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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:
Lucas Mann on hope and change in a minor-league-baseball city
Minimum number of baboons forced to smoke crack in a 1989 study testing the efficacy of cigarettes as a drug delivery device:
A reduction in distrust toward atheists was documented among pious Canadians who are reminded of the Vancouver police.
A Missouri cinema apologized for hiring an actor dressed in body armor and carrying a fake rifle to appear at a screening of Iron Man 3.
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Winner of the 2012 Olivier Rebbot Award for best photographic reporting from abroad in magazines or books