House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) fired back Saturday evening to a New York Times report that claimed he was "tightly bound to lobbyists."
Boehner's office released a statement charging that the story "ignores basic facts, contains numerous factual inaccuracies and distortions" and didn't include quotes "which would have provided some much-needed perspective" that the Times added to the story after it first appeared on the web and after being contacted by the leader's staff.
"He maintains especially tight ties with a circle of lobbyists and former aides representing some of the nation’s biggest businesses, including Goldman Sachs, Google, Citigroup, R. J. Reynolds, MillerCoors and UPS," the story says of the man who would most likely be speaker if the Democrats lose control of the House this November. "They have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to his campaigns, provided him with rides on their corporate jets, socialized with him at luxury golf resorts and waterfront bashes and are now leading fund-raising efforts for his Boehner for Speaker campaign, which is soliciting checks of up to $37,800 each, the maximum allowed.
"...If elected as his party’s leader in the House, Mr. Boehner will certainly lean on his industry allies for help as he builds coalitions necessary to push legislation through Congress, his office acknowledges," the story continues.
The Boehner release said that implications of inappropriate connections to lobbyists is "untrue."
"Just as Speaker Pelosi consults with and rallies environmental, labor, and other allies to pass her 'cap-and-trade' national energy tax, for example, Boehner works with allies who share his belief in smaller government and the free enterprise system – which are deeply rooted in his background as a small businessman," his office said.
The statement said that Boehner's long-standing views on issues weren't taken into consideration when considering whether he would be under the influence of lobbyists.
Boehner's office pointed out ties and meetings between the White House and lobbyists on cap-and-trade, healthcare, the stimulus package and other measures.
"We all know why Democrats are attacking Boehner," the release continued. "They are scared, panicked, and desperate at the mere thought they could lose their majority in the House."