Posts Tagged ‘lobbyists’

Tony Podesta Steps Down From Podesta Group

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

Things that make you go “Hmmmm“:

Democratic power lobbyist Tony Podesta, founder of the Podesta Group, is stepping down from the firm that bears his name after coming under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Podesta announced his decision during a firm-wide meeting Monday morning and is alerting clients of his impending departure.

The investigation into Podesta and his firm grew out of investigators’ examination of Manafort’s finances. Manafort organized a PR campaign on behalf of a nonprofit called the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine. Podesta Group was one of several firms that were paid to do work on the PR campaign to promote Ukraine in the U.S.

Podesta Group filed paperwork with the Justice Department in April stating that it had done work for the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine that also benefited the same Ukrainian political party that Manafort once advised. Podesta Group said at the time it believed its client was a European think tank untethered to a political party.

Podesta is handing over full operational and financial control of the firm to longtime firm CEO Kimberley Fritts, according to multiple sources with knowledge of Monday’s meeting. Fritts and a senior group of the Podesta team will be launching a new firm in the next one or two days. Sources said the transition has been in the works for the past several months.

Sort of like Harvey Weinstein stepping down from The Weinstein Corporation, only presumably less rapey.

I’ve long reported on Podesta’s documented ties to Putin’s Russia. Remember than John and Tony Podesta formed The Podesta Group way back in 1988, even before John became Bill Clinton’s Chief of Staff.

[Tony] Podesta has long been a larger than life figure on K Street, growing his business from a boutique firm into a massive lobbying and public relations operation. He is well known for his flashy dressing, vast art collection, generous campaign donations across all levels of Democratic politics and, of course, for his brother John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.

Podesta Group has struggled in the wake of the Mueller investigation. More than a dozen of its lobbying clients have cut ties with the firm this year, according to lobbying filings. Revenues have also declined: The firm brought in an estimated $4.8 million in the third quarter of 2017, down from $5.2 million in the second quarter of 2017 and from $6.1 million in the third quarter of 2016.

I would caution those who believe “Indictments for Hillary are just around the corner!” to temper their expectations. These things take time, and the Podestas are so deeply enmeshed in Democratic Party politics I would expect them to take the fall rather than flip on either Clinton or Obama.

“Superstorm Sandy? I say ‘Super Lobbyist Profits!'”

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

“Good afternoon, and welcome to the Lipsky Extreme Lobbying Seminar. And by ‘Extreme,’ I mean both our proven seminar methods and the profits you’ll be raking in after you get out of here.”

“Is that why we’re wearing the shock collars?”

“Got it in one! Immediate, painful correction is necessary for maximum learning in minimum time. You’ll learn more here in three hours than three years of law school. Now, on to the topic at hand: Emergency funding bills. Today’s example: the relief bill for Superstorm Sandy. Now, let me ask you bright boys and girls a question: What should go in an emergency relief bill. Mr. Smith?”

“Uh, emergency relief for victims of AGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!”

“Sorry, Mr. Smith, but Mr. Shock Collar says you’re mistaken. Anyone else? Mr. Dewey?”

“Whatever a lobbyist client pays for?”

“Ding ding ding! Correct on all counts! Now, can someone give me an example of an ideal item to put in an emergency spending bill? Mr. Smith?”

“Uh, $5 million for emergency power generAGGHHHHHHHHHH!”

“Sadly, it appears that Mr. Smith is a slow learner. Ms. Cheathum?”

“$150 million for Alaskan fisheries?”

“Correct! Mr. Howe?”

“$188 million for Amtrack?”

“Excellent! Mr Smith?”

“$20 million for tearing down flood damaged AGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH! Why does learning have to be so painful???”

“Pain is just stupidity leaving the body. Mr. Solitary?”

“$600 million for a global warming slush fund?”

“Brilliant! That’s thinking big! Mr. Smith, care to give it one last try?”

“$188 million for hurricane cleanAGGGHHHHHHHHHH I mean tunnels! Random tunnels!”

“I’m glad to see that my proven learning methods have finally gotten through to Mr. Smith. Class dismissed.”

When Democrats Refer to “Stakeholders,” They Mean Lobbyists, Not Taxpayers

Friday, February 4th, 2011

Terrified of the prospect of congressional Republicans that actually want to cut the budget, Senate Democrats have sent out an emergency distress call to lobbyists:

In an e-mail obtained by ABC News, a top staffer for the key Senate Appropriations subcommittee called for a meeting of lobbyists and interest groups that would be affected by expected cuts to the Labor and Heath and Human Services budget. The Jan. 24 meeting was attended by approximately 400 people, sources told ABC, and served as a “call to arms” for those determined to fight Republican budget cuts.

“One thing everyone should be able to agree on now is that a rising tide lifts all boats, and that a higher [Labor, Health & Human Services] allocation improves the chances for every stakeholder group to receive more funding,” the committee staffer for Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, wrote in an e-mail inviting people to the meeting.

So remember: When Democrats think about “stakeholders,” they mean the lobbyists that wallow up to the trough to feast on giant piles of taxpayer money. Actual taxpayers aren’t their concern…

(Hat tip: Ace of Spades)