House Minority Leader John Boehner has close ties to powerful lobbyists representing some of America's biggest businesses, including Goldman Sachs, Google, Citigroup, and R.J. Reynolds, according to The New York Times. And the lobbyists, who have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Boehner's campaigns, often ask for, and frequently get, Boehner's help advancing their agenda in Washington, the Times reports. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whom Boehner hopes to replace if the GOP takes the House in November, has criticized Boehner for being too close to corporate interests. Will Boehner's business ties hurt him and the GOP in the upcoming elections? (Watch the DNC's anti-Boehner ad)
The Times did a hit job for the Democrats: "Sure, Boehner is too close to lobbyists," says Timothy P. Carney at the San Francisco Examiner, but so is everybody else on Capitol Hill. In fact, Democratic Speaker "Nancy Pelosi has raised almost twice as much money from lobbyists this election as Boehner has." The lack of context just proves the Times was doing a partisan "hit job."
"Pelosi has pocketed nearly twice as much lobbyist cash as Boehner"
Boehner's corporate ties are already hurting him: John Boehner is "corporate America's man in Washington," says Joy Reid in The Reid Report, and he knows that makes him vulnerable in a year when voters are angry about the economy. As soon as the Times pointed out his cozy relationship with lobbyists, Boehner "blinked" on the issue of extending the Bush tax cuts for the rich. Thanks to Boehner's ties to Big Business, it looks like the Democrats may win this "game of chicken," after all.
"Under fire for corporate ties, Boehner blinks on tax cuts for the rich"
He's still better off than Pelosi: "If Democrats hope to make Boehner a visible symbol of what they say is wrong with the Republicans," say the editors of Politics Daily, they'll have to keep working on it. Apparently, the GOP has done a better job making Pelosi out to be the bad guy. A CNN/Opinion Research poll this week found that 51 percent of Americans viewed Pelosi unfavorably, while only 45 percent felt that way about Boehner.
"Democrats hoping to play up John Boehner's lobbying ties in midterm battle"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Dick Cheney's America is an ugly place
- How to make the ultimate grilled cheese
- The Hobbit: A disappointing set of movies, but a worthy set of prequels
- America is building a Sunni army in Iraq to take on the Islamic State
- The age of miracles is over — even for the religious
- The liberation of Barack Obama
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
Subscribe to the Week