Chuck Schumer: Voice of the little man, courtier of plutocrats

And Schumer knows how to profit from this revolving door action. In January 2007, when his party took charge of the Senate, he gathered some of America’s wealthiest hedge-fund managers in a Manhattan restaurant and told them, in effect, start lobbying and giving money to politicians.

A few months later, Schumer’s top banking staffer, Carmencita Whonder, left for the K Street firm Brownstein Hyatt, which immediately picked up a handful of hedge fund and private equity clients. Whonder also became a volunteer fundraiser for Schumer, while other hedge fund millionaires raised money for Schumer’s DSCC.

Schumer’s lucrative K Street game sheds light on Schumer’s other tactic for taking on the Tea Party: pass strict campaign finance regulations that rein in activist groups that want to run political ads.

The problem with outside groups engaging in political debate is that they take their case to the American people, instead of taking it to senators. How does its help Schumer if no lobbyists are wining and dining him, delivering him PAC checks, and hiring his staff?

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