Dodd to K-Street

So a few months after swearing he would not become a lobbyist, Chris Dodd has announced he will become a lobbyist:

Over the last two years — particularly during the debate over the financial reform bill — Sen. Chris Dodd served on multiple occasions as chief spokesman for, and defender of, the interests of Wall Street and corporate America. That led to widespread speculation that the five-term Connecticut Senator, who announced that he would not seek re-election in 2010 in the wake of allegations of improper benefits from Countrywide Financial, was positioning himself for a lucrative post-Senate lobbying job — i.e., peddling the influence and contacts he compiled over five decades in “public service.”

Dodd responded to those suggestions by repeatedly and categorically insisting that he would not work as a lobbyist. In March of last year, he told The Hartford Courant that “he will not lobby, but, like [former Senators Chuck] Hagel and [Sam] Nunn, he may teach.” In an August article headlined “Dodd forswears a lobbying career,” The Connecticut Mirror quoted him as saying: “No lobbying, no lobbying.” That vow earned this praise from Public Citizen’s Craig Holman: “That’s excellent on Senator Dodd’s part.”

Here’s what Chris Dodd’s word and integrity are worth, from The Hill yesterday:

    Dodd to be Hollywood’s top man in Washington

    Former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) will be Hollywood’s leading man in Washington, taking the most prestigious job on K Street.

    The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) named Dodd chairman and CEO on Tuesday. But heading Hollywood’s lobbying arm could be problematic for the former senator, who accepted the kind of job he pledged not to take. . . .

    Dodd’s hiring, which had been rumored for weeks, ends months of media speculation regarding who would take one of the most glamorous jobs on K Street, whose perks include a $1.2 million-a-year salary and getting to attend the Academy Awards ceremony.

Dodd is barred from formally working himself as a lobbyist for two years after leaving the Senate, but the core purpose of his new job is to oversee lobbying activities and to convert his influence and inside knowledge of Washington into favorable legislation and desired regulatory action (or inaction) for the MPAA. Dodd is replacing another long-time DC official paid to peddle his influence: Dan Glickman — the former 9-term Democratic Congressman from Kansas and Clinton administration Agriculture Secretary. Leaving no doubt about what the MPAA seeks in this position — a politician willing to sell his connections to the highest bidder — the association chose Dodd only after it was unsuccessful in recruiting former Sen. Bob Kerrey.

Hoocoodanode!

This shouldn’t surprise anyone, and in fairness, what actual skill set do any of these clowns have? After thirty years of doing nothing but schmoozing, eating finger food, and bullshitting, lobbying might be all most of them are able to do…

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59 replies
  1. 1
    Mike Kay (True Grit) says:

    ahahahhahahhahahhahahhahahahahhahhahahahahha
    hahahahahhahahhahahahhahahhahahhahahahhahahh
    ahahhahahahhahahhahahhahahhahahahhahahhahahh

    I still can’t believe all the net roots marks who sent money to his presidential campaign.

    I love to say, “I told you so”, so let me say, I told you so.

  2. 2
    dr. bloor says:

    @Mike Kay (True Grit):

    Damn, beat me to it. Good times, good times.

  3. 3
    Ken J. says:

    Not just any lobby — Dodd will be leading a crusade for an Internet censorship bill to try to shut down anything that might look like file sharing without little due process niceties.

    I may just sit on my hands for 2012. The Democrats are really pissing me off on Internet issues.

  4. 4
    Mike Kay (True Grit) says:

    Can’t believe an industry as savvy as Hollywood considered hiring a stiff and nutjob like Bob Kerrey.

  5. 5
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Mike Kay (True Grit): I am one of the suckers who contributed pretty early on. I was had.

    Oh well, shame on me.

  6. 6
    David Koch says:

    @Ken J.: Excellent!

  7. 7
    PurpleGirl says:

    I have an idea for new benefits legislation: to wit, when you leave your legislative position, either having lost an election or decision not to run again, you cannot collect either pension or health care benefits, if you take a new job. If you are going to be earning a salary and get benefits from your new job, NO congressional retirement benefits for you. No benefits until you actually do stop “working”.

    There’s not a snowball’s chance in hell that such an idea could be law but it was nice contemplating it.

  8. 8
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Ken J.:

    I may just sit on my hands for 2012.

    Good plan. After all, the last two months have really shown how there’s no difference at all between D’s and R’s.

  9. 9
    Mike Kay (True Grit) says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Serious question, how could anyone support in any way someone who was a cheerleader for the Iraq invasion?

