republicans.

In any case, took a look at the application.