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Sen. Ned Seems Connecticut Senate candidate Ned Lamont is taking a page from Sen. John McCain’s “attack K Street” script, used during the Arizona Republican’s 2000 presidential bid. Back then, newspaper editorials cooed over McCain’s reformer credentials and what changes in democracy would occur should the Arizonan nab the presidency: “The money-changers — the lobbyists who change money into legislation — will be tossed from the nation’s secular temple,” opined an overly optimistic Atlanta Journal Constitution. In his primary victory speech last Tuesday, Lamont, who defeated three-term Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.), asked his supporters to guess how many lobbyists circle an individual senator in Washington. “Sixty-three lobbyists for every congressman in Washington, D.C.,” boomed Lamont, a former cable-television tycoon, to audible boos in the crowd. “Sixty-three lobbyists all fighting for the special interests . . . it’s time to fix Congress.” But don’t take the tough rhetoric to mean lobbyists will have no access to a Sen. Lamont, says Ellen Miller, co-founder and executive director of the Sunlight Foundation, a D.C.-based group that advocates for government transparency. “I don’t think it [his speech] means he’ll never let a lobbyist in his office, but [that] he’ll be in favor of complete transparency,” says Miller. “Lamont positioned himself as an outsider and hasn’t taken too much money from special interests to mount his race.” Indeed, Lamont, who estimated his personal fortune at between $90 million and $300 million in June, has dipped deep into his pockets to fund his insurgent campaign. Federal Election Commission disclosure filings show that as of July 19, Lamont contributed more than $2.5 million of his personal wealth to his Senate candidacy. But in addition to his personal contributions — plus money from liberal Hollywood luminaries such as Barbra Streisand and actors Janeane Garofalo and Paul Newman — he has received donations from individuals at some of the nation’s top law and lobby shops, including Covington & Burling; Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw; and Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal. — Joe Crea
And There’s More… Bloggers were lauded by the mainstream media as being one of the main catalysts in pushing Sen. Joseph Lieberman (Conn.) from the Democratic Party. Their scorn for Lieberman embracing President George W. Bush (and that’s not only a metaphor) on the Iraq war and in the Terri Schiavo case was the impetus for their disdain. And it was unrelenting — mostly. In a brief reprieve, the dour-faced incumbent was supplanted by lobbyist Richard Goodstein, a solo practitioner, who suddenly found himself on the blunt end of bloggers’ keyboards. While many lobbyists prefer to work surreptitiously, Goodstein, 54, in an effort to help a campaign stuck solidly in reverse, put his efforts toward disrupting challenger Ned Lamont’s public appearances. On Aug. 4, Goodstein’s heckling landed him on the front page of the Record-Journal of Meriden, Conn. The article describes how Goodstein interrupted Lamont during a campaign meet-and-greet at a local diner by shouting at the candidate, “Are you a Bill Clinton Democrat or an Al Sharpton Democrat?” Goodstein declined to comment for this article, but his ties to the Democratic Party are deep. He was once a staffer for former Sen. Abraham Ribicoff (D-Conn.); has logged hours on presidential campaigns for George McGovern, Clinton, and Al Gore; and has made appearances recently on Fox News while being dubbed a “Democratic strategist.” In 2004, Goodstein contributed $1,500 to Lieberman’s presidential campaign. — Nathan Carlile
Selected The Bryce Harlow Foundation awarded the Bryce Harlow Scholarship Award to 17 Washington-area graduate students working on Capitol Hill or in government relations. Some of the lobbyists receiving the $6,000 award are Mark Yost, manager of government affairs for Erickson Retirement Communities; Renee Wentzel, public affairs adviser for Holland & Knight; and Brian Beckmann, executive assistant at Dutko Worldwide. — Joe Crea

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