The ubiquitous John Feehery and his UniParty swamp:
1/17/14, "John Feehery – Under the Glare," Jen Kuznicki
"Last Friday, as I posted an article criticizing Bradley Dayspring, communications director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, I was immediately responded to by a man named John Feehery.
Remembering the name, I searched for what I had written about him a year earlier, that highlighted his advice to John Boehner titled, “Time to Purge.”
Feehery is a lobbyist and President of Quinn Gillespie Associates Public Affairs. Quinn is Jack Quinn, former White House Counsel to President Bill Clinton, and former chief of staff to Vice President Al Gore, and Gillespie is Ed Gillespie, former RNC Chairman, who left the firm in 2007 to join the Bush administration. Gillespie is now running for Senate in Virginia, attempting to oust Democrat Senator Mark Warner. Feehery was hired in 2010 by the firm, has his own group, the Feehery Group, his own blog, The Feehery Theory, is a regular blogger for The Hill newspaper, contributes to Politico and other news sites, and is the go to Republican when MSNBC comes calling. Feehery is quoted numerous times in hundreds of articles, and has referred to himself as a “Republican Strategist.”
He regularly trashes conservatives, calls them the “far right,” describes the tea party as crazies, and, what got my attention; offers advice to the Republican Party on how to deal with its insurgent conservative problem.
There have been rumors that Feehery is leaving Quinn Gillespie, he denies them, but the firm’s revenue has been sinking, quickly. His “expertise” is communications, and from my reading of his situation, he seems to be using his position to become the go-to pundit for the Republican Party, as a sort of Karl Rove wannabe, with numerous hats and so on.
Lobbyists like Feehery are identifying as strategists probably because the latest trends threaten his pocketbook, as this report suggests:
More than two-thirds of the top 100 lobbying organizations from 2012 spent less on their lobbying efforts during the third quarter of 2013 than they did a year ago, according to the Center for Public Integrity (CFPI), which looked at congressional disclosure reports and Center for Responsive Politics data.As I mentioned, Feehery regularly writes at The Hill, where he made two key arguments in favor of “comprehensive immigration reform,” here and here.
“Such developments are indicative of a lobbying industry in decline after more than a decade of unbridled growth,” Dave Levinthal, a senior reporter at the CFPI, wrote in a recent article. “Reasons for the slide are numerous, from a gridlocked Congress that rarely passes marquee legislation, to corporate investment in other forms of political influence, such as advertising campaigns and donating to politically active nonprofit groups.”
But what Feehery did not disclose to the readers is that he is paid as a lobbyist for CAMBIO (Campaign for Accountable, Moral and Balanced Immigration Overhaul) who represent many groups, all in the La Raza family of activism for citizenship, (amnesty.)
In his arguments, Feehery repeats the “autopsy report’s” findings on immigration reform. That we need immigration done, and we’ll fix the voting problem only after that, but that’s not why we are doing it.
After the Bush immigration fail, establishment Republicans are certain that losing 60% of the Hispanic vote is a key reason it must be passed. But, look at who else is working for CAMBIO.
“Voting against this bill is a political disaster for the Republican Party,” said Jim Manley, a Democratic strategist working with the Campaign for an Accountable, Moral and Balanced Immigration Overhaul. “They need to be reminded there are sound policy reasons to vote for it but also significant political reasons as well.”Yes, significant political reasons for Democrat strategists, and Feehery’s giving the same advice.
But writing about selling and passing amnesty in The Hill while being paid to advocate for it takes a certain type of tone.
What Feehery says on his blog is much different.
Just take one quick look at his blog under the tag “immigration,” and you’ll see Feehery slap around Ted Cruz.
“If this thing dies, it won’t be because of them. It will because of Ted Cruz and the hard right of the Republican Party.Ted Cruz is racist and hates Hispanics? Feehery’s theory is based on racism? He blames the conservative base who made it clear that meaningful border enforcement comes first-then we’ll talk, and turns it into what the Democrats say about Republicans.
The hard right has some explaining to do.
Why exactly don’t they want to fix a broken immigration system?
Do they not want reform because they don’t like Hispanics? Do they not want reform because they want to continue to exploit modern day “slave” labor? Do they not want reform because they fear people who aren’t exactly like them? Do they not want reform because they are basically racist or because they think that giving Hispanics voting rights will make it harder for them to get elected in the future?”
Now, Feehery I suppose, has the right to give his opinion in The Hill as a paid lobbyist, but he does not disclose any of this there. There are other instances in which he promoted the Knights of Columbus, while being the organization’s sole lobbyist.
Feehery also lobbies for the AARP.
AARP was one of the biggest, if not the biggest proponents of the ACA or Obamacare. It threw millions, collected from the elderly, at selling the law to the elderly, using the same lies Obama used. So that means Feehery profits from senior citizen membership fees to the AARP.
