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Susan Collins and the Blackstone Group Mystery

In a little over two weeks, Senator Susan Collins will be attending a party in a Washington D.C. lobbyist office. Over 20 lobbyists have already pledged to bring Senator Collins money at that party.

Several of those lobbyists have a client in common: The Blackstone Group. What are the chances of that happening at random?

There are two possible answers to that question:

1) The chances are quite large, because the Blackstone Group hires a huge number of lobbyists in Washington D.C., and so it’s likely that many of them will show up, cash in hand, at any fundraising party, without coordination.

2) The Blackstone Group has coordinated donations to Susan Collins through its lobbyists.

The Blackstone Group does indeed do quite a bit of lobbying in Washington D.C.: Almost 5 million dollars has been reported so far this year. With that money, however, the Blackstone Group has hired just 38 lobbyists this year. Given the total number of lobbyists in Washington D.C., it seems quite unlikely for multiple Blackstone Group lobbyists to show up at the same party by coincidence.

A good number of these lobbyists seem to be working as a team for the firm Ogilvy Government Relations. Justin Daly, John O’Neill, Wayne Berman and Elena Tompkins are coming from Ogilvy to the Susan Collins party with money. But then, Kate Hull from Fierce, Isakowitz and Blalock will be bringing money to the Collins party. She represents the Blackstone Group as well. There’s also David Lugar, (son of Senator Richard Lugar) is also representing the Blackstone Group, but through Quinn Gillespie and Associates. He’ll be at the party too.

That’s 6 lobbyists from 3 different firms representing the Blackstone Group and giving money to Senator Susan Collins this December 7, at one event. There’s a total of 22 lobbyists who have declared their intention to serve as moneyed “hosts” of the party. Blackstone’s lobbyists make up 27 percent of that group. Lobbying firms that represent Blackstone have bought a 15 percent chunk of attention from Susan Collins at this event. That seems unlikely to have occurred without coordination.

What do all these Blackstone Group lobbyists want to discuss with Susan Collins so urgently that they’re giving away money to grab the opportunity?

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