Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri is taking heat from Democrats for hiring his lobbyist son to run his 2016 re-election campaign, according to this report.
“Senator Blunt kicked off his 2016 campaign by living up to his Washington insider reputation and hiring a lobbyist to run his campaign,” said Chris Hayden, a spokesman for the Missouri Democratic Party, in a statement on Wednesday.
As the item also points out, the charge isn’t completely new. However, given the career path of his son, among other family members, and other past headlines, it could gain some traction this time around.
Since his dad, Roy Blunt, has been running for elected office, Andy Blunt has been at his side. He was there through the Congressional campaigns in the 90’s, his brother, Matt Blunt’s, campaign for governor in 2004, and most recently, his father’s successful campaign for U.S. Senate in 2010.
The DSCC press release pushing the matter contains some eyebrow-raising details.
In 2003, Blunt got in hot water when he inserted special language into a war funding bill without debate that would benefit UPS, one of his son’s main clients. The St. Louis Post Dispatch editorialized at the time that the episode “carries the unpleasant aroma of peddled influence.”
If a capable opponent emerges and finds a way to elevate these details from the Democrat’s backgrounder back into today’s news… Blunt could end up with a serious challenge on his hands. If nothing else, it also shows they intend to give him a run for his and his friends’ and family’s Beltway-driven money machine this go round.
2003: Blunt Attempted To Pass Provision Without Debate That Benefitted UPS, A Major Blunt Donor and Lobbying Client Of Son Andrew Blunt. In April 2003, House Majority Whip Roy Blunt persuaded Sen. Ted Stevens to insert a provision without debate into the Senate Iraq supplemental funding bill that would benefit United Parcel Service Inc., donor to Rep. Blunt’s campaigns and lobbying client of Blunt’s son, Andrew Blunt. The proposed language effectively barred German-owned cargo carrier DHL Worldwide Express from Pentagon contracts in postwar Iraq, benefitting rival companies United Parcel Inc. and FedEx Corp. Rep. Blunt was widely criticized for secretly pushing what the Washington Post described as “special-interest riders with no connection to the war or the fight on terrorism,” and for his personal connections to the profiting companies. As reported by CQ Today, “Blunt’s son Andrew is a UPS consultant, and FedEx and UPS have major presences in Missouri.” At the time, FedEx Corp. had donated $9,000 to Rep. Blunt’s campaigns and UPS had donated $15,000 to Rep. Blunt and his affiliated PACs. [Washington Post, 4/8/03; CQ Today, 4/8/03; AP, 3/10/03; Center For Responsive Politics, Accessed 4/20/09]
Blunt’s Son Lobbied For UPS From 2002 To March 2009. Rep. Roy Blunt’s son Andrew Blunt lobbied the Missouri General Assembly, Executive Branch, and Judicial Branch for United Parcel Services, Inc. from September 2002 until March 2009. Andrew Blunt registered UPS as an active client September 30, 2002. UPS terminated its contract with Andrew Blunt effective March 2, 2009. [Missouri Ethics Commission, Lobbying Disclosure Database, Accessed 4/20/09]
Editorial: Blunt’s Behind-The-Scenes Promotion Of UPS Provision “Carries The Unpleasant Aroma of Peddled Influence.” In 2003, the St. Louis Post Dispatch editorial board wrote: Andrew Blunt would seem an unlikely choice to be a legislative lobbyist for a $30 billion Atlanta-based worldwide express corporation. After all, he is only 27 years old, fresh out of the University of Missouri School of Law, and a newly-minted partner in a new law firm in distant Jefferson City, Mo. But according to The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Blunt had a special attraction for United Parcel Service, Inc., when UPS decided to hire him as a lobbyist. Mr. Blunt’s father is the third-ranking Republican in the United States House of Representatives, where — by the sheerest of coincidences — UPS had a key piece of legislation pending. What can Brown do for you? It can give your kid a job. And what can you do for Brown? If you’re Majority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Stafford, you can quietly urge Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, to secretly amend the $79 billion emergency appropriation for the war in Iraq in a way that benefits U.S. shippers like UPS and FedEx Corp. …This affair also carries the unpleasant aroma of peddled influence. Andy Blunt is a bright young man who ran big brother Matt’s successful race for Missouri Secretary of State in 2000. He might well run Matt Blunt’s race for governor next year. He can look forward to a long and successful career in business and politics. He shouldn’t need — or accept — freebies from Dad’s friends. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Editorial, 4/9/03]