Former Democratic Congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Paul Hodes insists now to John DiStaso of the New Hampshire Union Leader that he is not a lobbyist but rather just a “consultant.” This comes after he described the work of his new business venture, which sounds very much like a lobbying shop, to the Concord Monitor and even said he is researching whether or not he needs to register as a lobbyist to do the work.
Okay, fine. Hodes is correct that “there’s a lot of important work to do that doesn’t need to meet the test of lobbying.”
But then Hodes proceeded to describe to DiStaso in greater detail the nature of his new venture’s work.
“If you’re a renewable energy firm, there are many, many different places in the federal government to look for help and we want to be able to provide help about where to go to find those grants,” he told DiStaso.
We are going to give Hodes the benefit of the doubt that he will not pursue any earmarks for his clients. We will take Hodes at his word when he swore off earmarking as a U.S. Senate candidate (down in the polls mind you) and when he sponsored a bill (during his hapless Senate campaign and after four years of requesting earmarks) to ban the procurement of earmarks for contributors to a Member’s campaign.
“The earmark system is broken, and too often it has been abused by special interests in Washington. We can’t afford a single extra dollar going for spending that is too often ethically tainted and fiscally irresponsible,” Hodes said just last summer.
We trust that Hodes is not a lobbyist pursuing federal earmarks for private companies. We trust that Hodes is just a “consultant” helping private companies find “grant money.
Yup. We sure do.