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More than half the 83 lobbyists registered last year to work for the industries’ two trade groups, the Private Equity Council and the Managed Funds Association, have served in government — from Capitol Hill to the Treasury Department.
While the revolving door is nothing new, the roster is nonetheless impressive — it has included three former members of Congress (Republican Richard Baker and Democrats Vic Fazio and Martin Frost) and about a half-dozen top staffers with ties to members of the Senate Banking Committee, including its chairman, Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).
The Private Equity Council and the Managed Funds Association paid lobbyists more than $7.3 million last year and almost $2 million in the first three months of this year, according to the government watchdog Center for Responsive Politics. And so far in the financial reform bill pending in the Senate, hedge funds and private equity firms have not been subject to the crackdown many consumer groups pushed for.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Number of free condoms handed out by the Brazilian government in advance of Carnival this year:
The best way to measure happiness is simply to ask people how happy they are.
Following three weeks of clashes between protesters and government forces that killed at least 17 people, Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro announced a two-day extension of Carnival. “Happiness will conquer the embittered,” he said during an appearance at a recreation center.
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“American politics has often been an arena for angry minds.”