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This Day in Lobbyists-Turned-Politicians

Well, two of our congressional candidates are getting a wee bit of blow back for their previous careers as shills…I mean hired guns…I mean necessary parts of our legislative process.

Jeff Flake’s previous career as a lobbyist is a not well hidden, but seldom mentioned, part of his past. It was left off of his bios, much like Mark Wahlberg’s years as Marky Mark are a blank spot on his resume.

Well, he’s all of a sudden discovered that claiming private sector experience is hip. He’s spent the last decade in congress, so he had to dig back a ways. Well, he now brags on his Facebook page about his time managing “public affairs” for a mining company in Namibia:

After returning to the United States, I formed Interface Public Affairs, which provided public affairs representation to Namibian companies and translation services to U.S. entities.

By the way, Flake is allowed to use his time as a lobbyist to respond to attacks from his primary opponent, but Democrats are forbidden from bringing it up. Those are the rules.

Anyone remember the phrase “Payday Paton”? It may be back.

For those of you who need a refresher, “Payday Paton” was the moniker foisted on Jonathan Paton by the Arizona Democratic Party in 2010 to remind voters of Paton’s time as a lobbyist for payday lenders. The industry was odious enough that even Frank Antenori took pot shots at them, and the phrase became so ubiquitous that Jesse Kelly used it a few times.

The Payday Paton website has been revived by the Arizona Democratic Party, and this time it comes with a Twitter account.

I’ve never seen the polling data, but I’ve always suspected that the attacks may have hurt Paton in the 2010 Republican primary. Given that his opposition is so split, I can’t see him losing this one. But it can’t help him much.

2 Comments

  1. AZW88 wrote:

    Flake may think that his lobbying biz gives him some sort of “business owner” street cred with Conservative Republicans, but I think that flies out the window with the revelation that is clients were foreign companies and his job was to give them a boost over American companies.

    Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Permalink
  2. Walt Stephenson wrote:

    I wonder if you could provide proof for that statement?

    Saturday, June 23, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Permalink