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Sunday, October 23, 2016

by Lee Fang, Republic Report.

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 they 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.

This article originally appeared on Republic Report.

Photo: Public Citizen via Flickr

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  • idamag

    This is outrageous! Blackwater cheated the US government in the cheney war in Iraq. They charged $100 a load to wash the soldiers clothes. They charged $6 a sixpack for coke that was given to the soldiers free by Coca Cola. They charged by the mile and were caught driving empty trucks back and forth to collect more money. Wake up, America, the only reason they let you vote is so you will think this is your government.

    • Careful. You are starting to sound like me.

      • WhutHeSaid

        Except for the bigoted hate and pusillanimous redneck threats of violence, of course.

        • Still hiding in your moms basement? You should stick your head out so someone can step on it, roach.

          • WhutHeSaid

            You just behave your bigoted little self, or someday we may have to send some real men out to snatch you up out of your fetid little bigot-hole and teach you a lesson.

          • Yeah, like you are a man of any description. Go hide again, roach.

          • WhutHeSaid

            Deb thinks so. I hardly care what you think. You redneck bigots always talk big right up until talk time is over, then your pitiful squealing and begging is just God-awful to hear.

          • Your best bet is to stay hidden. I’m sure there are many that would love to step on you, roachboy.

          • WhutHeSaid

            Oooo — so manly!


            You redneck sissies are so predictable. It’s hardly worth the effort to stomp the crap out of you because you’re too stupid to learn. But since it is part of God’s plan I feel it’s my duty.

          • LOL . Just because you glued a couple of Christmas ornaments to your groin does not mean you finally grew a pair, roachboy.

          • WhutHeSaid

            That’s not what Deb says. Speaking of glued to the groin, just how is the old wench doing? I sure hope you haven’t been mistreating her.

  • Dominick Vila

    Hopefully this does not signal a return to crusades, “enhanced interrogation techniques” (aka torture), interventionist policies, reliance on counter productive sanctions, perpetual warfare, and doing whatever is best for the military/arms complex.

    • jointerjohn

      What I fear is that we will remain impoverished by pointless military ventures. This is a case of allowing the foxes to guard the henhouse, except now the foxes own the henhouse and rent it to us as our slumlords.

    • Whereas the Emperor does only what is best for himself.

  • ps0rjl

    Like the old Country Joe and the Fish song goes, “War’s good business so invest your son but I’d sooner have my country die for me!”. Of course now with so many women in the military we should say invest your child. And congress wonders why they have such a poor approval rating.

  • itsfun

    elections have consquences

    • Grannysmovin

      Yes they do and the photo says it all. How do we pretend to fight wars and force other countries to embrace Democracy when we no longer practice it here.

      • idamag

        We are certainly not setting an example to the rest of the world.

  • Brian Harvill

    Well its not as if this is surprising. We’ve known for some time that the republicans are a bought and paid for political party. With the cromnibus removing the economic protections and doubling the “ceilings” for bribery amounts paid by lobbyists and rich business individuals, hiring them as influential, manipulative, controllers decing which companies get what political government contracts is merely par for the course in the republican agenda of destroying America. Besides, its not the highest office a lobbyist has garnered, Halliburton did get the vice presidency for 8 years.

  • towercam

    This article was released before it was suitably checked for errors, like this stupid line – “The role reversal, for lobbyists to take brief stints in Congress after an election, has become a normalized.”
    Please learn to check your work before publishing, Lee Fang!

    • annienoel

      And your facts are???

      • Buzz Waldron

        . should read just ‘normal’… not “a normalized”…

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    And Pay to Play…the Big Boys favorite schmooze game continues. After all, War in Iraq and Afghanistan made billions for Eric Prince, courtesy of Cheney. Let’s all get ready for the homemade need for GOP military industrialist endless wars. No war? No profit for Virginia..No. 1 in Military Industrialist crony capitalist states.

  • stsintl

    Capitalism is masculine and strong. Democracy is feminine and delicate. Free press is the window to Democracy’s bedroom. When Capitalism pulls down the shades over the windows, places five judges of the Supreme Court to guard the door, and rapes Democracy, nation ends up with a Bastard Congress. If not taken care of, Democracy may bleed to death.

