December 18, 2014

Blackwater Lobbyist Will Manage the House Intelligence Committee

Jeff Shockey, a lobbyist for defense contractors and Academi. He will soon lead the day to day operations of the House Intelligence Committee.
Jeff Shockey, a lobbyist for defense contractors and Academi. He will soon lead the day to day operations of the House Intelligence Committee.

After lobbyist-run SuperPACs and big money efforts dominated the last election, legislators are now appointing lobbyists to literally manage the day-to-day affairs of Congress. For the House Intelligence Committee, which oversees government intelligence operations and agencies, the changing of the guard means a lobbyist for Academi, the defense contractor formerly known as Blackwater, is now in charge.

Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA), the incoming chairman of the Intelligence Committee when the House reconvenes in January, announced that Jeff Shockey will be the new Staff Director of the committee. As a paid representative of Academi, Shockey and his firm have earned $80,000 this year peddling influence on behalf of Academi.

In previous years, the House Intelligence Committee has investigated Blackwater over secret contracts with the Central Intelligence Agency. Now, the shoe is on the other foot. As Staff Director, the highest position on a committee for a staff member, Shockey will oversee the agencies that do business with his former employer.

Shockey also represents a number of other companies with business before defense agencies: General Dynamics, Koch Industries, Northrop Grumman, United Launch Alliance, Innovative Defense Technologies and Boeing.

The role reversal, for lobbyists to take brief stints in Congress after an election, has become a normalized. In a previous investigation for The Nation, we found that some corporate firms offer employment contracts with special bonuses for their staff to return to government jobs, ensuring the paycut the receive for passing through the revolving door to become public servants doesn’t have to alter their K Street lifestyle.

Other committees are also hiring lobbyists. Congessman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Darrell Issa’s (R-CA) replacement as chair of the Oversight Committee, just hired Podesta Group lobbyist Sean McLaughlin as his new Staff Director. McLaughlin’s client list includes the Business Roundtable, a trade association for corporate CEOs of large firms. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) also hired a new chief of staff, Mark Isakowitz, who represents BP.

  • … some corporate firms offer employment contracts with special bonuses for their staff to return to government jobs …

    How can anyone consider this anything but a bribe?

  • Defiant

    It won’t matter much either way.

  • Nicko Thime

    Elect republicans and this is the sort of result you get.

    • Rdzkz

      Yes, 1 Rep Vote = 1Death Vote. Again and again. Bet some believed the GOP did not like Bigguvmint!

  • afisher

    Which indicates that the GOP will be looking for any excuse for a new “foreign adventure” and to use Private Industry to misinform the public on why more money needs to be expended via the Annual Budget. sign.

    • Kevin Schmidt

      The Democrats are not any better.

      • Steamdude

        Ever so slightly. We still have Warren, Franken, Sanders, Brown and a few others. The GOP has no one that’s not on the take. Subtle but undeniable difference.

  • sonofroyrogers

    Kill K street.

    • Kevin Schmidt

      After their fair trials, of course, all lobbyist corporations should be sentenced to death.

      • Nicko Thime

        If only.

      • sonofroyrogers

        Nice…but not strict enough.

  • Kevin Schmidt

    The US Federal Government is no longer legitimate.
    The time for a peaceful revolution has come to America.
    We must hold our public SERVANTS accountable every day, and not just on Election Day.

    • Mike Truax

      If it doesn’t happen soon many will die in the streets fighting a corrupt government that will be forcing us to work for nothing and to worship their false god, theirs is not a Christian God. What do you think He meant when He said “they will come in My name”? In god they trust $20 bill amen.

    • l.berty

      they haven’t been “legitimate” in a long long time.
      peaceful revolution my keester.
      either lock & load or board the bus to Camp Fema.
      that’s what it’s going to be folks.

  • marid

    Great, now we hire private killers to work for us. We are exceptional. We are now the Hessians, whom we supposedly hated and vilified for their actions in our Revolutionary War.

  • diane johnson

    private military contractors…ie…mercenaries running our govt.!!!!!!!! how can we educate the general public about this??? im disgusted

  • l.berty

    the writing is on the wall.

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