Thursday, July 12, 2007

Hoyer's New Chief of Staff

Majority AP covered a little while ago the hiring of a former pharmaceutical lobbyist to run the shop of Nancy Pelosi's second-in-command:

In 1999, Lierman, then a lobbyist with Capitol Associates Inc., made a $25,000 low-interest loan to U.S. Representative James Moran, D-VA8., who he described as “a dear, close friend.”

“Five days later,” the Washington Post reported, “Moran signed on as one of more than 70 co-sponsors to a bill sought by a Lierman client, drugmaker Schering-Plough, which sought to extend the patent on its allergy product Claritin. Consumer groups were lobbying against the bill, saying it would be costly for consumers and would delay access to cheaper, generic drugs.”

The Post further reported, “Moran also sent a letter to moderate Democrats seeking their support for the bill.”
Today the Politico has a warm piece on Lierman, in which they touch lightly upon the incident:
Lierman came tantalizingly close to being elected to Congress himself, losing by just 5 percentage points to longtime Republican Rep. Connie Morella in 2000 in Maryland's 8th Congressional District.

Surging in the polls, Lierman was closing in fast until a newspaper reported that Lierman had given his longtime friend Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) a $25,000 loan days before Moran signed on to a bill extending a patent on a drug for which Lierman was a lobbyist.

Although the loan was later cleared by the House Ethics Committee and the Justice Department, the incident cost Lierman in the midst of a tight race.

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