Boehner Has Most Ex-Staffers on K Street; Contest Could Boil Down to Reform:
In the race to replace Tom DeLay as House Majority Leader John Boehner is the man with the most former staffers relocated to K Street, according to The Hill newspaper. Boehner has at least 24 former staffers working as registered lobbyists compared to 11 for Roy Blunt and 7 for John Shadegg. In another era these business and lobbyist connection would be a plus for Boehner, but post-Abramoff the climate has shifted. Political scientist Russ Baker says, “If [lobbying] reform is at the head of the agenda, the connections with K Street would seem to be something of a disadvantage.” The Christian Science Monitor reports that the race may boil down to the strength of support for reform in the GOP caucus. Boehner, despite his K Street ties, and Shadegg are seen as the reform candidates, while Roy Blunt symbolizes the status quo. Blunt may be at advantage because he has spread the money from his political action committee further then either opposing candidate, contributing more than $400,000 to other party members’ campaign coffers.