In 2013, The Chamber of Commerce paid Quinn Gillespie $150,000. With its recent promise to spend $50 million dollars trying to defeat challengers to establishment Republican incumbents, you’ll find no ideological disagreement in Feehery, the President of the firm.
But the Chamber is also heavily pushing for immigration reform, and Feehery gets money from them, as well as the ideological mates of LaRaza.
He has other clients, Public Television, Sony, AT&T, 5 Hour Energy, lots of different clients. Most though, have given less to his firm in 2013 than in previous years.
But, in looking at NextEra, another company that Feehery is a lobbyist for, I found something interesting.
NextEra is a renewable energy company based in Florida. They deal in wind and solar. In December of 2012, they completed the purchase of a wind farm in Kansas. The following March, John Feehery penned an opinion piece in the Wichita Eagle, pushing the Kansas legislature to scrap a bill that would delay the implementation of a State mandate on renewable energy mix. In the letter, Feehery mentions he used to work for Speaker Hastert, and at the bottom, describes himself as, “a Republican strategist and executive director of the Red State Renewable Alliance, based in Washington, D.C.”
Nowhere does he say that he is also the president of a lobbying firm, and that he personally is a lobbyist for NextEra, who owns at least one wind farm affected. In fact, in numerous articles about Red State Alliance, the fact that he is a lobbyist for a wind and solar renewables company, doesn’t come up.
As the blog post about Cruz and “the hard right” suggests, Feehery really, really, hates the tea party. Sprinkled through some of his Hill posts, he derides us regularly, but his blog really defines his stance. He hates Erick Erickson of Redstate, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, and others, and like all paid hacks, uses the memory of Ronald Reagan to add substance to his views.
Feehery calls Levin a bully and a jerk, and “A former Reagan Administration official, Levin is a dark, malevolent force on the radio. He called the Ryan Budget “Mickey Mouse”, and he has a new book that calls for the Constitution to be just about totally rewritten.” Like, just about totally rewritten?
He goes on to slam any group or individual who sees the Republican Party headed for complete ruin because of people like him. The Senate Conservatives Fund, Heritage, the Club for Growth, he calls Matt Kibbe of FreedomWorks a radical, snickers at the NRA and Right to Life organizations, and calls the Chamber of Commerce, “a venerable organization that has had enough of the tea party nonsense.” cha-ching.
But don’t for a second believe he is just doing his job, getting paid to be kind to some and ruthless to others, because if you do, you’d miss the real John Feehery.
Feehery started work in DC for the minority leader of a despondent House, Bob Michel. He then worked for Denny Hastert and then Tom Delay when the House finally won a majority and Gingrich was Speaker. In a piece in the Washington Post, Feehery tells about how he wasn’t interested in “revolutionary” ideas like Gingrich and Delay had, and actually left Delay because he didn’t want to see Clinton impeached.
However, I told Tom that if he were seen as the driving force behind the impeachment effort, it would fail. A partisan impeachment of the president would never win conviction in the Senate. Tom didn’t care. He told me he couldn’t face his foster children if he did not demonstrate that Clinton’s activity was morally wrong.Sound like a familiar line of thought? As in, defunding couldn’t pass the Senate, so what’s the use?
My stomach wasn’t in this effort.
Feehery didn’t care to be seen as a partisan, and his working in the “bipartisan” world of lobbying suits him better.
But at the same time, he is constantly giving advice to the Republican Party on how to handle conservatives, and makes sure everyone sees him as a strategist-the qualification for such being the fact that he said so.
Last year, when Boehner’s confirmation was voted on in the House, twelve Congressmen voted against him. That sent Feehery into a tirade, something I wrote about last year:
The vote against Boehner was really a vote against the Republican Party. It was a protest against Republican policies and against the Republican establishment.What makes that post more interesting now, is that the Chamber of Commerce, cha-ching, is actually going to do one better for Feehery. They are going to work against any insurgence in the primaries to the tune of $50 million dollars.
Boehner should invite the 12 who voted against him to leave the GOP. He should bar them from attending any Republican Conference meetings. He should strip them of all committee assignments. He should instruct the NRCC to view those seats to be held in the hands of non-Republicans, and find candidates to run for them. He should instruct Republican allies on the outside — business groups, corporate PACS, trade associations, the Chamber of Commerce — to cease to give these members any campaign contributions. The Speaker should instruct the Appropriations Committee to deny all spending requests made by any of these 12 members. These members shouldn’t be allowed to travel on any congressional delegation trips.
The 12 who voted against Boehner can start their own party. They can call themselves the Know-Nothings or the Tea Party or the Radical Republicans or whatever they want. What they can’t call themselves is Republican, because if Boehner handles this right, they won’t be part of the Republican Conference anymore.
