CONGRESSMAN MARK KIRK TO KICK-OFF GENERAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN WITH FELLOW WASHINGTON INSIDER AND MEGA LOBBYIST HALEY BARBOUR
Kirk’s First Move After Winning Primary Is To Stand Shoulder To Shoulder With Embodiment Of GOP Establishment And Special Interests
Republican “Unity” Event To Feature Same Players That Got Country Into Economic Mess In First Place
Today, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is on the offensive against Republican Senate nominee Mark Kirk for kicking off his general election campaign with fellow Washington insider and Mexico lobbyist Haley Barbour. The Republican “Unity” event comes less than 24 hours after Congressman Kirk won the Republican nomination. Now, instead of reaching out to voters he will need to win over in November, Kirk has decided to make a statement about his candidacy by instead, standing shoulder to shoulder with Barbour, who is the embodiment of the GOP establishment and of special interests, having served as Chairman of the RNC and a mega lobbyist in DC.
“Congressman Mark Kirk made a bold statement today about his general election campaign by holding his first post-primary event with a politician whose resume as a Washington insider rivals his own,” said DSCC National Press Secretary Deirdre Murphy. “Instead of reaching out to independent voters, Kirk has decided to kick-off his campaign by standing shoulder to shoulder with fellow Washington insider and establishment Republican Haley Barbour. As if they needed a reminder, this event just shows that Illinois voters will face a stark contrast this November between a candidate who wants to take the state forward and one who wants to take the state backwards.”
Two-faced Congressman Mark Kirk and mega lobbyist Haley Barbour are both entrenched Washington insiders who have consistently put Wall Street over Main Street. Barbour’s insider resume includes a stint as the Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association, Governor of Mississippi, and a big time, mega lobbyist in DC. Barbour and his lobbying firm have accepted millions of dollars from a diverse range of clients such as big tobacco, the health care industry, and energy companies. The disastrous policies advocated by Republican establishment figures such as Kirk and Barbour created our economic crisis in the first place. Now, instead of working to move the country forward, they both want to take the country back.
The Government of Mexico Hired Barbour’s Firm to Work on NAFTA Implementation. According to documents filed in 2001 with the Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, Haley Barbour’s firm was contracted by the Embassy of Mexico. The documents indicate that the “political activities that Barbour Griffith & Rogers Inc. (Registrant) will engage in on behalf of the Government of Mexico (Foreign Principal) include seeking continued implementation of the NAFTA trade agreement.” The release goes on to describe Haley Barbour’s critical role on the Barbour Griffith and Rogers team. The firm’s fee for their service was $35,000 a month – for at least three months. [DOJ Registration Statement, filed 10/02/01 ]
Since 1999, Barbour’s Lobbying Firm Earned $6.8 Million For His Lobbying Work On Behalf Of The Health Care Industry. Between 1999 and 2003, Haley Barbour was listed as a lobbyist on behalf of several companies and trade organizations involved in the health care industry. For Barbour’s work, his lobbying firm, Barbour Griffith & Rogers Inc., earned $6.8 million. According to the Senate Office of Public Records, Haley Barbour lobbied on behalf of Bristol Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Kindred Healthcare, UnitedHealth Group and other organizations. [Lobbyist Disclosure Database, Senate Office of Public Records, accessed 9/23/09]
Barbour Led GOP Governors “In A Coordinated Attack On Sen. Max Baucus’ (D-Mont.) Healthcare Reform Legislation.” “A group of Republican governors are working together in a coordinated attack on Sen. Max Baucus’s (D-Mont.) healthcare reform legislation, according to GOP sources and documents obtained by The Hill. At least 14 of the nation’s 22 Republican governors have sent, or will soon send, letters to their respective congressional delegations claiming the Democrats’ healthcare bills would bankrupt their states…Barbour, chairman of the Republican Governors Association (RGA), was the first to pen a ‘letter of concern’ to lawmakers from his state. And it provided a template for others to follow…’The current proposals, both in the House and Senate, will expand the Medicaid program at additional costs paid not by the federal government, but passed down to the states,’ Barbour wrote earlier this month…Though Barbour coordinated the letter-writing effort among the governors, it is part of a larger initiative launched by House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) earlier this year to increase the outreach among state heads and congressional leaders. Sources say Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is also playing a leading role on this issue.” [The Hill, 9/28/09 ]
Since 1999, Barbour’s Lobbying Firm Earned $2.36 Million For His Lobbying Work On Behalf Of The Tobacco Industry. Between 1999 and 2004, Haley Barbour was listed as a lobbyist on behalf of several tobacco companies. For Barbour’s work, his lobbying firm, Barbour Griffith & Rogers Inc., earned $2.36 million. According to the Senate Office of Public Records, Haley Barbour lobbied on behalf of Brown and Williamson Tobacco Corporation, Lorillard Tobacco Company, Philip Morris Companies, RJR Nabisco and U.S. Tobacco. [Lobbyist Disclosure Database, Senate Office of Public Records, accessed 9/23/09]
Barbour Lobbied for Several Tobacco Interests. Bush Exploratory Committee member Haley Barbour and his DC-based lobbying firm, Barbour Griffith & Rogers, currently represent several tobacco interests. The tobacco interests currently represented by Barbour include: Brown and Williamson Tobacco Corp.; Lorillard Tobacco Co.; Phillip Morris Cos., Inc; RJR Nabisco Holdings Co.; and U.S. Tobacco. [Washington Representatives, 1999; www.georgewbush.com/committee/members.html]
Barbour Pushed GOP Congress to Include $50 Billion Tax Break for Big Tobacco, And the Tobacco Industry Gave the RNC $7.4 Million. While lobbying for several tobacco interests, Barbour pushed GOP leaders in Congress to include in legislation a $50 billion tax break for tobacco companies. In 1997, House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Majority Leader Trent Lott insisted on the inclusion of a provision in the massive balanced budget and tax-cut bill that would have given tobacco companies a $50 billion tax break — in the form of credit against the sum they had pledged to settle anti-tobacco litigation. Former RNC Chair — and now $50,000-a-month tobacco lobbyist — Haley Barbour approached Gingrich and Lott about inserting the provision. Kenneth Kies – the Joint Committee on Taxation staff director — confirmed that the tobacco industry actually wrote the provision. “The industry wrote it and submitted it, and we just used their language,” he said. Republicans received over $2 million from the tobacco industry in 1997. After a public firestorm, Congress voted to repeal the provision. From 1993 ? 1996, tobacco companies gave at least $7,443,974 to Republican Party campaign committees. In the first half of 1997, tobacco interests gave the GOP $1.6 million. [LA Times, 5/24/97; AP, 8/9/96; Wall Street Journal, 7/30/97; Washington Post, 8/13/97; 8/17/97; 8/22/97; USA Today, 8/29/97; Time, 9/29/97; New York Times, 12/15/97]
Since 1999, Barbour’s Lobbying Firm Earned $2.96 Million For His Lobbying Work On Behalf Of Energy Companies And Trade Groups. Between 1999 and 2003, Haley Barbour was listed as a lobbyist on behalf of several companies and trade organizations involved in the energy industry. For Barbour’s work, his lobbying firm, Barbour Griffith & Rogers Inc., earned $2.96 million. According to the Senate Office of Public Records, Haley Barbour lobbied on behalf of the Edison Electric Institute, the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council, the Oxygenated Fuels Association, and Southern Company Services, Inc. [Lobbyist Disclosure Database, Senate Office of Public Records, accessed 9/23/09]