February 8, 2009
Lobbyist or consultant?
The NYT reported on the post-Senate career of Tom Daschle last week. He did OK. About $5 million in four years. "Daschle did take on an array of clients seeking influence in Washington, including concerns involved in Indian gambling, ethanol, health care, telecommunications and federal contracting." And this is "our" guy!
He was affiliated with a law firm, "operating in the gap between the popular understanding and legal definition of a lobbyist or consultant."
Then there is the "advisory board" including former senators Slade Gordon and Bob Kerry. They got $100,000 a year just to attend quarterly meetings. Not bad! I'd like one of those jobs. And there is his firm's client, UnitedHealth, the giant insurance company with all kinds of issues pending before the Department of Health & Human Services that he was going to head. (How big is United Health? $81 billion a year---one-third from the feds.)
Washington is out of control. Not long ago I met a lawyer who tried, unsuccessfully, to convince me that a fee of $850 per hour is "reasonable." I told him that I had never met a lawyer worth $850 per hour. "Now you have," was his rejoinder.
Think about the hourly rate charged by Tom Dachle's firm. Whoa Nelly! If he made $5 million over four years, $1,250,000 per year, his firm had to make something as well. Suddenly, $850 per hour sounds like bargain basement.
Wonder why people are a tad cynical?
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Does this mean our hope has been daschled?
-Franz Fripplfrappl | Stoughton, WI | February 8, 2009
I was on the phone with the White House speaking to a friendly lady on the comment line about my total outrage over the Daschle nomination and my disappointment in the president. During my comments she asked if I could hold on for a moment. She came back and said that Sen. Daschle had just withdrawn. I couldn't believe that one call would be that effective.
-Blurondo | Milwaukee, WI | February 8, 2009