I recently got hold of a list of co-chairs for a Mitt Romney
fundraiser in DC back on February 27, that’s chock-full of top-level lobbyists.
Several are with Dutko, the firm of Massachusetts’s
RNC committeeman and Romney supporter Ron Kaufman. Several are current or
former lobbyists for big Pharma or big tobacco. Several have direct connections
to indicted former speaker Tom DeLay and/or convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
There are also at least two connections to the Bill Clinton
impeachment: Alice M. Starr, wife of special prosecutor Kenneth Starr, and Drew
Maloney, who helped manage the impeachment hearings for Congress, and helped
conduct the Monica Lewinsky interview.
However, what really fascinated me was the presence of quite
a few of the top lobbyists for the energy industry -- including Maloney, who
has lobbied for the American Petroleum Institute, Texas Energy
Center, and Gas
Technology Institute. Other include Kent Burton lobbyist for many of the
biggest gas and petroleum companies; Jack Gerard, former president of the
National Mining Association, a major coal-industry lobby; Rick Shelby, lobbyist
for the American Gas Association; and Vin Weber, lobbyist for Edison Electric
and General Electric.
The reason I was so struck is because of another name on
that same list of Romney fundraisers: Andrew Lundquist. Lundquist was executive
director of the National Energy Policy Development Group -- you know, the
advisors who developed the administration’s national energy policy, and whose
members Cheney has steadfastly refused to make public. Lundquist went on to be
Cheney’s energy policy director, implementing the group’s recommendations. Then
he left the administration to become -- you’ll never guess -- a top lobbyist
for energy companies, including British Petroleum and Mettiki Coal.
Was the Romney fundraiser a partial reunion of Lundquist’s
secret Cheney energy policy group? And have they found a new friend in Mitt