It is often said that one is known by the company one keeps. This afternoon Tommy Thompson is campaigning in Hudson with Rudy Giuliani and Norm Coleman as part of his "Restore America" tour. A lot has been made of Tommy's (and I only call him that because he seems to prefer it) lobbying career, which he recently has blamed on his wife's penchant for shopping. I can only assume that his two co-campaigners must have shopaholic wives as well, since they are the Three Amigos of Washington Lobbying.
According to Tommy's personal financial disclosure, Tommy made a minimum of $1.9 million at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld while being a lobbyist/consultant, and $1.1 million at Deloitte and Touche. He represented a large array of companies during that period - a lot of people to be beholden to, even if you don't count those financing his current campaign.
But his two campaign amigos are no slouches in that regard either. After he left the Mayor's office, Giuliani's law firm has raked in the big bucks lobbying as well, including $7.5 million in 2011 alone. Much of this lobbying has been for Citgo and other oil firms, and helped to represent PhRMA to stop the importation of cheap drugs from Canada. The revolving public/private sector door makes all of this possible, and perhaps inevitable for some people. In any case - these are not the policies that most Americans want to see promoted by our government.
Norm Coleman works for lobbying shop Hogan Lovells, the 12th most active Washington lobbying firm in 2010. His firm has also represented a large and varied array of lobbying clients, including healthcare, technology, and oil companies.
Tommy apparently has a lot of friends in the lobbying business, which only make sense since it has been his stock in trade. There are plenty enough industry ties in congress - why do we want to have Wisconsin represented by someone with such close ties to other lobbyists and out-of-state corporations? I have nothing against business people. I own a small business myself. But ask yourself - do you want to be even more highly represented by large corporations and people with deep corporate ties? All three of the folks campaigning in Hudson today are peas in a pod - bought and paid for. Do you realy believe all of that will stop when Tommy goes to Congress?