A Lobby Shop’s Bottom Line

According to this memo, in one month, September 1997, The Wexler group lists $640,850.33 in billings for its 25-member staff. Another monthly project memo lists what services were rendered for such largesse: for the American Dental Association ($4,000), The Wexler Group was trying to set up a meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala; for General Motors ($25,000), the lobby shop was “monitoring regulatory reform”; for Owens Corning ($15,000), a former manufacturer of asbestos, The Wexler Group was offering help with product liability issues.

Burger King, another big client, paid The Wexler Group $15,000. The lobby shop’s chief duties include public relations and “general Washington representation.” A note in the margin of the project memo reports that a government study had cited Burger King for violating child labor laws. The margin note says that bad PR for Burger King is a good reason for Wexler to extract more money out of the fast-food giant, noting that the lobby shop should “revisit our contract; look for increased retainer.”

Back to “Doing Business With Despots


What's going to happen next as the headlines grow crazier and more disconcerting by the day. But we do know the job of an independent, unrelenting press is more important than ever—and the ongoing commitment of MoJo readers to fight for a democracy where facts matter and all can participate is absolutely vital.

If you feel the urgency deep in your bones like we do, please consider signing up as a monthly donor during our fall pledge drive to support Mother Jones' fair and fearless reporting for the long haul (or make a one-time gift if that works better for you). The headlines may fade, but the need to investigate the powerful never will.