Legislates for tips
Maybe there just aren’t any clean Republicans.
A White House aide who was once chief of staff to House Majority Leader John Boehner helped plan a 1996 trip to the Northern Mariana Islands that was organized by fallen lobbyist Jack Abramoff, billing records from Abramoffâ€™s firm show.
Barry Jackson, now chief deputy to White House adviser Karl Rove, accepted an invitation to travel to the island of Saipan in April 1996 but later decided not to go, White House spokeswoman Erin Healy said Tuesday.
The government of the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands extended the invitations to Jackson and other high-level GOP House leadership staff while Congress was considering legislation to control immigration and labor practices in the remote Pacific island territory.
House Majority Leader John Boehner rents a basement apartment from a lobbyist whose clients had an interest in legislation overseen or sponsored by Boehner, according to lobbying records.
Boehner, R-Ohio, pays $1,600 a month rent for the apartment owned by lobbyist John Milne and his wife, Debra Anderson, Boehner spokesman Don Seymour Jr. said.
“It is conceivable that John Milne may have lobbied Boehner on a few occasions over the years, but we are not aware of any specific instances of it, and we are certain no lobbying has taken place during the time in which John Boehner has been renting the property,” Seymour said.
Boehner, elected majority leader by his Republican colleagues last week, is involved in GOP efforts to reform lobbying rules, a consequence of influence peddling by disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Abramoff agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in a Capitol Hill corruption investigation after pleading guilty last month to conspiracy, tax evasion and mail fraud.
Milne did not respond to a request for comment.
Lobbying records show that he represented Buca di Beppo and Parasole Restaurant Holdings Inc. – both restaurant companies – to lobby on the minimum wage, an issue handled by the Education and the Workforce Committee chaired by Boehner. The restaurant industry has opposed increases in the minimum wage, which has not risen since 1997.