Hilary Rosen, the Democratic National Committee consultant who told CNN last week that Ann Romney had “never worked a day in her life,” has used her power with the White House to swing special lobbying privileges for her friends – all without meeting reporting requirements. One senior Democrat told Ben White at Politico:
Serious Dem operatives are aghast at Hilary Rosen’s misguided attack on Ann Romney’s work history. She and others at PR firm SKD Knickerbocker have represented many clients that have raised hackles with senior White House staff. It’s an open secret in the Dem consultant community that SKD has been signing up clients based on ‘perceived White House access’ tied to prior relationships and employment.
In other words, SKDKnickerbocker has been using its “ins” at the White House to sign up its biggest clients. As The Nation reports, Kaplan Education hired SKDKnickerbocker to help block Obama’s anti-college companies legislation; Win America, a lobbying campaign, has used SKDKnickerbocker to push for big tax breaks; food manufacturers paid SKDKnickerbocker to battle food regulations. The list goes on and on. Anita Dunn, Hilary Rosen’s partner over at SKDKnickerbocker, even used her access to the White House to sign up big businesses for anti-Buffett Rule lobbying while working as a “paid media” adviser for another PR firm.
The Nation is fighting mad: SKDK, they allege, is “peddling [client] interests in multiple meetings with White House officials, all without registering any of her employees as lobbyists.”
But this is how it works at the Obama White House. They’re all about access, so long as they get cash – and toss business to their allies.