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Remember Jeffrey Shockey? He’s the former top aide to Republican Congressman Jerry Lewis, a powerhouse on the House Appropriations Committee. Shockey left the Hill in 1999 to become a lobbyist at a firm called Copeland, Lowery, where he specialized in winning money from Lewis’s committee. Taxpayers for Common Sense has traced at least $150 million in pork that Shockey won for clients of his firm, whose name partners include former California congressman Bill Lowery, another close friend of Lewis.
By 2004, Shockey was earning a cool $1.5 million salary as a lobbyist. The following year, he returned to the Hill to become Lewis’s deputy staff director at the Appropriations Committee. (Since that entailed a steep pay cut, Copeland Lowery cut Shockey a check for $2 million as a departure payment). Now Shockey is under scrutiny by federal investigators and, according to TPMMuckraker, seven of his former lobbying clients “have been served subpoenas in the federal investigation into the ties between Lewis and Lowery.”
So it’s no surprise to find that Shockey is lying low these days and no longer brags about his lofty status inside the beltway, as he was doing as recently as last year. It seems Shockey’s kids attend the Harbor School, a private elementary school in Bethesda (tuition: $15,748 per year). At last year’s Harbor School auction, he and his wife (Alexandra, another lobbyist and one-time Lewis staffer) donated a “United States Capitol Insider’s Basket.” According to the auction catalog:
This is the kind of insider’s special that is available only here in the D.C. area. This package includes a personal tour of the United States Capitol by Harbor parents Jeff & Alex Shockey. Take home many special mementos of your insider’s tour of the Capitol building including a marble Statue of Freedom, pewter Jefferson cup, cufflinks, Capitol Flag tile, and more. After your tour you can eat where the lawmakers are wined and dined with a $100 gift certificate from The Capital Grille.
Unlike the case with most items in the catalog, there was no suggested opening bid because the Shockey tour was deemed to be “priceless.” But at this year’s auction, the Shockeys were far more discreet and Harbor School parents were deprived of the opportunity to rent the couple as Capitol tour guides. Instead, the Shockeys donated a “Soccer Basket” which included a bag, soccer ball, goals, cones, lunch bag, water bottle, and shin guards. Asking price: $80. (“Goal!” reads the catalog copy). The couple also donated a slightly more upscale package of Robusto cigars, a cigar cutter, and humidor, which commanded an asking price of $500.
Funny how a federal investigation can make one so suddenly modest.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Commentary — November 17, 2015, 6:41 pm
The Clintons’ so-called charitable enterprise has served as a vehicle to launder money and to enrich family friends.
Years ago, I lived in Montana, a land of purple sunsets, clear streams, and snowflakes the size of silver dollars drifting through the cold air. There were no speed limits and you could legally drive drunk. My small apartment in Missoula had little privacy. In order to write, I rented an off-season fishing cabin on Rock Creek, a one-room place with a bed and a bureau. I lacked the budget for a desk. My idea was to remove a sliding door from a closet in my apartment and place it over a couple of hastily cobbled-together sawhorses.
Annual premium on a $6,000 life insurance policy for a champion German shepherd:
Astronomers discovered a pulsar called a superbubble, which spins 716 times per second.
Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari told reporters that his wife “belonged to” his kitchen.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”