Tag Archives: lobbying

Tim Carney Knows How Washington Works

Tim’s latest column, “Bail them out, regulate them, then work for them,” is a must-read.

Amy Friend, a former staffer for Sen. Chris Dodd, played a large role in writing the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill. And she just got a new job at a lobbying firm. Tim explains:

There are two types of people on K Street: access people, who can get you in the door; and policy people, who know what’s on every page of every relevant bill and regulation. Friend is the latter. While business will dry up for other Dodd alumni on K Street, Friend is valuable because — to quote one Republican lobbyist — “she knows what’s on page twenty-three-[bleep]ing-hundred of that bill,” and every other page, too.

In other words, Friend didn’t just write a landmark piece of legislation — she wrote her meal ticket.

Tim doubts that Friend is corrupt. But her story is very common in Washington. Lobbying wouldn’t be such a booming business if regulation wasn’t, too. And the revolving door between the Hill and K Street can be very profitable, even when no corruption is involved. Most people forget that regulators act just as self-interestedly as the people they regulate.

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Regulation of the Day 88: College Football’s Playoff System

College football is bringing big bucks to K Street as lawmakers take aim at dismantling the Bowl Championship Series,” says a recent story in Politico.

A six-figure sum is being spent lobbying what really shouldn’t be a government issue. Millions more are being spent on other issues affecting college sports.

There’s even a PlayOff PAC that gives money to politicians who take an active stance on college football playoff reform.

True, the BCS playoff system could definitely use an overhaul. But that’s a job for the NCAA. Not Congress.

On the other hand, legislators do considerably less harm when they spend their time on college football instead of, say, health care or fiscal stimulus.