Ars Technica: “No lobbying,” says senator before taking movie biz lobby job

Written by admin on March 2nd, 2011

Former Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) illustrates a distinction without a difference by accepting the MPAA’s top lobbying position while insisting that he will advocate  without lobbying.

Ars Technica

Former Senator Chris Dodd has a new gig—head of the motion picture industry’s main lobbying group, the MPAA.

The group has been looking for a new leader for quite a while, and in Dodd they found another long-term, high-level government official (former head Dan Glickman had served in Congress and as Secretary of Agriculture). But hadn’t Dodd said something about not going to work as a lobbyist once his Senate career was through? columnist Glenn Greenwald runs through the list:

In March of last year, he told The Hartford Courant that “he will not lobby, but, like [former Senators Chuck] Hagel and [Sam] Nunn, he may teach.” In an August article headlined “Dodd forswears a lobbying career,” The Connecticut Mirror quoted him as saying: “No lobbying, no lobbying.” That vow earned this praise from Public Citizen’s Craig Holman: “That’s excellent on Senator Dodd’s part.”

The Center for Responsive Politics, The Hill, and just about every other outlet commenting on the news noted the apparent hypocrisy.

Dodd can’t do “direct” lobbying of Congress for two years after leaving office, though he can oversee a lobbying shop that spent $1.6 million in 2010.

In the official announcement, Dodd said that he was “truly excited about representing the interests of one of the most creative and productive industries in America, not only in Washington but around the world. The major motion picture studios consistently produce and distribute the most sought after and enjoyable entertainment on earth. Protecting this great American export will be my highest priority.”

Don’t think of this as hypocrisy, as Washington’s revolving door in action; Dodd prefers to pitch it as the culmination of his life’s work


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