  10. 10
    cyntax says:

    @Mike Kay (True Grit):

    Can’t believe an industry as savvy as Hollywood considered hiring a stiff and nutjob like Bob Kerrey.

    They’re not all that savvy about the web. Granted they’re not as bad as the recording industry, but they do seem to be pretty cozy with Comcast and other cable providers who are mainly interested in preserving their crappy business model.

  11. 11
    cathyx says:

    Why don’t we, the American middle and lower class, pull our money together and buy some senators of our own.

  12. 12
    Ash Can says:

    @David Koch: I love your conciseness. Really.

  13. 13
    Dave says:

    I grew up in CT, went to college in CT, worked at the State House and met Dodd more than once. Let me just say this: this move is utterly and completely unsurprising. Dodd is a duplicitous, dishonest ass.

  14. 14
    dmsilev says:

    What I can’t really wrap my head around is why these long-time lawmakers feel they have to become lobbyists after retiring. They’ve been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, and someone like Dodd who is completely vested in the congressional pension system will get a substantial fraction of that for the rest of his life. And he’s not exactly in the prime of youth either. So, why not just retire for reals?

    dms

  15. 15
    Mike Kay (True Grit) says:

    The only thing Kerrey had going for him was his affair with Debra Winger when she filmed “Terms of Endearment” in Nebraska, 30 years ago.

    But then again, who didn’t bang Debra in the freewheeling early 80s.

  16. 16
    David Koch says:

    @Ken J.: Young man, I’m gonna put you on my payroll. I’m gonna need all the shills I can get in 2012. I’ve already have Nader and FDL signed up, but Smitters says I need more.

  17. 17
    BGinCHI says:

    Money and Power, how do they fucking work?

    This is the only version of “both sides do it” that is more often right than wrong. I’m sure the Beltway media will….oh, forget it.

  18. 18
    cathyx says:

    Here is a list of Koch industry products to boycott if you were wanting to do so.

    http://www.alternet.org/action/150078

  19. 19
    J. McCain says:

    @Ken J.: That is excellent news for President Palin!

  20. 20
    cbear says:

    So a few months after swearing he would not become a lobbyist, Chris Dodd has announced he will become a lobbyist:

    Amazing.

    In related news:
    Cat seen covering shit.
    Dog caught licking his own balls.
    Sun rises in East.

  21. 21
    El Cid says:

    I like how lots of people seem to think that the only way big money influences the behavior of politicians is to directly give them money while in office to change their policies.

    It does happen, but having a nice big high dollar package waiting for you as a lobbyist or board member or policy group director and so forth is a pretty big incentive.

    It’s a “thank you for your service” reward, and it requires much less, often little to no work.

    It’s effective and given the millionaire of Senators anyway, it’s simply a rational financial decision.

  22. 22
    Zifnab says:

    @Mike Kay (True Grit):

    I still can’t believe all the net roots marks who sent money to his presidential campaign.

    I’m still regretting the cash I kicked over to John Edwards.

    That said, Dodd served a purpose. He shifted the dialogue to the left as he tried to pick up liberal supporters. In the end, he didn’t get anywhere close to the nomination. But he was still a positive force in the debates.

    I don’t regret seeing Dodd run, even if he turned out to be a corporate sell-out in the end.

  23. 23
    Triassic Sands says:

    Like so many other politicians Chris Dodd quit to spend more time with his money — and to have more money to spend time with. An inspirational story or riches to greater riches. (Rags are for suckers.)

  24. 24
    Nicole says:

    Sigh. I contributed to Dodd AND voted for Edwards in the primary. I’m thinking I should sit on my hands in 2012, not to punish the Dems, but for their own safety.

  25. 25
    Davis X. Machina says:

    I’m so old I remember when Dodd was the toast of the netroots for filibustering the telco immunity clauses in the legislation renewing FISA….

  26. 26
    Kurzleg says:

    Great point, John. No skill set, and probably not much ambition to pursue something that’s, you know, actual work.

  27. 27
    Mike Kay (True Grit) says:

    @Zifnab:

    I’m still regretting the cash I kicked over to John Edwards.

    Why would you regret supporting Edwards?

  28. 28
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Mike Kay (True Grit): I was impressed by the work he was doing on the civil liberties front, Patriot act, etc., and wanted that voice/position to continue to be heard in the primaries more/longer than it was.

  29. 29
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Being from CT, Dodd was going to be in the tank for FIRE. On other issues, he was good. This lobbying gig, however, is a not a shining moment for the man.