Now, if that is Feehery’s reaction to a no-confidence vote of a Speaker he doesn’t work for, see if you can try to explain his hero-worship of Tom Coburn, considering what Coburn did to his boss, Denny Hastert.
In 1999, when Speaker Dennis Hastert decided the House should pass legislation that increased spending before it tackled bigger priorities, Coburn filed so many amendments to an agriculture bill that the gears of state creaked to a halt. When Coburn ran for Senate five years later, Hastert pronounced two weeks before Election Day that his opponent, Democrat Brad Carson, would “probably” win. Coburn beat him by 12 points.Coburn was one of the “revolutionaries” like Delay and Armey, who grew tired of Gingrich. Feehery admits he didn’t like him then.
When I worked in the House Republican leadership and Tom Coburn was a member of the House, I didn’t like his style of politics. He seemed unreasonable. He held up legislation. He made us work weekends. He led revolts against the leadership time and time again. He was inconvenient.Right. Just like the tea party Republicans.
Now that he is a member of the Senate and I am back in the private sector, paying taxes and worrying about the debt, my view of Coburn has changed. I love the guy.And we love our Cruz.
Did I mention that Feehery has been described as “dickish,” “snivelling, undeservedly holier than thou,” and “such a dick?”
If Feehery takes so seriously and so aggressively the snub of Boehner, when he is in the private sector, especially when previously describing that in the private sector he likes a man like Coburn, why is he so dead-set against the tea party, and why is he so eloquently towing the party-line?
And why does he always complain about how “aggressive” people like Delay and Coburn were in the House, and strikes out at tea party members, and conservatives in general with such aggressive vitriol?
People who understand that the nation is in dire straits don’t care that there is a John Feehery out there ready to trash them for not “going along to get along.”
But looking into what he does, why he does it, and who butters his bread, gives even more reason to throw a wrench in the cogs of the Republican establishment political machine. While at the same time, looking for a way to bypass DC completely, like Tom Coburn has endorsed and is described by Mark Levin in his book, The Liberty Amendments.
There’s a reason Feehery wants Levin to shut up.
My guess is the feeling’s mutual.
Feehery is from Chicago, by the way, and he’s always only worked for the House Leadership.
He is a regular on the nutcase Ed Schultz Show and the slack-jawed Chris Matthews’ Hardball on MSNBC.
In a couple of things he has written, he talks glowingly and admiringly about the Senate.
He also hates Ted Cruz.
According to OpenSecrets, Quinn Gillespie has been tanking since 2007, from a high of $18 million dollars in profit to a mere $3.75 million in ’13. 2007 is also the year Gillespie left for the Bush administration.
Gillespie is running for Senate in Virginia.
So, if I were a tea party patriot in Virginia, the first thing I’d ask Ed Gillespie, is if he would most likely vote with Ted Cruz on things, or if he would vote with someone like Lindsay Graham.
But that’s not why I mentioned the Senate.
It seems to me that Feehery is positioning himself for the ’16 elections, maybe taking a senior job in Leadership, since he figures he knows how to run things.
Which means, the mere existence of John Feehery beckons you to crush the establishment leadership by getting rid of McConnell and Boehner.
And if you have the time, find someone to challenge Gillespie if he answers the question wrong.
It’s people like John Feehery that blur the lines between Republican and Democrat. Remember Kansas? Feehery figures that as an “executive director” of his alliance, he can help get wind and solar to be accepted by those “backwards” conservatives out in the hinterlands, who usually vote Republican, but are skeptical about wind and solar. The fact that it’s a monstrous waste of money never seems to cross his mind.
And what about the crony capitalism? Why, that’s Johnny’s favorite playground.
One more thing. An article was written up about Quinn and Feehery joining the forum, Reddit.
They were asked a series of questions, one of which was, “How do you feel about the public’s disdain for lobbyists for attempting to influence policy in a way that the public itself may or may not agree with at large? There’s a ton of people that lobby solely for their interests, not the interests of the people at large, and it bothers me to see lobbyists pad the pockets of the politicians to get what will benefit only themselves.”
John Feehery answered: “I understand why the public dislikes the lobbying community, but I think it mostly stems from a misunderstanding about what a lobbyist does and who lobbyists are. I also think that lobbying our government is an essential part of the political process and is a protected right under the Constitution. I don’t think that politicians are under the sway of lobbyists. I think most politicians listen closely to what their constituents want because that is what gets them reelected.”
We’ll see. They are being told by people like Feehery and Dayspring that conservatives must be dealt with by a show of force, lied about and smeared and belittled. And if they come out here campaigning on John’s bunk about uniting behind the UniParty, they won’t get elected." via Mark Levin twitter