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For five years Larry Noble has been an outspoken critic of loopholes in laws regulating big money’s influence on federal campaigns. But last week, the executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics announced he was leaving to join the political law practice at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. At Skadden, he’ll be joining the most profitable corporate law firm in Washington, one that represents some of the biggest corporate donors to political campaigns — including Citigroup Inc., Merrill Lynch & Co., and Anheuser-Busch Cos. But Noble doesn’t think his switch from nonprofit watchdog to corporate lawyer is an about-face. “I don’t view it as changing sides,” he says. “I view it as using the skills and knowledge I have to help companies stay out of trouble.” Kenneth Gross, a partner in Skadden’s political law group, says Noble’s past criticisms of corporate money in politics won’t hurt him in his new job. “I’m very pleased to have him join our group,” Gross says. Noble, who spent 23 years at the Federal Election Commission, including 13 as its general counsel, is likely to more than double his $133,000 salary from the CRP.
Jason McLure can be contacted at [email protected].

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