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Washington Insider Roy Blunt Hires Lobbyist To Manage His Campaign

Lobbyist, Who Is Also His Son, Once Got Major Special Favor In A Spending Bill

In a move that one Missouri outlet says will “highlight the senator’s links to lobbyists,” longtime Washington insider Roy Blunt has hired his lobbyist son to manage his campaign. Some in the Missouri GOP have already lamented Blunt’s too-close ties to lobbyists and his “Washington baggage.”

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.”

“Anyone wondering what Washington insider Roy Blunt is all about needs to look no further than his decision to hire a lobbyist as his campaign manager,” said Sadie Weiner, DSCC National Press Secretary. “During Roy Blunt’s long career in Washington, he’s developed a reputation for promoting lobbyists’ priorities over Missouri’s priorities, and sometimes those lobbyists are even members of his own family. Republicans in Missouri are concerned about Blunt’s Washington baggage, and now Blunt has turned to a lobbyist to help carry it.”

BACKGROUND:

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]

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