Glenn Ivey’s Law Firm Fighting President Obama’s New Lobbying Rules

Glenn Ivey is currently a partner at Venable, a corporate lobbying/law firm. Above, a screenshot from the website.

Glenn Ivey is currently a partner at Venable, a corporate lobbying/law firm. Above, a screenshot from the website.

Lobbyists rule DC, and one of the ways they do it is by offering an array of free food, vacations, and travel through invitations to convention and trade association meetings. At ThinkProgess, I wrote about this dynamic a few times. Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC), for instance, traveled to a resort in Florida to attend a trade association hosted by the loan shark lobby (Payday lenders are organized via something called the Community Financial Services Association). Not too long after he got back to DC, he started an inquisition against Elizabeth Warren, when the consumer advocate was still in the running to head the CFPB. The loan sharks showered McHenry with campaign donations and a free vacation, and he went to work attacking their would-be regulator.

Well, President Obama has at least made an attempt to crack down on this sort of influence peddling. He can’t do much about McHenry’s attendance to these sorts of things (Congressmen use a loophole allowing them to reimburse trade associations using campaign funds). But Obama did propose a new rule banning federal employees from attending such lobbyist-hosted conferences for free.

As the The Hill’s Kevin Bogardus reports today, a number of lobbies are fighting the new rules. I took a look at the list of lobbyists submitting comments begging the administration to change its mind. Venable, the law/lobbying firm that employs Glenn Ivey, has a letter fighting Obama’s proposed gift rules.

In the letter, Ivey’s colleagues, Ron Jacobs and Ed Wilson, claim that trade association events — the ones that often feature free getaways to the Bahamas, rounds of golf, and fancy resorts — “facilitate meetings between subject matter experts and federal officials to discuss policy and share perspectives, as well as to educate their members.” The Venable attorneys swipe Obama’s rules as “arbitrary and capricious.”

View a copy below:

1 Comment

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One response to “Glenn Ivey’s Law Firm Fighting President Obama’s New Lobbying Rules

  1. BT

    Hey man,

    Just so you know, “arbitrary and capricious” is a term of art. Under the Administrative Procedures Act, a regulation can be challenged as “arbitrary and capricious.” Interesting to know that Venable is being employed to challenge this particular reg.

    Pc.

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