Biden's Son a Partner in D.C. Lobbying Firm
By Mark Impomeni
Aug 24th 2008 9:45PM
The scrutiny of Sen. Joe Biden, Sen. Barack Obama's choice for the vice-presidential slot on the Democratic ticket, continues with a report today concerning Sen. Biden's son, R. Hunter Biden. Hunter Biden is a partner in the lobbying firm of Oldaker, Biden & Belair, a Washington, D.C., firm which lobbies on behalf of clients in Sen. Biden's native Delaware. One such client, the University of Delaware, has received almost $25 million in federal earmark dollars for defense research and other activities. The University has paid Hunter Biden's firm fees totaling $1.5 million for its work on behalf of the school.
A spokesman for the Obama campaign defended Sen. Biden and his son, saying that there is no conflict of interest in Sen. Biden having a son who runs a lobbying firm.
"Hunter Biden has never lobbied Sen. Biden's office or committees, period. He's never worked on a client issue where other members of the firm have lobbied the office. Hunter shares expenses not revenues with his partners, so there's no benefit to him when a partner lobbies. Sen. Biden has been as strong a supporter of ethics reform as the Senate has known, and his office follows all ethics laws right down to the letter."
There is no evidence of impropriety on the part of Sen. Biden or his son in connection to the lobbying firm. There are other members of Congress who have family members that work as prominent lobbyists. Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle's (D-SD) wife is a lobbyist for the airline industry, and current Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-NV) son and son-in-law are both lobbyists. Former Republican Congressman Curt Weldon's (R-PA) daughter was a lobbyist for foreign clients while her father was in office.
But the revelation that Sen. Obama's running mate has a family connection to a high-powered lobbying firm is potentially very embarrassing to the campaign. Obama has campaigned on his refusal to take money from lobbyists, and has criticized the McCain campaign for having former lobbyists on its staff. Now, Sen. Obama has chosen a running mate who has himself taken lobbyist money in the past, and who has members of his family who make a living with the type of political activity Obama denounces.
Click to view image: '226273-dems.jpg'
|Liveleak on Facebook|