No Transparency: Why Won’t K-Street Kingpin Tommy Thompson Talk About The Millions He Made Selling His Political Influence To Special Interest Cronies in Washington D.C.?   

MADISON - As Tommy Thompson ponders entering the Wisconsin Senate race, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin is reminding Wisconsinites that you can’t spell Tommy without L-O-B-B-Y-I-S-T.  T’ stands for “transparency,” something that just doesn’t exist when it comes to Tommy.  Thompson made millions selling his political influence and scoring government contracts for his special interest cronies, but refuses to disclose any details about his lobbying work.

“Just six years out of office, Tommy Thompson has become a ‘made man’ in D.C.’s lobbying underworld,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Monday. “And just like the best mafia Don, Tommy will stop at nothing to cover-up the deals he made for his special interest cronies. Why won’t he tell Wisconsinites who he’s working for? How much do companies pay him for access to his political rolodex in the department he used to run? With Tommy refusing to answer any questions about his shady special interest deals, everyday Wisconsinites simply can’t trust that he will fight for them.”

In a 2009 report, the government watchdog Center for Responsibilities and Ethics in Washington put the companies for which Thompson served as an “adviser” at 42.  Some of those companies were even ones that Thompson regulated as head of George W. Bush’s Department of Health and Human Services and, since hiring Thompson, have seen an explosion in federal contracts.

In a 2010 exchange, Thompson was unable to remember how many companies he was involved with.  

Over the past two week, the DPW blasted Thompson for joining a company that had been awarded millions of dollars in Department of Health and Human Services contracts while Thompson ran the agency and for joining one of D.C.’s most notorious lobbying firms.  

Background:

Thompson Quickly Assembled Largo Portfolio of Private Sector Positions. “Upon leaving his federal post in December 2004, Thompson quickly assembled a large portfolio of private sector positions, including partner in one of Washington, D.C.'s most influential law firms, board directorships on medical device and pharmaceutical companies he once regulated, and as an executive with Deloitte & Touche, a major federal contractor that provides health-care consulting services.” [Wisconsin State Journal, 11/16/08]

Thompson Has Advised Forty-Two Companies Since Leaving the Bush Administration. According to a 2009 CREW report examining "revolving door" practices, Thompson has advised FORTY-TWO companies since leaving the Bush administration. [Pittsburgh Tribune Review, 1/25/09]

NO TRANSPARENCY: Thompson Refused to Disclose Clients, Works for 25 Health Care Companies. Thompson would not disclose his clients at Akin Gump, but says he works with about 25 clients as part of his work on the firm's health care unit. The firm, which also employs lobbyists, represents a number of health care firms including Johnson & Johnson and the insurance giant Aetna as part of their lobbying practice. Other types of clients do not have to be publicly disclosed. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11/23/09]

Thompson is a Partner in Akin Gump, Where He Earned $1.1 Million In A Year And A Half. Thompson is a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP practicing in Policy and Regulation, the Health Industry, and Public Law and Policy. [http://www.akingump.com/tthompson/; AP, 8/15/07]

Company’s Federal Contracts Grew Dramatically After Thompson Took Charge of Company. Since Thompson joined Logistics Health in 2005, the company has seen its federal contracting business skyrocket. According to OMB Watch, a nonprofit group that tracks government contracting, the company of 400 employees has gone from $19.9 million in federal contracts in 2003 to $104.8 million in 2007, including part of the first year of a five-year contract to provide health and dental services to military reservists worth an estimated $790 million. [Wisconsin State Journal, 11/16/08]

 

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