Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is scheduled to speak at an event for the Lexington Chamber of Commerce on Friday “about the so-called fiscal cliff crisis that was recently averted, his role in the agreement that was reached, and what it will mean for the American people moving forward. He’ll also discuss upcoming issues to be debated in Congress, such as spending and our country’s long-term debt.”
The night before, he’ll be taking money from lobbyists with a stake in the debate—raising questions once again about whom McConnell is really speaking for as the state’s senior Senator.
According to an invitation provided by the Sunlight Foundation, “more than a dozen” lobbyists with K Street powerhouse Podesta Group will fete McConnell today. Many of these lobbyists represent companies who are part of the “Fix the Debt” coalition of corporate CEOs pushing for a deficit reduction plan that relies on cuts to Medicare and Social Security while increasing handouts for corporate tax evaders.
The invite lists six of the event's hosts. In 2012, these individuals lobbied for Fix the Debt members Boeing, Deloitte, General Electric, Textron, and Caesers Entertainment, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. Two other Fix the Debt member companies, Duke Energy and Michelin, are represented by Podesta Group. Other firm clients include defense contractors and insurance and pharmaceutical companies.
Thursday’s event in Washington is $2,500 for PACs and $1,000 for individuals. The luncheon on Friday is $55 for people who aren’t already members of the Lexington Chamber of Commerce. It’s unclear if McConnell has any public events that don’t cost money while he’s back in Kentucky.