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Friday, January 29, 2010

Special interests dominate Obama's State of the Union

Obama's state of the Union reflected his belief in government aggressively steering the economy. In my column, I list who wins under Obama's proposals:
For instance, he called for more funding to build high-speed rail. Why rail? Rail is only one way to travel or to ship things.
A likely clue: lobbying. Lorenzo Simonelli, chief executive officer of GE Transportation, said in May, "We are ready to partner with the federal government and Amtrak to make high-speed rail a reality."
Subsequently, GE Transportation hired two new lobbying firms. One new GE lobbyist on high-speed rail: Linda Hall Daschle, the wife of former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, an Obama confidant.
Samuel Whitehorn is another new addition to GE's train lobby. He served as senior counsel on the Senate commerce committee and a senior lawyer at Bill Clinton's Department of Transportation.

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