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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
Percentage increase in the annual number of polio cases in Pakistan since 2005:
A bowl of 4,000-year-old noodles was found in northwestern China; and a spokesman for the Chinese Academy of Sciences said that “this is the earliest empirical evidence of noodles ever found.”
A federal judge sentenced the journalist Barrett Brown to 63 months in prison for sharing a link to information stolen from the private-intelligence firm Stratfor by a hacker in 2011. “Good news!” Brown said in a statement. “They’re now going to send me to investigate the prison-industrial complex.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”