People are policy: GOP Whip lets lobbyist choose his staff

pigs in strawAfter the untimely demise of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, deputy whip, Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise was elevated to majority whip– the guy responsible for moving the GOP’s legislative agenda forward. Now we have an inkling of what we have to look forward to next session. Via Politico:

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise got some help interviewing potential new hires for his press shop from an unlikely source: a federal lobbyist.

Quinn Gillespie & Associates’ John Feehery sat in on and participated in multiple official interviews with job candidates last month for the new majority whip’s press operation. Scalise has not yet announced who he will name as his communications director.

Sometimes lawmakers rely on lobbyists for strategic advice. But inviting a lobbyist into an interview is highly unusual. Several ethics lawyers and current and former leadership aides said they have never heard of a similar arrangement.

John Feehrey isn’t just any lobbyist. He belongs to the crony capitalism wing of the GOP.

On the McDaniel-Cochran senate race:

Because, you know, good government means porkers feeding at the trough.

In 2009, he supported Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey for Senate… about the time Specter was changing parties.

This is gut-check time for the Republican Party. They can be serious about taking back the Congress, or they can look good losing. Pat Toomey may be ideologically pure, but he can’t win in Pennsylvania.

He boasts of having worked for Tom DeLay but joyfully took to the pages of the Washington Post to trash his former boss and crying crocodile tears in the process:

Yet, watching him announce his resignation last week brought me great sadness — sadness that a politician so gifted could take such a fall.

Feehrey on CPAC:

“But what do they mean when they applaud?” Matthews asked Feehery. “Well, what does it mean?”

“It’s a great speech,” Feehery explained.

“So in other words, the full mooners are being played to here,” Matthews said.

“Of course they are,” said the Republican analyst.

That earned Feehery a pat on the back from Matthews:

“Here’s a guy, Feehery, who’s a smart guy, admitting that this red meat is just BS. It’s just, Let’s get rid of the government. Let’s get rid of the IRS. Let’s get rid of the Federal Reserve. Let’s get rid of any regulation on Wall Street and just go back to what — the rich get a lot richer and everybody else goes where? I don`t know — that sells, though. It’s like every time you say, More capital punishment, this crowd applauds. Fry ’em — they applaud!

Feehrey on why big business is better that conservatives:

Defeating crony capitalism has become the battle cry of libertarian conservatives.

The Export-Import Bank has become the latest in a long line of targets that include highway funding, terrorism risk insurance and “too big to fail” banks.

Big Business wants  immigration reform and higher academic standards for elementary and secondary schools–policy priorities that drive the hard right into conniptions.

What would happen if Big Business decided to change sides? What would happen if the Chamber of Commerce suddenly stopped being a huge fundraising machine for the Republican Party and started financing pro-business Democrats?

And Tea Party folks are not conservatives, conservatives are like David Brooks.

These tidbits are only the tip of the iceberg. Google his name.

People are policy. You can’t carry out a conservative agenda, an agenda opposed to crony capitalism and in favor of basic economic fairness, if you allow a caricature of a Washington lobbyist who viscerally disdains everything from cutting goverment waste to homeschooling pick your staff because he’s going to pick guys just like himself.

That Steve Scalise would not wait to crawl and ingratiate himself to the K Street robber barons shows he learned absolutely nothing from either 2010 or from Eric Cantor’s loss. That he does not appreciate the appearance of corruption and misconduct this unconscionable decision conjures up from even the most jaded observer does not bode well for Scalise’s career.