In yet another demonstration of the revolving door between industry and politics, former Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln has been hired to promote the agenda of Monsanto, among other corporations.
After losing her re-election campaign in 2011, Lincoln, a Democrat, announced the formation of her own lobbying group, the Lincoln Policy Group. Lincoln was defeated by a Republican candidate who said she was too close to Obama, while liberals claimed she wasn't close enough. Before her time in public office, Lincoln worked for Alston & Bird, an international law firm specializing in litigation and intellectual property rights.
During her tenure in the Senate, Lincoln was chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. Her former staff director on the Ag Committee and fellow Alston & Bird alumn, Robert Holifield, is also a partner in her lobbying group. It's believed that their insider status will be a major boon for Monsanto's lobbying efforts, are notorious and many.
Among them is the so-called Monsanto protection act, a provision tacked onto a spending bill that protected companies selling genetically modified seeds from lawsuits. The measure was pulled from recent budget negotiations and allowed to expire.
Monsanto is currently gearing up for an inevitable fight against GMO labeling at a national level, as this week a judge in Mexico banned further planting of GMO corn, and the Big Island of Hawaii also enacted prohibitions against GMOs.
Other clients of the Lincoln Policy Group include Walmart, credit bureau Experian, and the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America.
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Photo Credit: 2007 official photo of Senator Blanche Lincoln