John Faso, a lobbyist swamp rat

John Faso, our Congressman, doesn’t stand for the average working family.  Just the opposite.  He’s one of the “Swamp Rats”  — a long-time lobbyist for companies fleecing the average working family. He’s one of dozens of legislators now in the Trump administration who are drowning in conflicts of interest.

Faso had a 40-year career as a political insider in the NY State legislature and as a lobbyist, much of it protecting the corrupt culture of pork barrel spending.  Here are a few markers of that career:

  • From 1996-2002, Faso spent more than a whopping $1.8 million of taxpayer dollars on extravagant expenses as state assemblyman, receiving a stipend, state vehicle, and travel reimbursements.
  • In 1992, as a member of the NY State Assembly Banking Committee, Faso accepted $14,000 and a trip to Florida from the banking industry, admitting “I spoke at their meeting, went to their events. And yes, I went to their dinners.” So who do you think he cares more about, you or his banker buddies?
  • In 2007, Faso helped out his friends’ political campaigns using State Police helicopters to travel to fundraisers.
  • He became a lobbyist months after leaving the state legislature, said he was “proud” of his lobbying career in Washington, DC and Albany, and wouldn’t apologize for it.
  • He claimed to be offended at the notion that there was corruption in Albany, said the idea “that somehow there’s corruption permeating the legislature is wrong”.
  • He opposed efforts to investigate corruption in government and efforts to audit the state legislature and limit lobbyist-funded perks, saying he “agrees with lobbyists” that it would make “unreasonable demands.”
  • In February 2003, he became a lobbyist in Albany and Washington, D.C. for Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, whose clients included Wall Street firms and large corporations.
  • In 2007, he lobbied the NY governor’s office and state assembly for the energy and pipeline company El Paso Corporation. He worked on legislative issues dealing with gas transmission, while claiming that he had never lobbied for a fracking company—despite the fact that El Paso Corporation was the largest natural gas pipeline operator in the country. Even worse, El Paso was the company that applied for permits from NY State for emitting poisonous sulfur dioxide and discharging waste water into the Hudson River.

Faso brags about his career as a lobbyist.  He asserted to the Times Union in 2001, “I have a lot of built-in political and governmental experience that will help me be a good watchdog for the taxpayers.”  That’s not the way it looks to us tax-paying voters you’re supposedly representing, Mr. Faso.