Washington Post:Lobbyists moonlight as political fundraisers

Written by admin on May 31st, 2010

The Washington Post’s latest on the amount of campaign funding that Lobbyists are raising for candidates of both parties.


For more than a decade, Brian L. Wolff was the quintessential Washington insider, serving as one of Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s closest aides as she rose through the House and helping to raise millions as head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

But the fundraising didn’t stop once he left the DCCC. As a top lobbyist at the Edison Electric Institute, which represents major power companies in the climate debate, Wolff has bundled together more than $600,000 in contributions for the DCCC within the past year — and he hopes to raise $2 million more for the committee by November.

“It’s my night job,” Wolff said of his fundraising efforts. “It’s something that’s an investment for me and that’s something I want to be able to help with. . . . I know the national base of the party, and they know me.”

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Wolff is among nearly 160 registered lobbyists who have raised at least $9 million for political parties and federal candidates over the past year, according to a Washington Post analysis of records filed under new Federal Election Commission requirements.

For the first time, the records provide a clear public view into one of the most influential subcultures in Washington: lobbyists who moonlight by bundling campaign contributions for candidates and their political parties. The fundraising occurs even as the same lobbyists attempt to shape legislation to benefit their clients, including energy firms, insurers and other corporations with major financial stakes in the outcome of federal legislation.

“This is one of the most critical functions that many lobbyists play in this town,” said Meredith McGehee, policy director at the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan group that advocates tougher campaign finance regulations. “It’s what gives them their access and, in some respects, their power.”


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