Monday, June 21, 2010

BP Lobbyists

BP may come out of this better than you might think, this is from National Review Online's The Corner:
BP's Army of Democratic Lobbyists [Daniel Foster]
As Rep. Joe Barton made his ill-considered apology to British Petroleum last Friday, those of us who are into this sort of thing were treated to an abortive attempt by the contemptible Markos Moulitsas to start a Twitter meme — "GO(B)P." Get it? It's a kind of portmanteau of the abbreviations for "Grand Ol' Party" and "British Petroleum," pairing  in a way that suggests the two entities are intimately intertwined. Hilarious!
But it didn't — and won't — catch on. Why? Well, this for one:
BP, which has garnered the bulk of public attention and contempt for the spill, has assembled a formidable team of Democrats for its Washington lobbying, legal and public-relations offensive. There is Tony Podesta, who heads one of the District's leading lobbying firms; legal adviser Jamie Gorelick, a top Justice Department official in the Clinton administration now at the law firm WilmerHale; Hilary Rosen, a former recording-industry lobbyist who heads the Washington office of the Brunswick Group, a public-relations consultancy; and Michael S. Berman of the Duberstein Group, who was a longtime aide to former vice president Walter F. Mondale before becoming a lobbyist.
Gorelick, who also served as a member of the 9/11 Commission, proved critical in coaching the company during tense negotiations with President Obama over the creation of a $20 billion escrow fund for spill damages, according to several sources close to the talks. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said Sunday on ABC's "This Week" that the administration "forced" BP to set up the fund and to intensify its efforts to contain the spill.
Now, as any wise corporation would, BP hedged by hiring some Republican strategists as well (though most were subcontracted by Rosen), but that's exactly the point. Throw a rock inside the Beltway and you'll hit somebody who isn't too proud or ideologically pure to ally themselves with the oil industry when the price is right. It's Washington, folks.
Oh, and by the bye, I wrote about the Democratic firm behind BP's "greenwashing" campaign here.

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