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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
Length in days of the sentence Russian blogger Alexei Navalny served for leading an opposition rally last year:
Israeli researchers developed software that evaluates the depression of bloggers.
A teenager in Singapore was convicted of obscenity for posts critical of Lee Kuan Yew, the country’s founding father, that included an image of Lee having sex with Margaret Thatcher.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”