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GOP watch: Enter the lobbyists

The New York Times writes how Washington lobbyists are raising money for Dave Camp, Republican congressman who would assume the powerful Ways and Means Committee if Republicans take back the House. “Across Washington, lobbyists have been working behind the scenes now for months to prepare for this possible power shift. Former aides to Mr. Camp, who now work as lobbyists, are checking in with their onetime boss, chatting with him and his aides about staff appointments he might make when he takes over the Ways and Means Committee, and what tax or health care issues will be at the top of his agenda. Other lobbyists have gone to his staff to try to get to the head of the line in presenting proposed tax changes that will benefit their clients.”

White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer blogs, “This should come as no surprise given the track record of Congressional Republicans over the past two years. Rather than listen to the American people, Congressional Republicans have repeatedly shown their loyalty to these special interests by retreating behind closed doors to strategize with their lobbyists on the most critical issues for the American people.”

The Washington Post runs a front-page profile of the man who might be the next House speaker. John Boehner’s “rise is partly the result of a tireless fundraising operation that has poured money into fellow Republicans' campaigns, and partly a reward for his willingness to fashion himself into the uncompromising leader of the opposition to President Obama... Yet he insists he will be a very different kind of politician if the GOP wins Congress and he is elected speaker. He'll help bring the animosity between the two sides under control, he says, by allowing Democrats greater freedom to have their say on the floor of the House and letting them bring their proposals to a vote.”

Who needs 2010? "Leading GOP candidates for president are getting an early start on 2012 in the last days of the 2010 campaign season," The Hill writes. "Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R), for instance, plans campaign stops this week on behalf of Republican candidates in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, which just happen to host the first three contests for nominating a Republican presidential candidate. But the perceived GOP front-runner for 2012 is hardly alone. Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R), former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, will all make stops this week in Iowa, which hosts the first-in-the-nation caucuses in January 2012."

Today, Barbour, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal are in Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois.

Source watch: Former Rep. Susan Molinari has left Bracewell Giuliani to start her own lobbying firm.