When President Joe Biden returned to Washington last year, a lot of his friends came along for the ride… and not just his golfing buddies.
A series of new reports show how Biden insiders are raking in the dough as lobbyists — with some earning two, three, or even four times more money than they made during the same point in the Donald Trump administration.
And some of it’s looking pretty swampy.
Politico said longtime Democratic insider Tony Podesta, whose lobbying firm “collapsed after it came under scrutiny from special counsel Robert Mueller,” has entered a new lease on life since Biden’s election.
The lobbying allegedly firm sprang back by raking in a cool $1 million from a high-profile client: Huawei.
That’s the Chinese telecom company blacklisted by the Trump administration from taking part in 5G contracts in the United States due to concerns over its close links to the Beijing regime.
Those fears seemed to be confirmed last month, when The Washington Post reported on internal documents that show how the company collects intelligence on Chinese citizens for the government.
The company denies the allegations of surveillance.
Podesta is hardly alone, as others with close ties to Biden also rush to cash in.
“Under the last administration we saw firms with links to President Trump prosper, and now we are seeing a similar windfall for firms that hire lobbyists with connections to President Biden,” Dan Auble, senior researcher at OpenSecrets, told ABC News in November.
“It is clearly evidence that connections matter in Washington.”
Sure enough, Politico reported this week that D.C. is breaking lobbying records. According to the report, Democrat-linked firms, especially those with close ties to Biden, have been making bank ever since the Democrats’ successful push for trillions in new spending.
One firm, Putala Strategies, saw revenues triple from $1.3 million in 2020 to $4 million in 2021, according to Politico.
The company isn’t just noteworthy for its reported roster of clients, which includes progressives’ villains like the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America and TC Energy, the company behind the Keystone XL pipeline.
It’s also noteworthy because of who is behind it: longtime Biden aide and insider Christopher Putala.
Politico said Putala’s company signed as many new clients last year as it did the entire previous decade.
The Hill reported in July that another lobbyist appeared to be cashing in on family ties. Jeff Ricchetti, the brother of Biden adviser Steve Ricchetti, reportedly saw his fortunes take a turn for the better with the new administration.
Last year his quarterly revenues reportedly jumped four times over — from $200,000 in the second quarter of 2020 to $850,000 in the second quarter of 2021 — thanks to clients like Amazon, General Motors and TC Energy.
Politico said Ricchetti came under fire over his family links to the Biden administration.
Under pressure, he announced that his firm is no longer lobbying the White House – but that decision came after he allegedly collected $3.2 million in lobbying fees for 2021, roughly two and a half times the $1.3 million he reportedly raked in for 2020.
The lobbying companies say they don’t see any sign of a slowdown, with some of them telling The Hill that they expect an acceleration in the coming year, especially on issues related to healthcare, China and a possible battle over a new version of Biden’s failed Build Back Better spending legislation.
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“We are anticipating a wild 2022 as there are several different moving pieces in a high-stakes election year,” Loren Monroe, a principal at the BGR Group, told the website.
No doubt, that means more money… for more lobbyists.
— Walter W. Murray is a reporter for The Horn News. He is an outspoken conservative and a survival expert.