The tort lawyers have a great friend in Joe Biden and his running mate, and there is a smelly "intersection of interests" among them.
USA Today headlines the "intersection of interests" when Senator Joseph Biden
worked to defeat a bipartisan bill designed to curb asbestos lawsuits at a time his son's law firm was filing them in Delaware and a former aide was lobbying against the measure, according to public records and interviews.
As the article by Ken Dilanian notes, Senator Biden as been an "ally" of what Republicans should call "Big Tort" - the contingency-fee privateers who search for lucrative class action lawsuits and deep-pocketed corporate defendants, capable of forking over nine- or ten-figure judgments. The top tort lawyers earn wealth that dwarfs that of any CEO of Big Oil.
Here is what Senator Joe did for his wealthy buddies:
He proposed a series of amendments in 2003 and 2005 that backers of the bill viewed as "poison pills" designed to kill the bill, said Lawrence Fineran, a lobbyist who supported the measure.
Supporters -- including chief sponsors Sens. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. -- said the measure would end abusive litigation that had bankrupted dozens of companies. Critics, including Biden, said it would leave some victims without compensation. In February 2006, Biden joined a majority of Democrats, including Sen. Barack Obama, in voting to defeat the bill.
Barack Obama helped out too, enriching Biden's son and Joe's "allies." The Washington Post reports:
Sen. Barack Obama sought more than $3.4 million in congressional earmarks for clients of the lobbyist son of his Democratic running mate, Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, records show. Obama succeeded in getting $192,000 for one of the clients, St. Xavier University in suburban Chicago. [...]
When he introduced him as his running mate, Obama said of Biden: "He has brought change to Washington, but Washington hasn't changed him." But Republicans quickly attacked Biden's connections to lobbyists.
"While Barack Obama decries Washington insiders and says that he detests lobbyists, Joe Biden is the model Washington insider with numerous connections to lobbyists and special interests," Republican National Committee spokesman Danny Diaz said.
Hat tip: GD