March 29, 2012

How You Can Meet Some Financial Services Lobbyists and the Staffers Who Love Them

Last week, you learned about former banking committee staffer Scott Eckel, who should just be settling into his new job as head of lobbying for Charles Schwab. Eckel is now earning money based on his connections crafted during his time as a public policy-maker, which is a nice clear a case of Backdoor Bribery. Below is an invitation to another form of corruption, the “Financial Services Industry Meet and Greet.” This is a kind of meat market, where staffers and lobbyists interact, exchange gossip and information, and set up fundraisers and potential job interviews (both ways, from lobbyist to staffer and vice versa).

At this point, lobbyists aren’t necessarily trying to bribe members of Congress upfront anymore, they are going straight to the staffers themselves, who do the hard work of crafting legislative details. One topic of conversation will be the JOBS Act, the bill that deregulates the stock market and allows certain public companies to avoid certain investor protections and accounting disclosure requirements.

Oddly, Democratic Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (who is poised to make another go at the Speaker position should there be a shift in Congressional control), has decided to host this one outside. So you can go if you want. Meet and greet these folks. Thursday at 4 pm on the Capitol steps.