  30. 30
    Yossarian says:

    Wait, so becoming a lobbyist for the MPAA lets us ignore his progressivity on civil liberties, pulling out of Iraq, ending the Cuba embargo, and a host of other stuff? That’s good to know.

    Dodd was probably also the leading Senate opponent of the bankruptcy reform bill so reviled by liberals and so beloved by the banks and credit card companies. That’s some sellout.

  31. 31
  32. 32
    wenchacha says:

    I’d be happy if he were to can the MPAA ratings system. It’s the least he could do for us, aside from the nothing he will probably do instead.

  33. 33
    Mike Kay (True Grit) says:

    @Yossarian: what are you talking about, he voted for the iraq invasion. not only did he vote for the war, the idiot was an embarrassing stooge invasion cheerleader.

  34. 34
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Still can’t edit. I see I wasn’t the only one with that stance, and I meant FISA, not Patriot, just couldn’t think of the right bill.

  35. 35
    Mike Kay (True Grit) says:

    @Lol:
    hahahahahahahahhhahahahahahhahahahhahahahahahhaha
    hahahahahahhahahhahahahhahahhahahahahhahahahhahah
    ahahahhahaahhahahahahhahahahahhahahahhahahahahahh

    That’s one of my favorites. I laughing right now, as I type.

    That, and Kos’ “leadership comes naturally to Chris dodd”

    hahahahahahahahhhahahahahahhahahahhahahahahahhaha
    hahahahahahhahahhahahahhahahhahahahahhahahahhahah
    ahahahhahaahhahahahahhahahahahhahahahhahahahahahh

  36. 36
    Ruckus says:

    might be all most of them are able to do…
    They could give the world a big ass break and fucking retire.
    But that would not pay them as well. And it is about the greed and limelight after all. How many insider stories do we hear after the fact that so and so is and always has been a big douche? It’s unusual when we don’t hear them.
    We need better… crap I can’t even say better politicians without my BP going up 10 points and laughing out loud.

  37. 37
    gene108 says:

    I wonder when the proles will clue in and realize they need to pool some cash together and buy a Congresscritter to represent their interests?

    You figure, if you start an association and get enough money raised, you could have a Congresscritter as your lobbyist too.

  38. 38
    singfoom says:

    And the criminal nexus of the revolving door of influence continues to accelerate it’s spin.

    Like cbear, I find this unsurprising. I am outraged but at a low constant level. The fix for our system ills is so easy, and so fucking difficult at the same time. We need to get the corporate money out of our political system before it is entirely captured.

    Oh wait, that happened like forever ago.

    Good job, Chris Dodd, you fucking asshole. Go get that platinum lobbyist parachute that you so richly deserve, having delivered non-reform financial reform to your masters.

    Our whole Congress can go fuck themselves, the greedy worthless pricks.

    Of course, no major news outlets will point out the revolving door. They’re part of the criminal nexus themselves…

    Sigh…

  39. 39
    someguy says:

    Don’t worry though. I’m sure we can trust the financial regulation bill that he pushed through – with Goldman’s backing and without reading.

  40. 40
    someguy says:

    @Yossarian:

    Wait, so becoming a lobbyist for the MPAA lets us ignore his progressivity on civil liberties,

    Guess you haven’t figured out how the MPAA uses federal law enforcement to crack down on people it suspects of sharing music.

  41. 41
    Ken J. says:

    Sure, go ahead and dump on me. You just wait and see what happens to the young people/”Digital Native” vote in 2012 if the Democrats get identified as the party that messed up the Internet for the benefit of Hollywood.

  42. 42
    Yossarian says:

    @someguy: You’re right. Here I was all riled up about Gitmo, FISA, and military commissions, never realizing the real issue was whether I can file share TV On the Radio’s last album.

  43. 43
    cleek says:

    @Ken J.:
    a Dem President gave us the DMCA, the Sonny Bono Copyright Act, the Clipper Chip, and Carnivore. i have never forgiven Clinton for that stuff.

  44. 44
    Lol says:

    @42: It has the benefit of being the type of stuff to actually impact your daily life in more than an abstract sense. That’s why I consider the telecom act of 1996 to be far worse than anything the Bush administration did. The consolidation and empowerment of media consortiums has done the most to enable the abuses you’re concerned about.

  45. 45
    Zifnab says:

    @Mike Kay (True Grit):

    Why would you regret supporting Edwards?

    Because if I’d know he was cheating on his wife like that, I wouldn’t have touched him. The nation doesn’t need another scandal-plagued Clinton legacy. Had Edwards won, or even gotten the VP nod, he would have been politically poisoned and compromised and weighed down the White House well into ’12.

