Lobbyists & Unions Step In to Defend Rangel

Meredith Jessup

7/29/2010 11:02:58 AM - Meredith Jessup
Our friend Tim Carney today points out some interesting characters playing a role in the ongoing ethics case against Ways & Means chairman Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y. 

Not surprisingly, the powerful committee chair has some of the usual suspects working to protect him and, consequently, their own interests: K Street lobbyists and unions.

Two of the three firms providing legal counsel to Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., in his pending ethics cases are lobbying firms. In fact, one firm, Oldaker, Belair & Wittie, conducts much of Rangel's political fundraising, while operating four different lobby shops.

But who's ultimately paying Rangel's legal bills? Mostly corporate and union political action committees along with individual lobbyists. Over the past six months, PACs and lobbyists have accounted for a majority of the money Rangel's campaign has raised this year, not counting transfers from Rangel's other fundraising operations. ...

PACs and lobbying firms have given more than $120,000 to Rangel in the past six months while individual lobbyists have chipped in another $28,000.

All of these companies and lobbyists are savvy enough to know they're funding Rangel's legal defense. This is why politicians like Rangel benefit when K Street gains clout. Starting this week, we'll find out if K Street is powerful enough to save Rangel.

Read Carney's full report over at the Washington Examiner