In recent weeks, Mitt Romney has dispatched a two-person team to meet with Congressional Republicans to discuss his theoretical transition should he win in November. Along with former Utah Gov. and George W. Bush administration Secretary of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt (R), that team includes Republican National Committee external affairs adviser and Romney “fixer” Drew Maloney.
Who is Maloney?
After several years working as an aide to then-Reps. Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Ed Bryant (R-TN), Maloney became legislative director and administrative assistant (chief of staff) for then-Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) in 1999, at the age of 30. Perhaps because DeLay was convicted in 2010 of money laundering and conspiracy to illegally funnel corporate money to Texas candidates, Maloney’s official biography identifies his former boss as only the “Republican House Majority Whip,” noting that he “managed the Whip’s congressional office and played an intricate part in formulating the energy, judiciary, commerce and campaign finance reform policy initiatives.” DeLay, a consistent opponent of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law actually argued that there was “not enough money” American politics. The Texas Republican raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from the oil and gas industry and was Big Oil’s point person in Congress.
Over his two-and-a-half years in DeLay’s office, Maloney was a frequent traveler to exotic places on industry’s dime. Among the highlights were week-long trips to the United Kingdom ($3,845, paid for by the Nuclear Energy Institute) and Brazil ($8,342, bankrolled by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce). These controversial junkets were banned in 2007 by the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act.
In 2002, Maloney traveled through the revolving door from Congress to federal lobbying. As managing director of the Federalist Group — now Ogilvy Government Relations — Maloney quickly began representing the energy industry before the Republican Congress he had just left.
In June 2002, Maloney organized an energy industry golf fundraising event for his former boss, DeLay. When the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct later investigated the event, Maloney told the ethics panel that he had asked companies to give $25,000 to $50,000 each to DeLay’s fundraising committees, including his Texans For A Republican Majority PAC (TRMPAC), which could accept unlimited “soft money” donations from corporations. While the ethics committee did not find the solicitation was itself improper, it did determine that Maloney’s fundraiser event for DeLay was “was not consistent with House standards of conduct providing that fundraising activities should not involve even an appearance that donors are being provided with special access to a Member in his or her official capacity.”
Three months later, Maloney suggested to Delay’s fundraising team a group of companies with “asbestos problems” which might support TRMPAC out of interest in tort reform.
While Maloney stepped down from his job as CEO at Ogilvy Government Relations this June to take his apparently unpaid position at the Republican National Committee, the clients he represented in 2012 include a wide swath of dirty energy companies and Wall Street banks who would stand to gain from Romney’s deregulatory approach. They included the American Petroleum Institute, Chevron, Hess, Excelon, Sempra, and GenOn Energy, as well as Blackstone Group, Highstar Capital, National Bank, and Visa. His client list and record are yet another indication that profit for Wall Street and Big Oil would be the priorities for a Romney administration.