    I don’t need to see Joe Liebermann given another reason to wax poetic about the morals of impeachment. Much happier to see Obama in office, actually focusing on policy.

  46. 46
    dr. bloor says:

    @dmsilev:

    Dodd is going to spend his days playing golf and evenings drinking martinis with old white guys. He can “retire” and do it for free, or he can take down six figures a year for his labors. Pretty easy call, actually.

  47. 47
    Svensker says:

    @Nicole:

    Aw. Hugs.

    (I contributed to Dodd, as well. But Edwards always made me feel like barfing.)

  48. 48
    Brachiator says:

    This shouldn’t surprise anyone, and in fairness, what actual skill set do any of these clowns have? After thirty years of doing nothing but schmoozing, eating finger food, and bullshitting, lobbying might be all most of them are able to do…

    You’re under-estimating Dodd. Oh yeah, he’s slime. But corporate interests want to strangle the Internet and make sure that streaming media continues to be controlled by cable and other media companies. Copyright, intellectual property, net neutrality, anti-piracy laws, etc.

    Dodd, with his connections and past associations, is just what the doctor ordered.

  49. 49
    aimai says:

    @PurpleGirl:
    Great idea! Lets stop these “double dippers!”

    aimai

  50. 50
    catclub says:

    @Zifnab: “Because if I’d know he was cheating on his wife like that, I wouldn’t have touched him. ”

    Sounds like a good reason to pick Kennedy over Nixon.
    Or Dole over Clinton.

  51. 51
    kc says:

    After thirty years of doing nothing but schmoozing, eating finger food, and bullshitting, lobbying might be all most of them are able to do..

    Screw him, he should have the decency to try to scrape by on his big fat federal pension.

  52. 52
    gelfling545 says:

    And, vowing he would ne’er consent, consented.

  53. 53
    Paula says:

    @Lol:

    That’s why I consider the telecom act of 1996 to be far worse than anything the Bush administration did.

    Fucking perspective, how does it work?!

    For reals. though, cosigning on this.

  54. 54

    @Paula: Worse than starting two wars, one of them illegally?

    Worse than authorizing torture? Worse than bankrupting the US and basically taking a dump on the US Constitution? Worse than turning a surplus into a deficit? Worse than leaving the country’s economy in a shambles?

    Wow. I really don’t know what I should, or could, say about this….

    (Don’t even get me started on murdering the English language!)

  55. 55
    Admiral_Komack says:

    I blame Obama.

    If he had just used the bully pulpit, this wouldn’t have happended.

    Obama sold us out, again (snark).

  56. 56
    Joey Maloney says:

    So, a politician did some things you approve of, and some things you didn’t approve of?

    Wow. Shocking. Worse than Hitler. Proves there’s no difference between the etc. etc. Nader/Paul in 2012.

    Dare I suggest a different solution, one that involves engaging more forcefully to encourage such politicians to do what you want? Yeah, yeah, it won’t always work. Yeah, it sets us up for frequent disappointment. And that’s nowhere near as pleasant as the warm glow of your purity in your belly (matched by the toasty warmth of the nation burning at your back).

  57. 57
    bob h says:

    I can’t imagine just what lobbying Hollywood feels it has to do in Washington. What is there for Dodd to do to earn the $1.2 million?

  58. 58
    Ken J. says:

    Bob h. — Dodd has to arrange for the Internet to be strangled. Start with looking up COICA, which will allow the government to seize domain names pretty much on the entertainment industry’s say-so, with no due process, no concern for collateral damage or free speech issues, and no concern over whether a business using the website is indeed lawful. (YouTube would have been killed at birth under this proposed law.)

    Basically, Hollywood wants to arrange that the Internet in America will be controlled much like the Internet in China. (No, I’m not exaggerating; China has routinely been proposed as a model for Internet controls.)

  59. 59
    Paula says:

    @Marc McKenzie:

    Wow. This made me almost laugh out loud.


    Wikipedia:

    “The Act was claimed to foster competition. Instead, it continued the historic industry consolidation reducing the number of major media companies from around 50 in 1983 to 10 in 1996[22] and 6 in 2005.[23] An FCC study found that the Act had led to a drastic decline in the number of radio station owners, even as the actual number of commercial stations in the United States had increased.[24]

    Consumer activist Ralph Nader argued the act was an example of corporate welfare spawned by political corruption, because it gave away to incumbent broadcasters valuable licenses for broadcasting digital signals on the public airwaves.[25][26] There was a requirement in the act that the FCC not auction off the public spectrum which the FCC itself valued at $11-$70 billion.”

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