Insider of the Week: Dick Gephardt

Insider of the Week: Dick Gephardt

Written by Adam English
Posted September 24, 2013

Insider of the Week

dick gephardtThe frenzied pace of government officials, aids, and employees following the passage of ObamaCare brings to mind one of the most influential insiders in Washington, D.C...

Dick Gephardt served as a Democratic Party U.S. Representative from Missouri for nearly thirty years, serving as House Majority Leader for six of them.

He ran for president in 1988, and was on the short list for a vice presidential nomination in five elections.

Here's what he's been up to since leaving office...

In January of 2005, Gephardt left office as his 14th term in Congress expired. Within a month, he started Gephardt Group, a consulting and lobbying Group.

Within the year, he joined DLA Piper, an international law firm; he began consulting for Goldman Sachs, Boeing, Onex Corp., New Cycle Capital, LLC, Falcon Waterfree Technologies, LLC. He then joined the Falcon Waterfree Technologies, LLC Board of Directors. He began serving as a Director of the United States Steel Corp.

In total, he is connected to 149 board members in 14 different organizations across 21 different industries, according to BusinessWeek.

In 2007, Gephardt endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. DLA Piper was a major donor for the campaign, giving $190,000.

Gephardt has been a major consultant and lobbyist for the pharmaceutical industry. He has a large lobbying contract with the Medicines Company and serves as chair of the Council for American Medical Innovation, formed by the highly influential Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America trade group.

As a politician, Gephardt advocated universal health care... After leaving office, he worked with UnitedHealth Group to block health care reform, specifically to extend patent rights and block generic drugs from the market.

Gephardt also abandoned his long-time support of unions. After conceding defeat in the Iowa Democratic Caucus of 2004, he stated: "I want to say a special thank you to every member of every labor union in this country who has stood by my side... throughout my career. Your fight is my fight, and it will always be that way."

As a lobbyist for Boeing and Spirit Aerosystems, he has presided over an aggressive anti-union campaign that has left former supports and previous party allies bewildered.

Spirit Aerosystem had particularly contentious union negotiations in 2011 and never offered meaningful contract revisions. The second draft was killed with an unprecedented 96.5% rejection vote.

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