“More Money Than I Could Count”: Mitch McConnell’s Very Special Relationship With Lobbyists

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This post first appeared at Mother Jones.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) gives a thumbs-up as he finishes his address to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference opening plenary session in Washington, Monday, March 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

There may be no Washington lawmaker cozier with K Street than Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). DC law firms and lobbying shops are stuffed with ex-McConnell staffers and pals. And he uses them well to preserve his power and position. As the conservative National Review reported, “McConnell has often exercised power in DC by pressuring major donors to withhold donations from a given lawmaker or organization. His allies on K Street are often the people who deliver this message and ‘enforce’ it.” The stats below show just how close McConnell is with the well-heeled lobbyists of Washington, DC — a relationship that no doubt will serve both sides well, should the GOP win the Senate and McConnell become its majority leader.

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Mitch McConnell: J. Scott Applewhite/AP; Oil rig: Christopher Classens/Noun Project; Mitch McConnell: Miranda Pederson/AP; Arrow: P.J. Onori/ Noun Project; Money: Atelier Iceberg/Noun Project

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Katie Rose Quandt is a reporter for Mother Jones. She was a grant writer for a homeless services nonprofit in Chicago. She has written for America, In These Times and Solitary Watch. You can follow her @katierosequandt.

Andy Kroll is Mother Jones’ dark money reporter, based in the Washington, DC bureau. His work has also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Detroit News, Salon and TomDispatch, where he’s an associate editor. Follow him on Twitter: @AndyKroll.

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