D.C. lobbyists doubling as lawyers for local politicians
The District is having trouble telling the difference between lawyers and lobbyists these days, as D.C. officials have been using registered lobbyists to represent them in legal matters.
The Post's Mike DeBonis points to two lobbyists — David Wilmot and Frederick Cooke Jr. — who have hired local politicians. Wilmot, who represented Councilwoman Yvette Alexander in a probe of her constituent services fund, has lobbied for Comcast and Walmart, among others. (Alexander calls Wilmot a "family friend.") Cooke has represented Kwame Brown, Harry Thomas Jr., and Mayor Vince Gray.
The lobbyists say that there's no quid-pro-quo here, and the politicians say it's hard to find a lawyer you're not somehow connected to. That may be true, but as DeBonis writes, "[Y]ou don’t have to be an ethics maven to see the potential for at least the appearance of malfeasance in allowing lobbyists to render services to the politicians they lobby."
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