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Tag: lobbyist

An Ex-Lobbyist and the Virginia Gov’s Brother-in-Law are Among Candidates for U.S. Atty. in Va.

It’s an interesting mix of candidates for the U.S. Atty. post  in Virginia. The question is whether President Obama wants to deal with the possible backlash of appointing an ex-lobbyist or the Virginia governor’s brother-in-law.  The latter might look just a little too much like political cronyism even if he is well qualified.  Va. Gov. Tim Kane’s name surfaced during the campaign as a possible vice presidential candidate and was a big booster of Obama and helped Virginia turn into a blue state, the first time since Lyndon Johnson.

By Jerry Markon
Washington Post Staff Writer
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A former corporate lobbyist and the brother-in-law of Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine are among four candidates recommended by Virginia’s U.S. senators for U.S. attorney in Alexandria, one of the nation’s most prominent law-enforcement posts, officials said yesterday.

Ex-Lobbyist Neil MacBride

Ex-Lobbyist Neil MacBride

Neil MacBride, a former prosecutor and chief counsel to Vice President Biden who lobbied federal officials as recently as mid-2007, and Dwight C. Holton, a federal prosecutor in Oregon and the brother of Kaine’s wife, are on the list of names sent to the White House by Sens. James Webb (D) and Mark Warner (D). The list also includes Erik R. Barnett, a federal prosecutor in Alexandria who heads the narcotics unit, and Robert P. Crouch Jr., a former U.S. attorney in Roanoke.

The Alexandria job has grown increasingly visible in recent years as the U.S. attorney has handled high-profile terrorism and national security cases. Recommendations from home-state senators are traditionally key to the appointment.

For Full Story

Ex-Lobbyist Prime Candidate For Va. U.S. Atty

Neil MacBride/linkedin photo

Neil MacBride/ linkedin photo

President Obama rode into town on an anti-lobby crusade. Will he now appoint a lobbyist for the U.S. Attorney job in Virginia and risk creating controversy?  Then again, the guy is currently employed by the  Justice Department. So how big of a risk is it?

By Jerry Markon and Meg Smith
Washington Post Staff Writers
ALEXANDRIA, Va — A former corporate lobbyist has emerged as a top candidate for U.S. attorney in Alexandria, raising questions about how his appointment would square with the Obama administration’s efforts to change the culture of Washington, according to legal and political sources.

Neil MacBride, 43, lobbied federal officials as recently as mid-2007 on behalf of the Business Software Alliance, which represents Microsoft, IBM and a host of other leading computer companies, U.S. Senate records show. MacBride, a former chief counsel to Vice President Biden, was appointed in January as an associate deputy attorney general.

Justice Department officials and former colleagues described MacBride, who spent four years as a prosecutor, as savvy and highly ethical and said lobbying was a small part of his career. But MacBride would probably have to recuse himself from some cases involving former clients, because the Alexandria prosecutor’s office is one of the nation’s most aggressive in targeting copyright enforcement and cyber security — areas in which he lobbied.

The $149,000-a-year job is among the nation’s most prominent law enforcement posts and has grown increasingly visible in recent years as the U.S. attorney has handled high-profile terrorism and national security cases.

For Full Story

UPDATE: Fed Prosecutors Looking Into Possibilty Lobbyist Gave Bogus Campaign Contributions To Rep. John Murtha

Rep. Murtha shakes hands with Pres. Bush
Rep. Murtha shakes hands with Pres. Bush

Rep. Murtha has long had the reputation as a wheeler-dealer on Capitol Hill, and he’s come under attack by some public interest groups. So it’s no surprise something like this would surface.

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
New York Times
WASHINGTON – Federal prosecutors are looking into the possibility that a prominent lobbyist may have funneled bogus campaign contributions to his mentor, Representative John P. Murtha, as well as other lawmakers, two people familiar with the investigator’s questions said Tuesday.
Employees of the PMA Group, the firm founded by the lobbyist, Paul Magliocchetti, have given a total of more than $1 million to political campaigns over the last three election cycles, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.
In the first half of 2007, the PMA Group and its clients contributed more than $500,000 to three congressmen, Mr. Murtha, the Pennsylvania Democrat who is chairman of the House defense appropriations subcommittee, and his close allies on the panel, Representative James P. Moran of Virginia and Representative Peter J. Visclosky of Indiana.

For Full Story