Former Congressional Staffers Who Helped Write SOPA Join Lobbying Firms

December 12, 2011 -

Two former high level Washington staffers who helped write SOPA and Protect IP have joined major lobbying firms that... are helping to get the law they just wrote passed. Now their work addresses are "K Street," where all the lobbyists in Washington call home. Halataei recently joined the National Music Publishers’ Association, and Pastarnack is joining the Motion Pictures Association of America. These two lobbying groups have been pressing Congress to pass the proposals.

This is the modus operandi of the lobbying industry, which uses the inside tracks and connections that former staffers have to try and tip the scales in their favor on issues important to them.

"This is one of those mega-fights where there is a lot of money at stake and whenever it gets to that, it’s kind of ‘Katy bar the door’ as far as what they’ll pay for talent," said McCormick Group headhunter Ivan Adler. "This fits into the perfect scenario of why senior-level people from well-placed committees get hired, and it’s because they really know the three p’s: people, policy and process. And that makes them very valuable in the Washington marketplace."

NMPA President David Israelite brushed aside questions on Halataei being hired because of the legislative battle over anti-piracy legislation.

"It has nothing to do with pending legislation,” Israelite told Politico. Allison "knows our issues, has really good relationships across the aisle and is a very smart lawyer."

Israelite further spun the hire by saying that it would be "nothing but hurtful to our effort."

MPAA spokesman Howard Gantman declined to comment on the Politico story. On the plus side, the former staffers face one-year lobbying bans which disallow them from lobbying the respective committees where they previously worked. Of course that doesn't keep them from providing inside information on the process, lawmakers' frames of mind on issues, and other important information.

While departures like these are normal in Washington and completely legal, congressional watchdogs such as Craig Holman of Public Citizen doesn't think it’s cool or even ethical.

"This is very much a troubling aspect of the influence-peddling industry and unfortunately, it is the way business is done," Holman said. "This is the revolving-door abuse in which those who have a great deal of money can afford to hire senior staffers or even former members of Congress to do their bidding for them in the private sector as lobbyists."

Source: Politico by way of TechDirt


Comments

Re: Former Congressional Staffers Who Helped Write SOPA Join ...

And how many times has that happened?

Re: Former Congressional Staffers Who Helped Write SOPA Join ...

Much to the surprise of no one.

Re: Former Congressional Staffers Who Helped Write SOPA Join ...

The revolving door continues to spin.

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Papa Midnight

Re: Former Congressional Staffers Who Helped Write SOPA Join ...

Well, if the money sensor deems you rich enough.

Re: Former Congressional Staffers Who Helped Write SOPA Join ...

Lobbying should be a hanging offense.

Re: Former Congressional Staffers Who Helped Write SOPA Join ...

Remember your words here when someone is lobbying for an increase an educational benefits for low income children. Oh yeah, I just played the "for the children" card.

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Papa Midnight

Re: Former Congressional Staffers Who Helped Write SOPA Join ...

Still does not prove that lobbying > alternative(s), only that lobbying [good cause] > not caring about [good cause]

Logic's fun ^^

Re: Former Congressional Staffers Who Helped Write SOPA Join ...

Better to have no lobbying and things "lobbyed" via votes and public opinion.


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

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Deviantart

Re: Former Congressional Staffers Who Helped Write SOPA Join ...

Oh, it's also my belief, but I was just concentrating on the specifics of what he said. It's easy to try and pull a logic trick if you're not cautious ^^

Re: Former Congressional Staffers Who Helped Write SOPA Join ...

If only more lobbyists actually invested time in that endeavor.  Then we might actually have a society that isn't viewed as such a failure.

 

I know I'm being pessimistic, but I talk with people overseas on a quasi-regular basis.  I hear about our social "issues" all the time.

 
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Mattsworknameanother07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
Mattsworknameyou HAVE TO click on it. So they get the click revenue weather you like what it says or not. as such, the targeting of advertisers most likely seemed like a good course of action to those who wanted to hold those media groups accountable for one reason07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
MattsworknameBut, when you look at online media, it's completely different, with far more options, but far few ways to address issues that the consumers may have. In tv, you don't like what they show, you don't watch. But in order to see if you like something online07/28/2015 - 9:12pm
MattsworknameIn tv, and radio, ratings are how it works. your ratings determine how well you do and how much money you an charge.07/28/2015 - 9:02pm
Mattsworknameexpect to do so without someone wanting to hold you to task for it07/28/2015 - 9:00pm
MattsworknameMecha: I don't think anyone was asking for Editoral changes, what they wanted was to show those media groups that if they were gonna bash there own audiance, the audiance was not gonna take it sitting down. you can write what you want, but you can't07/28/2015 - 8:56pm
MattsworknameAndrew, Im asking as a practical question, Have gamers, as a group, ever asked for a game, or other item, to be banned. Im trying to see if theres any cases anyone else remembers cause I cant find or remember any.07/28/2015 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenAs mentioned, Gamasutra isn't a gaming site, it's a game industry site. I don't feel it's changed its focus at all. Also, I don't get the sense that the majority of the people who took issue with that one opinion piece were regular readers anyway.07/28/2015 - 8:43pm
MattsworknameDitto kotaku, Gawker, VOX, Polygon, ETC07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
MechaTama31So, between pulling a game from one chain of stores, and forcing editorial changes to a media source, only one of them strikes you as being on the edge of censorship, and it's the game one?07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
Andrew EisenHave gamers ever tried to ban a product? Can you be more specific? I'm not clear what you're getting at.07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
Mattsworknamethey should have expected some kind of blow back. But I didn't participate in that specific action07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
MattsworknameAndrew Youd have to ask others about that, I actualyl didn't have much beef with them till last year, so I can't speak to there history. I simply feel that gamesutra chose politics over gaming and chose to make enimies of it's prime audiance. For that,07/28/2015 - 8:40pm
Andrew EisenI'm still not clear on how Gamasutra was lacking in accountability or what it was lacking in accountability for.07/28/2015 - 8:38pm
MattsworknameAndrew: You and I agree on most of that. I don't diagree that there should ahve been other actions taken. Now, I do want to point something out, casue Im not sure if it's happened. Have gamers ever tried to have a product banned?07/28/2015 - 8:37pm
Mattsworknameimproperly. Neither is good, but one is on the edge of censorship to me, while the other is demanding some level of accountability from public media provider. but thats just my view point07/28/2015 - 8:36pm
MattsworknameEZK: You can treat it as bullying or what not, As I've pointed out, I didn't like either practice, I made that clear. But I do hold some different between trying to pull a product from the shelves, and calling out a media outlet that you feel has acted07/28/2015 - 8:35pm
E. Zachary KnightMatt, So you feel confident enough to make the call that petitioning target to remove GTAV is "bullying and threatening" but not confident enough to make the call on Intel/Gamasutra. Finding it hard to take your gripes seriously.07/28/2015 - 8:27pm
Andrew EisenAs for gamers holding media sites accountable? If you mean, how to respond to opinion pieces you disagree with, yes, there are tons of more appropriate means.07/28/2015 - 8:27pm
Andrew EisenAgain, no one likes being lumped in with the bad apples. Gamers or feminists so lets all strive not to do that, yes? Could the petitioners gone about it a better way? Yes, it could have been more factual in its petition, for starters.07/28/2015 - 8:25pm
 

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