There’s been interesting buzz about an item from Ken Silverstein of Harper’s about Richard Gephardt, the former House Majority Leader and presidential candidate, whose firm is doing lobbying for the Chamber of Commerce.
When the item first appeared online last week, it seemed to suggest that the champion of organized labor might be doing something untoward. Was Gephardt betraying his union brothers and sisters to work for the man?
Lobbying disclosure forms are notoriously vague and so an item from PRWatch.org, Gephardt’s firm noted Gephardt’s firm, the Gepardt Group, is registered to represent the Chamber on “intellectual property,” environmental and manufacturing issues.
So what’s the real deal? Gephardt’s office told me that it has represented NBC/Universal and U.S. Chamber as part of it work for a group called the Coalition Against Counterfiting and Piracy, dedicated to stamping out intellectual piracy. (Labor is a member of the group too.)
Gephardt’s firm’s work for NBC/Universal and the Chamber was on an intellectual property bill, the Prioritizing Resources and Orgainzation for Intellectual Property Act of 2008 of PRO IP bill which became law last year. And they’re working on other legislation related to intellectual property. So did the Chamber pay Gephardt? Yes. Was it for something anti labor? No.