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New Ways and Means head courted by tax lobbyists

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By The Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group

The Ways and Means committee skipped the seniority process and appointed Rep. Sander Levin to the helm of the powerful tax committee, and lawyers and lobbyists that specializes in tax issues will have an early opportunity to congratulate him.

Later this month, the law and lobbying firm William & Jensen will host donors to Levin at their townhouse in Washington, D.C. The firm was founded “with the primary mission of advancing the tax policy interests of clients,” its Web site states, and it adds that “Our consistent involvement in Federal tax legislation has given Williams & Jensen a reputation as one of the premier lobbying firms in Washington.”

As chairman of the Ways and Means Trade subcommittee, the Michigan Democrat was already courted by K Street tax specialists. In early February, Hogan & Hartson hosted a breakfast for him. Among other areas of expertise, Hogan & Hartson has a tax practice which includes “tax legislative work on a broad range of issues for a diverse group of trade associations, coalitions, and a variety of businesses in industries, including pharmaceuticals, medical devices, media, finance, technology, energy, retail, food, direct selling, insurance, utility, gaming, and pension plans,” according to the firm’s Web site.

Levins career spans almost three decades; he ranks automobile companies and trade unions among his top career donors, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.

In the current cycle, Levin has gotten more money from the financial and real estate sector, followed by lobbyists & lawyers with labor unions a close third. In the past few cycles, some large corporations including Boeing Co. and Honeywell International have been among his top donors.

The Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group is part of the Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan Washington, D.C.-based organization that uses cutting-edge technology and ideas to make government transparent and accountable.


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