Bad sign? Pick to head USDOJ's Legal Policy a lobbyist for Chamber's Institute for Legal Reform?
If I've learned anything in a decade, it's that hundreds of millions of dollars spent by the single biggest lobbying entity --the US Chamber of Commerce-- over the same time, has an effect on the regulation and law under which the rest of us have to live.
The Chamber's Institute for Legal Reform was born against the backdrop of a Republican revolution that had been purchased by industry and their lobbying activities have especially favored those interests most averse to the tide of litigation that had begun to accomplish the objective of holding big business responsible for the civil damages left on the path of profitability.
The Chamber of Commerce ILR was delivered by C-section in time to take up the fight against US Government plans to sue Big Tobacco for recovery of medical costs after the Multi-State Agreement with most state Attorneys General left the Federal government recovering nothing at the end of 1998.
So when I heard that President Obama is likely to nominate Mark Gitenstein for the top post of the Office of Legal Policy in a Department of Justice only beginning to think about depoliticizing itself, my reflexes were jerky, to say the least.
Check out "Is Obama’s Office of Legal Policy Pick a TortDeformer?" after reading this note.
First consider that many of the same front groups which joined the Chamber ILR legal reform 'coalition' were involved in the organization's turn to full-blown rightwing partisanship and responsible for putting George W Bush into office, then keeping him there.
I don't know enough of Mark Gitenstein's record to know whether the rest of his experience outweighs nearly a decade of Chamber efforts to tilt US law and regulation towards its big-money 'civil justice reforming' backers and, so often, against the interests of average you's and me's.
But it might be wise to remember that the Chamber was behind the illegal financing of campaign ads (since 2000) that tried to unseat the last Democratic Supreme Court Justice in Ohio. The nationwide version of that agenda has been Karl Rove's objective since the early 90s as part of a larger election strategy.
The litigation by Ohio Attorneys Arnebeck,Fitrakis and Eckert took on new life, last year, as they sought Mike Connell's testimony to allegations that Rove and the Chamber were involved in an ongoing pattern of corrupt activities to defraud elections.
So, just a thought to consider as one implication of a lobbyist for the Chamber's Institute for Legal Reform guiding legal policy at DOJ. And more reading about Connell is found here.
Help me out with more of Gitenstein's record while you're at it.