August 9, 2012

Who Did Pete Hoekstra Lobby For? We May Never Know

Who Did Pete Hoekstra Lobby For? We May Never Know
Who did Pete Hoekstra influence peddle on behalf of? We may never know.

Last night, former congressman Pete Hoekstra won the Michigan GOP Senate primary, securing his spot as the party’s nominee. He will be competing the Senate seat this November.

In between his stint as a congressman and this current race, Hoekstra raked in nearly half a million dollars as “a senior adviser with Dickstein Shapiro LLP, a legal and lobbying firm.” In this role, Hoekstra all but certainly helped the firm’s corporate clients advance their government agendas. But because he spent less than twenty percent of his time on lobbying, he had no obligation to officially register as a lobbyist. Thus any advocacy work he did on behalf of the firm’s clients — which include for-profit colleges, drugmakers, and others is completely confidential and does not have to be made public.

As the Huffington Post noted last June, Hoekstra repeatedly voted against measures that would’ve toughened lobbying laws. And now, fresh off of making $473,286 from his job at a lobbying firm, he is vying to be the next Senator from Michigan. Will he as a Senator  be doing the bidding of the very same clients his firm took on? It’s impossible for us to tell, because the government’s transparency laws are so weak. That’s American government in the 21st century.