The corporate front group Fix The Debt (FTD) wants to enact the Bowles-Simpson plan to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits while also unfairly lowering corporate tax rates.
To do this, it has assembled state chapters to push for this radical agenda at the grassroots level. It has picked out special leaders for these chapters who identify as both Democrats and Republicans, as evidence that the group has bipartisan appeal.
But besides their bipartisanship, many of these co-chairs and steering committee members share another trait: they are corporate lobbyists. Here's three states where FTD picked leaders who also work as corporate lobbyists:
- Former Republican State Senator Rudy Boschwitz: Boschwitz is the head of the Boschwitz Associates lobbying firm, where he has worked for both Ball Aerospace & Technologies and TCF Bank. He is a state co-chair of FTD.
- Former Democratic Congressman Tim Penny: Penny is the honorary chairman of the Dollar Coin Alliance, which is composed of mining companies trying to replace the U.S. dollar with a dollar coin. He is also on the board of Wells Fargo Advantage. He is a state co-chair of FTD.
- Former Democratic State Representative TJ Rooney: Rooney is the president of Tri State Strategies Pennsylvania and the co-chair of FTD Pennsylvania. He's a registered lobbyist.
- Former Republican State Senator Earl Baker: Baker is on the state steering committee, and he boasts on his consultancy website that he has the "experience and knowledge to successfully represent you as a consultant in government relations" (lobbying).
- Former Republican Senate Majority Leader Ken Sikkema: Sikkema, who is a state co-chair for FTD, is the "Senior Policy Fellow" at Public Sector Consultants. He also helped run the campaign to defeat the renewable energy proposition on the state's 2012 ballot.
- Kevin McKinney, Principal and Founder of McKinney and Associates: McKinney's "multi-client lobbying and consulting firm....specializes in telecommunications, health policy, auto no-fault insurance, grassroots advocacy, PAC development, and government procurement—grants and contracts." That means that McKinney, who is part of a group claiming to fight the debt, actually specializes in helping corporations extract government money.
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