    • WhutHeSaid

      Wow — almost sounds like another Bill Cosby accusation.

  • charley williams

    Capitalism is not what we have any longer ! When cronies write the Laws and monopolies control the Markets ! We no longer have a Capitalistic system, we have a Oligarchy system of Government and Financial system !

    • idamag

      Yes, we are losing our Democracy fast.

  • Alvin Harrison


    The brazenness of our leaders and their corporate owners and OUR terminal stupidity never ceases to amaze me. I mean, did we not just go through national debates on torture, spying and similar abuses, along with the appropriate hand wringing from our leaders and promises to “do better”. Well, at the same time they were decrying these abuses, they were preparing to make Jeff Shockley the new Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Who is Jeff Shockley? None other that the lobbyist for Blackwater, the top of the food chain for America’s wannabe mercenary Corporations.

    I have heard of the Fox guarding the henhouse, but the Corp/1% have even bigger balls than I had thought possible. Ahh…but if you read the article you will see who else Jeff represents. The infamous Koch Brothers. These boys have been buying America’s leaders for sometime now and are the money men behind the Tea Party …..and Citizens United, the folks who just got their ability to spend unlimited amounts of money to get their lackeys elected expanded by the budget add ons that “kept our government running”. They used to try to hide their subversion and perversion of the Democratic process. Now they do not even care if you know.

    So America, just how stupid are we as a people? We have a cadre of bozos from among us whining that the new overtures to Cuba will hinder their ability to achieve Democracy. They know so much about Cuba, but not that their own country is no longer a Democracy. It is not a Democracy when your choices for leaders have been vetted, bought and paid for by an elite monied minority. These same Americans defended our use of torture, yet point fingers at oppressive regimes. I guess it is ok to torture others, just not your own people. I would suggest it is a VERY short road from the first to the second, and the actions of our police across the land indicate we have started down that road.

    Every time I think Americans are starting to come out of the daze they have been in and are beginning to see just how stupid the Corp/1% think we are, something like this happens. Then I realize, they just may be correct in their assumption we are cattle to be led and used at their whim and pleasure. The Corp/1% are smart, have an agenda and are bold in their actions….we are none of that. But I am one of the “terminally optimistic”. I keep believing we will shed our chains and demand what is right. But then again, I have to consider that the terminally optimistic just might be a dumber subset of the terminally stupid. I hope this is not the case.

    • S.J. Jolly

      A lot of American police get a career start as military police. What they learn there, including “enhanced interrogation techniques” , comes home to our streets and police station backrooms.

  • Wrily

    Eisenhower warned us.

  • 14hei

    This is proof that we must be more vigilant then ever about how our legislators vote in congress. These appointments to committees in government that have great influence in the bills that are presented to congress must be more transparent in their association with commercial industry. Why the hold their position in the government all contacts with industry must be made public. It is vital that there is no outside influence on the forming of bills before congress that could be voted into law. If we as citizens do not demand this transparency we will lose our voice in this democratic republic.

    • S.J. Jolly

      No hope of keeping transparency as long as big money usually determines elections. We need to go to 100% public financing of elections.

      • 14hei

        I could not agree with you more! Now how do we get the rest of America to agree?

      • idamag

        I wish the public would wake up to this fact. As it is, we are paying wages to people who abuse their time off and are owned by big money. If they take campaign financing out of the hands of the powerful by stopping the big donation thing, and give each candidate 6 million dollars, from tax money, it will change where their loyalties lie. Allowing candidates to seek public money has made them less than stellar.

        • S.J. Jolly

          I think you meant to write, “… to seek private money …”

          • idamag


        • dpaano

          Yeah, I’m tired of paying the salaries of individuals who do not have MY best interests as their No. 1 priority!!!

    • Buzz Waldron

      . Actually, NOBODY should be financing elections… anything else leads to corruption…

  • dpaano

    Why in heck is this allowed? Talk about ridiculous!