Max Rose doesn’t have the same media star power as fellow Democratic freshman Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but he is bound to create quite a buzz in the $3.2B lobbying business.
The Staten Island/Brooklyn Congressman introduced a bill Jan. 24 designed to close the “infamous lobbying loophole” that allows “consultants” (e.g., ex-Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle) and “strategic advisors” (president Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen) to dodge the need to register as a lobbyist.
Rose’s “Lobbyist Loophole Closure Act” requires consultants and strategic advisors who support a lobbying contact with a government official—even if the contact isn’t direct—to register.
As Rose puts it: “If someone acts like a lobbyist, and is paid like a lobbyist, then they ought to register as a lobbyist.”
He believes the public is “sick and tired of corrupt loopholes designed for politicians and well-connected insiders to exploit on behalf of special interests and donors.”
AT&T and Novartis probably wish that Rose’s measure was the law of the land last year. Had the Lobbyist Loophole Closure Law been in place, AT&T and Novartis might have thought twice about hiring Cohen for his expertise on how to win favor with the Trump White House.
AT&T boss Randall Stephenson apologized last May, saying it was a “big mistake” to pay $600K to Cohen’s shell company, Essential Consultants. Cohen had established EC to funnel $130K to porn star and alleged 2016 Trump sex partner Stormy Daniels.
Novartis general counsel Felix Ehrat decided to retire after news broke that the pharma giant paid $1.2M to EC.
Rose is confident that his measure will help Congress regain the trust of the American people.
Keep an eye on Max. He's a former communications executive (director of public engagement for the late Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson) and army veteran who earned the Bronze Star and Purple Heart during his tour of duty in Afghanistan.
He’s the first post-9/11 combat veteran to represent NYC in Congress.
Rose, who kept his campaign promise not to support Nancy Pelosi for Speaker, serves on the Home Committee on Homeland Security and Veterans’ Affairs.
The lobbying world has a worthy adversary in Max.