Today, U.S. Senate candidate Jane Norton’s army of big-name lobbyist supporters are hosting another fundraiser for her in DC, this one at the Williams & Jensen lobbying lawfirm townhouse near the Capitol. Tomorrow, it’s Sen. Michael Bennet’s turn. He’s being feted at Williams & Jensen by supporters that include fellow Democratic Colorado Senator Mark Udall.
What is Willams & Jensen? It’s a “lobbying powerhouse,” according to the Sunlight foundation. The powerhouse’s client-list suggests it rakes in major cash by catering to the needs of corporations. By catering we mean getting lawmakers to introduce and support legislation that adds to corporate profits. That process begins with maximum-amount donations made to politicians by Williams & Jensen employees and the Williams& Jensen PAC.
From the sunlight foundation:
Williams & Jensen, a law and lobbying powerhouse that has reported $12.6 million in lobbying earning this year alone, runs the Capitol Hill townhouse, which is a popular site for fundraisers. The firm’s employees and PAC form the third largest source for federal candidates of lobbying campaign contributions so far this election cycle.
Among the clients W&J actually lists on its website are Genentech, Inc., the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, Pfizer, the Recording Industry Association of America, Inc. and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Genentech, one of the world’s largest biotechnology companies, made the New York Times political section this weekend for managing to get 42 members of the U.S. House to introduce language on health care reform legislation word for word into the Congressional record, giving the company’s stance on certain provisions of the legislation added weight.
“One of the reasons I have long supported the U.S. biotechnology industry is that it is a homegrown success story that has been an engine of job creation in this country,” wrote South Carolina rep. Joe Wilson. His words were identical to those written by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer– and to all the other Republicans. The statement was written by Genentech lobbyists, who drafted a separate statement for Democrats to read into the record.
Genetech like pharmeceutical giant Pfizer is lobbying lawmakers to defeat laws meant to drive consumer health care prices down and that would also lower company profits.
The National Cable and Telecommunications Association is fighting net neutrality, which aims to limit the power of the telecommunication companies to shape what internet consumers have access to and at what speed. Here’s a typically Orwellian ad the Association has created, where the coporations are imagined as the foot soldiers fighting for consumer protection against the evil power of Silicon Valley.
The Recording Industry Association of America is likely paying W&J for the continued right to draft its infamously lopsided contracts to musicians and to wage equally lopsided legal battles against teenage music file sharers.
And the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is no doubt enlisting W&J in its battle to keep U.S. business lagging indefinitely in the clean energy economic future by resisting any laws that penalize poluters and spur a move away from outdated energy technologies.