A SPEAKER LOBBYISTS WOULD LOVE

John Boehner is known for his ties and his tan.

John Boehner is known for his ties and his tan.

You’ve probably never heard of this Ohio Republican, who’s been the minority leader for four years, but he has big plans to be the next Speaker of the U.S. House. Who is he? For clues, look no further than those ties and that tan.

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The tan is odd, both because it has an eerie orange hue to it, and because it never goes away. Even in the dead of winter, this GOP leader from sun-starved Ohio has such a perpetual glow that he’s been nicknamed “Suntan Johnnie.” How does he get the glow? By routinely flying on corporate jets to play golf with corporate lobbyists on various corporate tabs at such sun-drenched resorts as the Ritz-Carlton in Naples, Florida.

Which brings us to his ties – by which I don’t mean the flashy silk neckwear he favors. Rather, I mean Boehner’s flagrant ties to a clique of powerful influence peddlers. These ties go way back – in 1996, he was caught passing checks from tobacco lobbyists to fellow Republicans on the House floor!

His inner circle of special interests is so cozy that it’s even been given its own nickname: BoehnerLand. Outsiders need not apply, for BoehnerLand is an exclusive place inhabited by about 20 lobbyists for such outfits as Citigroup, R.J. Reynolds, Coors, Goldman Sachs, Google, and UPS. They put millions of campaign dollars into his pockets, fly him around, wine & dine him at the finest restaurants, and sustain his political ambitions.

In turn, Boehner is their boy. One member of Suntan Johnnie’s corrupt club candidly told the New York Times that he regularly gets Boehner’s help for his clients, ranging from fighting limits on debit card fees to protecting tax breaks for hedge fund operators.

They want Boehner to become Speaker for one reason: he’s fluent in corporate-speak.

“G.O.P. Leaser Tightly Bound To Lobbyists,” The New York Times, September 12, 2010.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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