A Pennsylvania Democrat running for Congress failed to note while he criticized the involvement of corporate lobbyists in crafting the Republican tax reform bill that his father is a top lobbyist for PNC Financial Services Group, which lobbied both the House and Senate on tax reform.
Conor Lamb, 33, is running in a special election next March to fill the vacant seat formerly held by Republican Tim Murphy, who resigned due to scandal in October. Lamb, a political newcomer, was picked to be the Democrat's nominee for the election by the local party committee in the district last month.
In his early days as the party's candidate, Lamb seized on a viral tweet by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.) claiming lobbyists had more information on the tax proposal than she did. Lamb posted McCaskill's tweet on his own page, writing that it was "written by & for corporate lobbyists" and pledging to "put an end to this hypocrisy."
Complete betrayal of the middle class. We were promised infrastructure & jobs, instead we get big tax cuts for the rich written by & for corporate lobbyists. People in #PA18 are tired of being lied to. We'll put an end to this hypocrisy on March 13th. https://t.co/Rj5c15pm9A
— Conor Lamb (@ConorLambPA) December 1, 2017
The tweet, one of his most popular, failed to mention that his father Thomas Lamb is senior vice president of government affairs for PNC, which disclosed last quarter that it was lobbying both chambers of Congress on tax reform proposals.
A spokesperson for Lamb said his father is no longer registered as a federal lobbyist.
"Conor's dad is not a federal lobbyist, and Conor's criticism obviously referred to Sen. McCaskill's tweet and the fact that lobbyists in Washington knew what was in the tax bill before our elected officials and the people they're supposed to serve," said the spokesperson.
"Conor's dad is certainly aware that Conor sees this bill as a complete betrayal of the promises that Republican leaders made to middle-class families in our district," the spokesperson continued. "Conor Lamb is independent, he keeps his word, and he'll only take orders from the people of his district, and certainly not from lobbyists."
One of the issues Thomas Lamb lobbied Congress on was the Troubled Asset Relief Program, more commonly known as TARP, which resulted in $7.6 billion in bailout money for PNC.
Lamb remains a registered lobbyist in Pennsylvania, according to a search of the state's lobbyist directory.
His official PNC biography explains that he "managed PNC's business relationships with the federal government" before he was promoted to his current position of senior vice president for government affairs. He is now "responsible for managing PNC’s government affairs activities at the state and local levels across the PNC footprint, and works with individual PNC businesses and regional presidents to affect public policy in support of PNC’s business strategies."
A fundraising email sent by the Lamb campaign on Tuesday pledged that "won’t take orders from lobbyists."
Lamb's campaign spokesperson told the Washington Free Beacon, "lobbyists in Washington should definitely be concerned" because Lamb will not "do their bidding."