Thursday, February 02, 2006

Rep. Boehner Elected House Majority Leader

Boehner Shares Broad Network of Lobbyist Ties With Tom DeLay


Boehner, 56, who has been in Congress since 1991, has said he and DeLay have had conflicts in the past, and other lawmakers say they are not close. Even so, Boehner has strong connections to lobbyists: He met weekly with leading lobbyists to enlist their support and discuss strategy during his four years as House Republican Conference chairman, from 1995 to 1998.

Sallie Mae

The top donor to Boehner's leadership PAC in 2003-2004 was SLM Corp., the Reston, Virginia-based student-loan company better known as Sallie Mae. SLM contributed $65,170 to Boehner's Freedom Project, more than twice as much as the second-biggest donor, New York-based Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The money came as the House Education and Workforce Committee, which Boehner chairs, prepared to write new legislation governing student loans.

In 1995, Boehner handed out campaign checks from the tobacco industry to members on the House floor at a time when lawmakers were considering eliminating a tobacco subsidy.

Representative Chris Shays, a Connecticut Republican, said he believes that Boehner is even closer to lobbyists than Roy Blunt. ``The problem John faces is that he's so close to K Street; that's the challenge he's got,'' said Shays, who's backing Blunt.

Full story here.

(P.S. Nice form, Congressman. But you seemed to have whiffed. Need a mulligan?)