President Obama was going to stop the revolving door, candidate Obama promised. He never did. He never came even close. Today, via the Wall Street Journal, we get a doozy:
New Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell is bringing in Leslie Dach, a former colleague who until recently was the executive vice president of corporate affairs for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., to act as her senior counselor at the agency.
Walmart, you may recall, supported key elements of Obamacare, including the requirement that employers insure their employees.
Dach's arrival at Walmart heralded Walmart's true entry into Washington lobbying.
In the four years before Dach's hire, Walmart averaged less than $2 million a year in lobbying. By 2008, Walmart's annual lobbying tab was above $6 million.
In the weeks after Dach started, look whom Walmart hired as lobbyists: Democratic superlobbyist Tony Podesta (brother of Obama and Clinton confidant John Podesta); K Street powerhouse Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti (which would later play a central role in crafting Obamacare); and Angus & Nickerson (later the Washington Tax Group).
Before Walmart, Dach was a top Democratic operative. Sometimes when companies hire politicos, the politicos tell them to get more involved in politics.