It turns out (surprise!) that the big corporate lobbying firms are getting really concerned about what the possibility of Bernie Sanders becoming president might mean for their clients.
Federal government lobbyists told The Hill Friday that they are increasingly concerned that a Bernie Sanders presidency could be “uncharted waters” for their clients given the Vermont senator’s history of antipathy toward big business and the role of corporate power in U.S. politics.
“In our lifetime we have not had a [presidential candidate] so openly hostile towards corporations,” said lobbyist Kevin O’Neill, a partner with D.C. firm Arnold & Porter.
“That’s the whole crux of his message,” Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck lobbyist Al Mottur told The Hill. “Washington is rigged and it’s rigged in part from the wealthy and the powerful. You would expect businesses to have concerns with him.”
The senator also plans to change how K Street, Washington shorthand for the city’s massive federal lobbying infrastructure, does business.
According to The Hill:
Sanders has vowed to shake up how the influence world does business, with proposals to ban donations from federal lobbyists and corporations and to prohibit the corporate funding of party conventions.
Lobbyists panned those ideas, but they could gain new momentum with Sanders as the Democratic party’s standard bearer in 2020.
In a memo (pdf) to clients on Sanders’ rise in the polls, lobbying firm Monument Advocacy warns that the senator’s fundraising model, volunteer army, and popular national surrogates were a potent weapon against corporate interests.
“Senator Sanders is breaking the mold in presidential politics with every gain he makes in the primary process,” the memo explains. “And, like another unconventional candidate who today sits in the Oval Office, you can throw out the typical playbook for what American businesses should expect over the coming months or more.”
So let’s tally up the score sheet. Sanders has alienated billionaires and the other members of the oligarchy, health insurance industries, pharmaceutical industries, tax-avoiding big corporations, the Israel lobby, neoconservatives, neoliberals, the Democratic [party establishment, and now the lobbyists. I am pretty sure that I have omitted some groups but so far it is shaping up to be an excellent list of exactly the kinds of people one should have as one’s political enemies.