Santorum and lobbyists: Plus ca change...

| Thu Mar. 9, 2006 4:18 PM EST

The Washington Post reports:

After saying in January that he would end his regular meetings with lobbyists, Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.), the third-ranking GOP leader in the Senate, has continued to meet with many of the same lobbyists at the same time and on the same day of the week. ...

[The] purpose [of the meetings] is to help Santorum's reelection effort, but many of the same topics other than jobs are discussed, aides and participants said. ...

[T]he new meetings have added 20 to 30 people to their invitation lists, while retaining from the old list 40 of the 70 or so lobbyists who had been regularly invited. ...

One lobbyist called the attendees "the usual suspects," and said they were among the city's best-known lobbyists whose firms represent financial services, telecommunications, pharmaceutical, oil production and tobacco companies. ...

"We're going to formalize this [meeting] into a campaign briefing about once a month," [Mark] Rodgers [staff director of the Senate Republican Conference] said. "This will grow with people who are committed to Rick's campaign."

Recall that this is the guy Senate Republicans put in charge of lobbying reform.

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