The Senate Office of Public Records database shows that one of the outside lobbying firms employed by Countrywide is Eris Group, formerly known as Bartlett, Bendall & Kadesh, LLC. Among the firm’s lobbyists, (and they’re currently lobbying on subprime mortgage bailout legislation) is Jennifer Bendall. The firm’s Web site tells us that…
Bendall’s Washington career began with the Wexler Group, a Washington, DC lobbying firm. During her time there, she took a leave of absence to return to her home state of Alabama, in order to work on the successful U.S. Senate campaign of then-Representative Richard Shelby. Bendall later served for several years on Senator Shelby’s staff as a key policy advisor.
Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., is a co-sponsor of Dodd-Shelby, which has been derided by conservative commentators as the Dodd-Shelby Countrywide Financial Bailout Act of 2008. Full disclosure: I haven’t read the bill closely enough to form an opinion one way or the other about it; here’s the glowing description of it from the Senate Banking Committee.
Also worth noting that Blank & Rome LLP, whose PAC, employees and their family members are top donors to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., lobbied Countrywide Financial until they filed a termination report on Aug. 7, 2007.
Washington is a very small world.