Wednesday, January 18, 2006

National lobbyists pouring money into Missouri campaign

The timing couldn't be worse for Roy Blunt.
At the same time, that Blunt is attempting to position himself as a voice for lobby reform following the Jack Abramoff scandal, the latest disclosure form filed Tuesday with the Missouri Ethics Commission by his son Matt Blunt's campaign committee shows federal lobbyists with ties to the Seventh District Congressman are continuing to funnel money into his campaign.
The younger Blunt's campaign document shows he has already raised $1,634.927.87 for his re-election campaign, with three years to go before he runs again. That total includes more than $900,000 during the past three months, according to the report.
At least $30,000 of that money came from people or firms with federal or state lobbying connections, including several from Cassidy & Associates, the Washington lobbying firm that employs Roy Blunt's former chief of staff Gregg Hartley and until a few days ago, employed another of the Congressman's former staff members, Jared Craighead, who recently left the lobbying firm to become Matt Blunt's chief of staff.
Among the donors with federal lobbying connections were:
-Ali Amirhooshmand of Cassidy & Associates, a former Roy Blunt assistant, donated $500.
-Steve Gordon & Associates, Washington lobbying firm, maximum $1,200
-Wayne Berman, lobbyist and co-sponsor of the Tom DeLay defense fund, $1,200
-Jordan Bernstein, Alexandria, Va., lobbyist for Cassidy & Associates, and former administrative assistant to Missouri Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson, $1,200
-Craig Fuller, former lobbyist and assistant in the Reagan White House, now head of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. Both Fuller and his organization donated the maximum $1,200.
-Gregg Hartley, former chief of staff for Roy Blunt, now with Cassidy & Associates, $1,200
-Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer, and Feld, a Washington lobbying firm whose top officials include former Democratic National Committee Chairman Robert Strauss and former Clinton advisor Vernon Jordan, $1,200
-Richard Hohlt, a lobbyist for Altria, J. P. Morgan, SBC, and other interests, $1,200
-Integrated Legislative Strategies, the firm that lobbies for Daimler Chrysler, $1,200.
-Hecht, Spencer & Associates, a lobbying firm which represents among other R. J. Reynolds.
-James Hirmi, Cassidy & Associates, $500
-Matt Jessee, former special assistant to Bush-Cheney Â’04 National Finance Vice Chairman Jack Oliver and more recently an assistant to Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., who replaced Roy Blunt as Senate Majority Whip.

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