Former Washington Post reporter turned journalism professor Tom Edsall takes a look at just how dialed in lobbyists are to the campaigns of Mitt Romney and President Obama and concludes "that the power of the electorate relative to the power of the Washington establishment has inexorably declined."
Edsall's online NYT op-ed is a solid user's guide to how much individual lobbyists have given to the campaigns and super PACs supporting the two candidates. It's worth the read.
Here are the highlights:
Few people were more elated at 2:20 a.m. Wednesday morning when Mitt Romney was declared the winner of the Republican caucuses in Iowa than a small group of lobbyists unknown outside of the Washington Beltway. ... These 15 men are leaders of what might be called Romney's K Street army. They are key players in the mobilization of Washington's $3.5 billion lobbying industry in support of his candidacy. Romney, more than anyone else who is running, is the favorite of the capital's influence-wielding establishment.All 15 are active fundraisers for Romney. Patrick J. Durkin, who lobbies for Barclays, for example, raised $254,825, according to reports filed by the Romney campaign. Robert Grand, of the lobbying firm Barnes & Thornberg, raised $110,050; William Mark Simmons and David Beightol, both of the Dutko Group, raised $69,260 and $54,200 respectively; Wayne Berman and Drew Maloney, both in the Ogilvy Government Affairs firm, raised $101,600 and $56,750, respectively. The list goes on.