Delahunt, a lobbyist's lawmaker turned lobbyist

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney

Then-Congressman Bill Delahunt earmarked $1.7 million of your money for a wind-power project in Massachusetts, and now-unregistered-lobbyist Delahunt is getting a slice of that same pie. The New York Times reports:

today, his firm, the Delahunt Group, stands to collect $90,000 or more for six months of work from the town of Hull, on Massachusetts Bay, with 80 percent of it coming from the pot of money he created through a pair of Energy Department grants in his final term in office, records and interviews show.

Delahunt makes the Gingrich defense: "I have not lobbied anyone in Washington since leaving Congress." His clients apparently don't expect that to continue, telling the Times, "Obviously he’s got connections into the federal government that we don’t have.... We’re hoping he can open doors at the federal level that we could never open."

Cape Cod liberal Delahunt is a perfect example of how big government and K Street feed off of one another, enriching all the insiders. His record suggests how a politician can win future "consulting" clients both by handing out money and by increasing regulations.

Before he was getting paid by his windmill earmark recipients, he was getting paid by the Wampanoag tribe, whom he had helped as a lawmaker: "Delahunt has had a long history of working with the Wampanoags and advocating on their behalf as the tribe pushed for authority to build a casino on land in Middleborough."

And Delahunt's penchant for regulating didn't hurt his professional prospects, either. Back in April, I wrote:


Former Rep. Bill Delahunt, D-Mass., has passed through the revolving door, in a particularly fitting way. The firm, Eckert Seamans, announced Delahunt was joining "to advise clients in highly regulated business environment[s]."

More specifically, Delahunt will provide "strategic counsel to firm clients on complex regulatory issues such as healthcare, financial services and energy and environmental matters."

Of course, Delahunt was one of the people who made "healthcare, financial services, and energy and environmental matters" into "highly regulated business environments" by voting for and championing ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank, and dozens of other regulatory bills over his years in Congress. Delahunt made government bigger, and big government set the stage for his new lucrative job.

Delahunt's new boss touts Delahunt's "incomparable insight and connections at the busy intersection of business and politics." And Delahunt helped expand that intersection by supporting regulations and subsidies.

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