Friday, July 02, 2004

My Brush with MPAA's New Head

Fomer Kansas Congressman Dan Glickman has been tabbed to replace Jack Valenti as head of the MPAA, the movie industry's association and lobbying organization.

I met Dan in Congressman Bill Roy's almost successful challenge to Senator Bob Dole. Dan was chair of the Wichita school board and I was a student at Wichita State University. Dan was elected to the House two years later. By that time I had moved to New York City. During the Reagan years, I was working in DC for SANE/FREEZE. One Saturday, I went to the movies and saw Dan waiting in line. Even though it had been years since our last contact, Dan recognized me by name almost instantly.

I've had friendly, though brief, contact with Dan through the years, so I was pleased to hear of his new job. I didn't grasp at first, the political import of his selection, which struck a blow against the neo-spoils system which the GOP has been constructing in DC.

The Washington Post reported

K Street Project spokesman Grover G. Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, fumed that the Glickman hiring was "a mistake. It's goofy. It's a studied insult." The Motion Picture Association's "ability to work with the House and Senate is greatly reduced because they've decided to hire a guy whose claim to fame is that he is a retired Clinton hire," Norquist said.

The K Street Project, which was conceived by Republican leaders in Congress and GOP activists elsewhere, identifies loyal Republican lobbyists and campaign contributors and then encourages lawmakers to welcome them into their offices to the exclusion of others.

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