Call it a sign of the times. How to salvage a sweetheart contract for Republican lobbyists when control of Congress flips? Make it a sweetheart contract for Democratic lobbyists!
Down in Texas, Republican Governor Rick Perry caused an uproar last year when it was discovered that he'd gutted the state agency charged with lobbying the federal government and replaced it with Republican lobbyists. For $1.2 million over four years, the lobbyists, Drew Maloney (formerly an aide to Tom DeLay) and Todd Boulanger (formerly of Jack Abramoff's lobbying team), who showed their appreciation by cycling tens of thousands in contributions back to Republicans, were charged with convincing Texas' already immensely strong GOP delegation of the state's priorities. An analysis
by The Houston Chronicle
of the lobbyists' billing records showed that they'd only met with two House Democrats the whole time -- and those Democrats denied those contacts had occurred.
Well, now the Democrats are in charge -- so a couple of GOP lobbyists aren't of much use anymore. So the firms, who won the contracts based on their GOP bona fides, are preening as Democratic powerhouses
Take one of the firms, Drew Maloney's Federalist Group, for example. Until spring of this year, the firm didn't have a single Democrat on staff. But in March, they saw the tidal wive far off shore and hired former congressman Chris John (D-LA). Now, the firm is angling to keep the Texas contract based on John's connections.
The state is still weighing whether to continue the contracts. We'll see.