Friday, September 28, 2007

Ex-Carlyle Lobbyist to be Senior Advisor to Obama

How does a lobbyist registered to work for The Carlyle Group and the Blackstone Group end up as a senior advisor to Barack Obama? In a speech railing on corporate influence inside the Beltway, the presidential hopeful said:

"What's most outrageous is not the morally offensive conduct on behalf of these lobbyists and legislators, but the morally offensive laws and decisions that get made as a result."

Recall that millionaire private equity money managers pay 15% taxes on "carried interest" while the average worker pays 35% on the same income. Directly benefiting are investment professionals at Carlyle and Blackstone. Fortunately Chuck Schumer-D NY rushed to their aid. But it gets better.

The new advisor also lobbied for the National Rifle Association, Monsanto, Pfizer Inc., United Health Group, Sempra Energy and Constellation Energy. Sempra has even partnered with Carlyle on energy investments, on more than one deal. As usual there's the incestuous board crossover relationship.

I find it hard to believe the Obama campaign couldn't find a skilled advisor without a deep lobbying background in dirty waters. It seems, the PEU credential is important after all, despite Barack's assertions otherwise. I suggest a new game. Rather than the seven degrees of Kevin Bacon, let's play the three degrees of Carlyle.