Silverstein, Ken, Multinational Monitor
In his now-famous diary, former Senator Bob Packwood not only wrote of his sexual antics and back room deals, but also confided his fondest hopes for the future. "I can become a lobbyist at five or six hundred thousand [per year]," read one dreamy entry.
Packwood got his wish, though perhaps sooner than he expected. Following his expulsion from the Senate, he signed on with Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds, whose clients include Microsoft, Asarco and Hewlett-Packard. In addition to Packwood, Preston Gates also employs two former House of Representative members, William Lipinski, a Democrat from Illinois, and Roger Wicker, a Republican from Kentucky, as well as a number of former congressional staffers.
A review of filings under new federal lobbying disclosure laws reveals that for members of Congress, staffers and high-ranking federal employees, public service is often merely a midway stop on the journey to a more lucrative career as beltway influence peddler. They come to Washington, D.C., punch their ticket, and quickly sell themselves to law firms based on their expertise in negotiating the federal bureaucracy. About half of the congressional staffers who worked on the tax reform bill of 1986 went on to become corporate lobbyists.
Packwood is one of 9,219 lobbyists who registered under disclosure rules that went into effect last January. That's twice the number who had previously registered, but still a fraction of the estimated 80,000 hired guns working in the capital.
Several of Packwood's old colleagues have also parlayed dishonorable years in the U.S. capital into profitable lobbying careers. Dave Durenberger, the senator from Minnesota who retired a few years ago under a cloud of scandal, specialized in health care issues during his 16 years in the upper chamber. He now works for APCO Associates, a beltway consulting firm that specializes in stirring up fake "grass-roots" campaigns for its corporate clientele [see "APCO: Astroturf Makers," Multinational Monitor, March 1996]. Durenberger's clients at APCO include Allina Health System, St. Jude Medical (of St. Paul, Minnesota), and several other health care interests.
Working with Durenberger at APCO is Susan Bartlett Foote, his former senior legislative assistant. Foote, who Durenberger married last year, also represents several health care companies. Two other former Durenberger staffers, Matt Dolan and JoAnn Willis, also found employ at beltway lobby shops - Baker and Hostetler, and Patton Boggs, respectively. Given all this, it's easy to see why Durenberger voted against a bill to reform lobbying laws back in 1994.
Dennis DeConcini, a member of the S&L scandal's Keating Five gang, chaired a Senate committee that oversaw drug patents until retiring last year. He swiftly moved to Parry & Romani Associates, a firm run by his former chief of staff, Romano Romani.
At his new home, DeConcini represents pharmaceutical makers like Pfizer, Genetech, Upjohn and Glaxo-Wellcome, the world's largest drug company. …