[posted to corp-focus, June 15]
By Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman
If you wonder why things never change in Washington, look no further than a report released yesterday by Russ Baker’s Real News Project (www.realnews.org).
The report documents 25 corporate Democrats — corporate consultants with strong ties to the Democratic Party leadership inside the beltway.
“Although establishment Democrats are, by and large, still more skeptical of the corporate agenda than Republicans, they have become strikingly less so,” Baker writes. “This has led to the creation of a kind of permanent corporate governance structure that is truly bipartisan. Many of the firms employing Democratic operatives have them working side-by-side with Republicans — often the same Republicans they go up against in political campaigns. In some cases, a so-called conservative Republican and a so-called liberal Democrat are full partners in the same firm.”
Case in point: Jack Quinn.
Jack Quinn served as Vice President Gore’s Chief of Staff, and later as Counsel to President Clinton. Now he is a partner in a political consulting and lobbying firm with Republican insider Ed Gillespie — Quinn Gillespie — and together, “they have represented clients who want to drill in fragile areas of Alaska, put the screws to already beleaguered American creditors, and prevent the introduction of more healthy dairy substitutes in school lunches,” Baker writes.
Democratic consultants know no bounds when it comes to the corporate feeding trough. They work for companies pushing genetically modified organisms, for Big Pharma, for credit card companies and for gambling companies.
Here are the 25 Corporate Democrats profiled in Baker’s report.
They’d make a great set of trading cards — representing Democrats who have traded in their ideals to push the corporate agenda:
Name: Edward Ayoob
Firm: Barnes & Thornburgh
Democratic connection: Former legislative counsel to Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada)
Name: Bill Andresen
Firm: Dutko Worldwide
Democratic connection: Former chief of staff to Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Connecticut)
Name: R. Lane Bailey
Democratic connection: Chief of staff to Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-West Virginia) for 12 years.
Name: Michael Berman
Firm: Duberstein Group
Democratic connection: Well-connected veteran Democrat
Name: John Breaux
Firm: Patton Boggs
Democratic connection: Former Democratic Senator from Louisiana
Name: Leslie Dach
Firm: Edelman Worldwide
Democratic connection: Former media consultant to Bill Clinton and John Kerry
Name: Ingrid Duran
Firm: D&P Creative Strategies
Democratic connection: Worked for the House Banking Committee under
Name: Carter Eskew
Firm: Glover Park Group
Democratic connection: Al Gore’s chief media advisor in 2000.
Name: Phil Goldberg
Firm: Shook, Hardy & Bacon
Democratic connection: Aide to several Democratic members of Congress
Name: Joel Johnson
Firm: Glover Park Group
Democratic connection: Worked in the Clinton White House
Name: Marshall Matz
Firm: Olsson Frank & Weeda
Democratic connection: Was George McGovern’s nutrition expert.
Name: Richard Mintz
Firm: Brunswick Group
Democratic connection: Worked in Clinton’s Transportation Department and
was staff director for Hillary Clinton during the 1992 campaign.
Name: George Mitchell
Firm: Piper Rudnick
Democratic connection: Former Democratic Senator from Maine
Name: Mark Penn
Democratic connection: Principal pollster for Bill Clinton
Name: Ronald Platt
Firm: Buchanan Ingersoll
Democratic connection: Michigan state director for Gore-Lieberman
Name: Anthony Podesta
Firm: Podesta Mattoon
Democratic connection: Bill Clinton’s chief of staff
Name: Heather Podesta
Firm: Blank Rome
Democratic connection: Counsel to the late Congressman Robert Matsui (D-California) and to Earl Pomeroy (D-North Dakota) as well as a staffer for former Senator Bill Bradley (D-New Jersey)
Name: Jack Quinn
Firm: Quinn Gillespie
Democratic connection: Chief of staff to former Vice President Al Gore.
Name: Thomas Quinn
Democratic connection: Worked on Democratic Presidential campaigns from
Edward Kennedy in 1980 to John Kerry in 2004.
Name: Jody Powell
Firm: Powell Tate
Democratic connection: President Jimmy Carter’s press secretary
Name: Steve Ricchetti
Firm: Ricchetti Inc.
Democratic connection: Former deputy chief of staff to Bill Clinton
Name: Anne Urban
Firm: Venn Strategies
Democratic connection: Economics adviser to Senator Joseph Lieberman
Name: Anne Wexler
Firm: Wexler and Walker Public Policy Associates
Democratic connection: Top policy aide in the Carter administration
Name: Howard Wolfson
Firm: Glover Park Group
Democratic connection: Former spokesperson for Hillary Clinton
Name: Andrew Young
Firm: Goodworks International
Democratic connection: President Carter’s ambassador to the United Nations
Baker concludes that Democrats have increasingly belied their long-assumed commitment to the little guy and the average American by “cozying up to the money trough.”
“Once the Democrats turned into the opposition, key Clinton figures found a home in offering their advertising, public relations and arm-twisting skills to industry trade associations and corporations,” Baker writes in the report. “They retained their links to the party, and have lived a kind of dual life ever since, moving effortlessly from corporate work to campaign work and back. The friendliness with big business has escalated under the reign of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who has assembled his own so-called ‘K Street Cabinet’ — named after the street where the lobbying hordes are headquartered.”
Russell Mokhiber is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Corporate Crime Reporter,