Obama’s Ties to the Podesta Brothers

Posted on July 1, 2010


John Podesta, chief executive officer of the liberal Center for American Progress, may be President Obama’s closest confidant outside of the administration — he ran the transition and has visited the White House at least 37 times according to visitor logs. Tony Podesta, John’s brother, is a corporate lobbyist and a leading fundraiser for Democrats.

On at least a handful of issues, John’s CAP has advocated the same solutions Tony has lobbied for. On some of those issues, CAP has partnered with the companies that hire Tony as a lobbyist. Given Obama’s anti-lobbyist rhetoric — and the gaping holes in his lobbyist policies that have been repeatedly exposed — it’s worth examining where the work of the president’s confidant, John, dovetails with the business of lobbyist and fundraiser, Tony.

In June 2009, Obama’s health care bill got a boost from a strange-bedfellows coalition: CAP and the Service Employees International Union teamed up with Wal-Mart to endorse a proposed requirement that employers provide health insurance for employees.

The groups co-signed a letter declaring, “We are for an employer mandate which is fair and broad in its coverage.” They also said, “we have worked closely in support of health care reform since 2006.”

This isn’t the only overlap of interests between the nonprofit CAP and the Podesta Group.

Tony has represented BP since 2006, recently lobbying for current climate legislation. BP was a prized ally for Sen. John Kerry, who is leading the charge in the Senate for a global warming bill.

According to the Wall Street Journal, John Podesta is nearly writing the president’s response to the BP spill. While Obama hasn’t coddled BP, he is using the spill to advance the climate legislation BP supports and for which Tony Podesta has been lobbying.

There are more green overlaps in the Podesta clan. In May 2009, CAP drafted a plan for a “Green Bank” — a permanent government institution to finance alternative energies, like the solar energy BP dabbles in. One aspect of CAP’s proposal: “The bank should work closely with private banks to provide loan guarantees, credit enhancement, and other financing tools.”

Read more www.washingtonexaminer.com/ By Timothy P. Carney


Podesta clan’s close ties to Obama pay off big

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