|The face of corporate law|
Sue Sturgis of Facing South blows the lid of off some dirty dealings by Hunton-Williams, an international corporate law and lobbying firm deeply rooted in Richmond, Virginia and conveniently close to the seat of power Washington, DC.
If there were any doubts that we have become a corporation nation of undue influence from large law firms and their powerful corporate clients, then Ms. Sturgis' story should put those to rest once and for all.
Excerpt from the story:
Hunton & Williams is also a political player, both in terms of campaign contributions and lobbying.
The firm itself has donated directly to the campaigns of numerous members of Congress in the past decade, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. In 2010 alone, it contributed to congressional candidates -- all Republicans -- including Reps. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and John Shimkus (R-Ill.).
Hunton & William is also a major lobbying force, with lobbying income of more than $2.8 million in 2010. Among its biggest lobbying clients are energy firms: Energy Future Holdings Corp. (formerly TXU Corp.), Southern Co., Gas Processors Association, FirstEnergy, and Kansas-based Koch Industries, a diversified oil company whose owners are major funders of conservative causes.
Also among the firm's lobbying clients are North Carolina-based Duke Energy and Progress Energy, which recently announced merger plans, and Americans for Affordable Climate Policy, a group formed by Duke Energy and other coal-dependent utilities to ensure that any carbon cap-and-trade system established by Congress includes free pollution credits for industry.
With a prestigious client list like that, why would Hunton &Williams risk it all by engaging in ethically questionable and potentially reputation-damaging behavior like spying on and setting up activists and journalists?
One possible answer might be found by following the money.
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