American Lobbyists’ Anti-Defamation League: A Parody
Thomas Hale Boggs Jr.
NEW GROUP PLANS TO FIGHT ‘SHAMEFUL’ ASSAULT ON LOBBYISTS
Thomas Hale Boggs Jr. of Patton Boggs LLP and Fred Graefe of Hunton & Williams, two prominent Democratic government relations experts, have announced the formation of a new coalition of lobbying organizations to lobby Congress on behalf of Washington lobbyists who have recently been subjected to unfair attacks by several Democratic presidential candidates, including Sen. John Kerry (Mass.), former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and Sen. John Edwards (N.C.).
Graefe expressed alarm over legislative proposals put forth by the presidential candidates that might crack down on the activities of lobbyists, noting that this could have an adverse impact on various small businesses in Washington, D.C.
“This is a shameful attack on lobbyists, but we fear that small business people will really bear the brunt of it,” said Graefe. “If our income is curtailed, what would happen to fine institutions around town such as the 116 Club? Just think of the cooks and wait staff that could be hurt. At this time of economic uncertainty, we can’t have dozens more jobs lost.”
Boggs expressed particular concern about the impact that the proposals could have on steakhouses.
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who has agreed to serve on the group’s Board of Trustees, said he would add his voice to the debate. “When Tommy called and told me the vicious things being said and the potential consequences for D.C. restaurants, I told him, ‘That dog won’t hunt,’” recalled Barbour. “Lobbying is an honorable profession that has provided a stepping stone to many great leaders.”
Graefe, however, did say the group will endorse one Edwards proposal. “If he is successful in banning lobbyists from making political contributions, we say, ‘Mazel Tov!’”
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