Santorum and lobbyists: Plus ca change…

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The Washington Post reports:

After saying in January that he would end his regular meetings with lobbyists, Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.), the third-ranking GOP leader in the Senate, has continued to meet with many of the same lobbyists at the same time and on the same day of the week. …

[The] purpose [of the meetings] is to help Santorum’s reelection effort, but many of the same topics other than jobs are discussed, aides and participants said. …

[T]he new meetings have added 20 to 30 people to their invitation lists, while retaining from the old list 40 of the 70 or so lobbyists who had been regularly invited. …

One lobbyist called the attendees “the usual suspects,” and said they were among the city’s best-known lobbyists whose firms represent financial services, telecommunications, pharmaceutical, oil production and tobacco companies. …

“We’re going to formalize this [meeting] into a campaign briefing about once a month,” [Mark] Rodgers [staff director of the Senate Republican Conference] said. “This will grow with people who are committed to Rick’s campaign.”

Recall that this is the guy Senate Republicans put in charge of lobbying reform.

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