Former conservative presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty is taking over as the CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable. The organization serves as a lobbying group for the banking and financial services industry. Pawlenty resigned as co-chair from Mitt Romney's campaign to take his new job, which begins Nov. 1. His new job in the private sector involves recovering the reputation of Wall Street following the recent economic recession.
What is Pawlenty's new job with the organization?
The former governor of Minnesota is the incoming president and CEO. Pawlenty takes over for long-time CEO Steve Bartlett who is retiring. The new CEO is the chief lobbyist of the Financial Services Roundtable, a group that represents 100 financial services corporations to lawmakers in Washington.
How did Pawlenty and his peers react to the announcement?
Pawlenty said, "I'm excited about this new challenge. Few industries have more impact on the entire economy... than financial services. I realize there is still work to be done to continue to earn consumers' confidence."
Bartlett called his successor "an extraordinary choice. He's a strong leader respected for both his integrity and work ethic."
Romney complimented his former campaign co-chair by saying, "He brought energy, intelligence and tireless dedication to every enterprise in which he's ever been engaged, and that certainly includes my presidential campaign."
Why did the former governor resign his post so close to the general election?
The new CEO stated that as a lobbyist, Pawlenty is not allowed "to participate in partisan activities. For that reason, I am stepping down from my position as co-chair of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign." Pawlenty cannot serve in two capacities when lobbyists are supposed to be nonpartisan.
Why do politicians make good lobbyists?
Bartlett served as a representative until 1991 . After that, he was mayor of Dallas until 1995 before becoming CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable in 1999. Both Bartlett and Pawlenty have connections in Washington, ideal for lobbyist jobs in the private sector. Another facet of lobbying is that both men know lobbying laws from spending time in political circles.
Why was Pawlenty chosen?
A national Republican figurehead was chosen to lead a financial lobbying group to help persuade lawmakers to pass laws beneficial to the financial services industry. The Washington Post reveals Republicans are more likely to listen to financial lobbyists than Democrats. A financial reform bill, known as Dodd-Frank, attempted to reform the industry. Pawlenty's job will be to play down the new regulations or try to change them.
Has Pawlenty been shown to be pro-business in the past?
Reuters reports that although Pawlenty has a small business background, he came down hard on Wall Street firms in June 2011. As he was running for president, the former GOP candidate said, "Wall Street [types]... are some of the worst offenders when it comes to bailouts... ."
What does the Financial Services Roundtable do exactly?
The organization spent $4.5 million to lobby Congress in the first two quarters of 2012. Major policy issues that concern the Financial Services Roundtable include cybersecurity, debit cards, retirement security, insurance reform, corporate tax reform, financial literacy, and Dodd-Frank improvements. The lobbying firm formed in 1912 and is the product of two separate lobbying groups that merged in 1993. Clients of the Financial Services Roundtable are responsible for $92.7 trillion in assets and $1.2 trillion in revenue.
William Browning is a research librarian specializing in U.S. politics.