If you want to spend a couple hours hobnobbing with House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, be prepared to pay up — way up.
Tony and Heather Podesta, two of Washington’s most prominent lobbyists, are inviting the Washington elite to a dinner party on Feb. 9 that will feature Pelosi, as well as a host of other Washington Democrats, including Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY) and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Chris Van Hollen.
The price of admission? $5,000 for an individual, $15,000 for a representative of a political action committee, and $30,400 — the maximum allowable donation — for the privilege of being a co-host.
Read the admission form here.
In a letter obtained by US News & World Report‘s Paul Bedard, Heather Podesta tells supporters to “raise a glass” at an “evening you will not want to miss.”
Tony Podesta, along with his brother John, runs the Podesta Group, considered to be one of the most influential lobby groups in Washington. Among its clients are large defense contractors such as Boeing, Lockheed-Martin and Raytheon. In the medical industry, the Podesta Group represents Amgen, Novartis and RehabCare Group. The firm also works for such giants as Google and Walmart.
John Podesta was the last White House Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton, serving from 1998 to 2001.
This is not the first time that Pelosi’s interactions with lobbyists have attracted attention. Last fall, shortly after Pelosi softened her stance on a public health care option, a lobbyist who represents UnitedHealth, among others, threw Pelosi a fundraiser. Admission to that one was $2,400 for an indiviudual, or $5,000 for someone representing a political action committee.
Last June, Raw Story reported that Democrats skirted around President Obama’s ban on collecting lobbyist cash at fundraisers by holding a “morning-after” event where lobbyists would be allowed to donate. That event featured Pelosi as well as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Privacy rights may become next victim of killer pandemic
Digital surveillance and smartphone technology may prove helpful in containing the coronavirus pandemic -- but some activists fear this could mean lasting harm to privacy and digital rights.
From China to Singapore to Israel, governments have ordered electronic monitoring of their citizens' movements in an effort to limit contagion. In Europe and the United States, technology firms have begun sharing "anonymized" smartphone data to better track the outbreak.
These moves have prompted soul-searching by privacy activists who acknowledge the need for technology to save lives while fretting over the potential for abuse.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards honors staffer who died from COVID-19
Gov. John Bel Edwards (D-LA) offered a moving tribute to a member of his staff who died from COVID-19.
"On behalf of the first lady and my entire administration, it is with heavy hearts that we mourn the loss of our dear April, who succumbed to complications from COVID-19," he posted on Twitter, along with photos.
"She brightened everyone’s day with her smile and was an inspiration to everyone who met her," he continued.
"She lived her life to the fullest and improved the lives of countless Louisianans with disabilities as a dedicated staff member in the Governor's Office of Disability Affairs. April worked hard as an advocate for herself & other members of the disability community," he wrote.
Washington state nurses share shocking stories from their war against coronavirus
by Ken Armstrong and Vianna Davila
Nurses at one hospital in southeastern Washington state have alleged that, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, they were ordered by supervisors to use one protective mask per shift, potentially exposing themselves to the novel coronavirus.
At another hospital, just east of Seattle, nurses had to use face shields indefinitely.
At a third hospital, on Washington’s border with Oregon, nurses reported that respirators were expired. The hospital responded, the nurses said, by ordering staff to remove stickers showing that the respirators might be as much as three years out of date.