Friday, June 22, 2007

Takes Money to Make Money

I hadn't noticed this piece from earlier this month, but Oshkosh Truck has hired a new DC lobbyist, Will Stone, who used to be David Obey's chief of staff. That's a pretty good connection to have given that Obey is the chairmen of the committee that essentially writes the checks for the federal budget.

Truck runs a textbook lobbying operation. Their assistant VP for government relations in Truck's Washington office is Jay Kimmitt, brother to General Mark Kimmitt and Robert Kimmitt, the deputy Treasury Secretary whose name was floated around as a possible successor to Paul Wolfowitz as head of the World Bank. A few years ago Truck signed on to Joe Allbaugh's lobbying shop almost as soon as the former campaign director for President Bush's 2000 election left his gig at FEMA to get into the influence business.

Lobbying is a four-letter word in most circles, but there really isn't much of a market in the private sector for the kind of goods Truck is peddling and in the last few years they've been very aggressive about making their case in Washington. Last year Truck dropped $660,000 into their lobbying effort, considerably more than they did a decade ago and also more than any other trucking industry firm -- and if Truck's stock value has anything to say about it, they're getting their money's worth from it.
(Stock chart from

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