Politico calls Steve Ricchetti, a longtime Biden pal and advisor, his “sherpa” in one of those stories that key aides write about themselves in key D.C. outlets. This one comes with a key detail about how the infrastructure sausage was made.
On Tuesday, Sen. Rob Portman spent nine hours holed up in a Russell conference room with White House counselor Steve Ricchetti, furiously working through last-minute disagreements in the bipartisan infrastructure deal.
Why these two men?
To streamline negotiations, Republicans appointed Portman (R-Ohio) as their point man. Democrats did the same with Ricchetti.
Portman was at least elected by someone. Ricchetti was elected by the companies who hired him as their lobbyist. Especially one company.
Steve Ricchetti, Biden’s former chief of staff, and longtime confidant, chaired Biden’s campaign. AT&T has been the only corporate client of the Ricchetti Consulting Group for nine years.
These days, Steve Ricchetti is a Biden adviser, but his brother is still in the same line of work.
Jeff Ricchetti’s lobbying firm has flourished in the months since his brother Steve Ricchetti was named a senior counselor to President Biden, according to reports released Tuesday.
His firm, Ricchetti Inc., collected $1.67 million in lobbying fees in the first half of the year, new lobbying records show—more than quadruple the $370,000 it reported in the same period of last year. Jeff Ricchetti is the only registered lobbyist at his firm.
After years of stagnation, Mr. Ricchetti’s client list began to grow rapidly as Mr. Biden won the Democratic nomination and defeated former President Donald Trump in the Nov. 3 election, records show. Mr. Ricchetti has since picked up high-profile clients such as Amazon.com Inc., General Motors Co. and TC Energy Corp. , the company behind the Keystone Pipeline.
Lobbying disclosure records from the first three months of the year showed that in addition to contacting Congress, Jeff Ricchetti also was in touch with the Executive Office of the President, which includes West Wing staff, on behalf of several of his clients.
Records show Jeff Ricchetti had not lobbied the EOP during the Trump administration or most of the Obama administration.
This is almost absurdly corrupt.
It’s bad enough that Biden is surrounded by lobbyists, but the huge signature infrastructure deal was negotiated by a lobbyist on behalf of Democrats and the Biden administration.
Speaking of absurdly corrupt.
Daniel Ricchetti and Shannon Ricchetti are the son and daughter of White House counselor Steve Ricchetti. Daniel Ricchetti is a senior adviser in the office of the under secretary of State for arms control and international security, and Shannon Ricchetti is deputy associate director at the office of the White House social secretary.
If I were to change my last name to “Ricchetti”, could I score a White House gig?