Lobby, fundraise, lobby

Lobbyists have held dual roles as treasurers to at least 868 political action committees since 1998 even as they have made millions of dollars trying to influence Congress, the Center for Public Integrity reported yesterday.

The study detailed relationships a number of lobbyists have with PACs set up by both lawmakers and corporations to raise money for campaigns.

The PACs doled out $525 million in campaign contributions over the past six years.

The study also found that 78 members of Congress — including 39 sitting members — have appointed lobbyists as treasurers of their campaign committees or leadership PACs.

For example, Harold Ickes, a partner at Ickes & Enright Group, is the treasurer of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (D-N.Y.) campaign committee. Ickes has represented Equitas and Verizon.

Lobbyist Timothy McKeever is the treasurer of Alaska Republican Sen. Ted Stevens’s campaign committee, the Center for Public Integrity reported. McKeever told the group that he does not believe he was hired as a lobbyist because of his work for Stevens.

Several lobbyists work for more than one PAC. William Oldaker, a former general counsel to the Federal Election Commission, is the treasurer for 23 PACs, including the leadership PACs of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and Sens. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.).

Republican fundraiser and lobbyist Mark Valente has run 15 PACs since 1998 while he represented clients such as the North American Coal Corp. and glass manufacturer Pilkington North America, according to the report.

Jim Snyder