Skip to comments.FLASHBACK 2008: Biden hires lobbyist to advise Senate run [Hunter Biden partner William Oldaker]
Posted on 10/20/2020 1:57:56 PM PDT by Fedora
. . .Lobbyist William Oldaker continues to represent the Delaware Democrat in his simultaneous bid for Senate re-election, serving as legal counsel just as he has for Biden's campaigns for the past 25 years.
Oldaker is an election law attorney and partners with Biden's son Hunter at the Washington firm, Oldaker, Biden & Belair. He is also an appropriations lobbyist who represents lawyers, American Indians, and educational and health care institutions and who drew fire in 2005 for serving on numerous fundraising committees that donate to the lawmakers he lobbies. . .
"Bill Oldaker is the former general counsel to the Federal Election Commission, and his law practice for well over a quarter of a century has included prominent Democrats from a speaker of the House, to Senator Ted Kennedy, and General Wesley Clark," said Biden's spokesman David Wade. . .
A 40-year Washington veteran, Oldaker is a founding partner of Oldaker, Biden & Belair and the co-located National Group lobbying firm, whose lobbyists represent the University of Delaware and submit requests for targeted spending items called "earmarks" to Biden's office.
Wade said Oldaker was present several years ago when Biden met with UD's president. Oldaker, however, does not lobby Biden or his staff, according to Wade.
Oldaker has served as a fundraiser for Biden and helped launch his political action committee, Unite Our States, which is no longer active. . .
(Excerpt) Read more at abcnews.go.com ...
Raising the Stakes: Mr. Oldaker Goes to Washington While continuing to receive support from its initial gambling patrons, Searchlight soon sought donors outside Nevada, striving to tap the rich vein of the lobbying channels flowing through Washington, DC.
The first FEC filings for the Searchlight Leadership Fund in May 1997 initially listed the funds treasurer as Reids Special Assistant William E. Marion (of the public relations firm Purdue Marion & Associates), with an address of 245 Second Street NE, Suite 300 in Washington, DC. This address was next to the Dirksen Senate Office Building and the adjoining Hart Senate Office Building, where Harry Reids office is located. But by the end of 1997 filings had begun listing a new address of 616 South Third Street in Las Vegas (currently the offices of the law firm Fadgen & Associates). All activity during this period was conducted by volunteers, and contributions were relatively low.
Activity and fundraising increased significantly in summer 1999 when the fund opened a permanent office in Washington DC and hired a full-time staff member. A May 6, 1999 filing formally announced that the funds address was moving to 818 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 1100 in Washington DC (a block over from the White House), and treasury and record custodian duties were being taken over by William Oldaker, a well-connected Washington lobbyist whose law firm Oldaker & Harris had its offices at that address. Oldaker would expand the scope of Searchlights patronage into the world of Washington lobbying, paving the way for contributions from figures like Hsu.
Oldaker had a history of scandal dating back to 1973, when he was demoted and suspended for falsifying records submitted to US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission officials. Despite this setback, he worked his way up to general counsel to the FEC from 1976 to 1979. At the FEC he was supposed to be investigating a complaint by President Carter against Senator Edward Kennedy, but instead he used his position to get a job as general counsel and treasurer to Kennedys 1980 Presidential campaign, setting what became a characteristic pattern of using insider status to gain leverage with his employers political opponents. From Kennedy he went on to advise other Democrats, including Edward Markey (whom he helped run a direct-mail scam), Alan Cranston, Gary Hart, Walter Mondale, Geraldine Ferraro, Joseph Biden, and Jim Wright. Meanwhile in 1984 he became an original investor in Washington, DCs Century National Bank (CNB, a subsidiary of Century Bancshares, Inc.), where he remained on the board of directors until the banks merger into United Bank in 2001.
In 1987 Oldaker joined the Washington office of the Los Angeles law firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, whose cofounder Charles Manatt had served as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Then in 1993 he became a partner at the law firm of Oldaker, Ryan, Phillips & Utrecht (now Ryan, Phillips, Utrecht & MacKinnon). His new partner Lyn Utrect was the counsel for the Clinton-Gore campaigns in 1992 and 1996, resulting in the firm handling much of the campaigns accounting and legal work those years. A Senate investigation of the 1996 campaign found that Utrecht and the Democratic National Committee had worked in improperly close coordination under White House Deputy Chief of Staff Harold Ickes. (Utrecht went on to advise Hillary Clintons Senate campaign, and currently advises her Presidential campaign, as well as her response against the FEC complaint filed by Peter Paul.)
In August 1998 Oldaker decided he wanted to form a bipartisan firm. So that November he left his law firm in a bitter break-up, taking their office space at 818 Connecticut Avenue with him, to join Republican lobbyist William D. Harris in founding the law firm of Oldaker & Harris (later expanded into the National Group). In 2001 he cofounded the complementary firm of Oldaker, Biden & Belair, where he was joined by his former client Joseph Bidens son Robert Hunter Biden.
Oldaker grew into one of the most well-connected lobbyists in Washington by serving as treasurer to 23 political committees while simultaneously lobbying Congress on behalf of various interests. Industries he represented ranged from tobacco, health care, and credit financing to aviation, utilities, and telecommunications. His lobbying firms clients have included clients doing business in Nevada, such as Health Plan of Nevada--a subsidiary of Sierra Health Services, Reids eighth largest career contributor, currently embroiled in a controversy over a $2.6 billion merger.
Under Oldaker, Searchlight attracted funding from the new interest groups Oldaker represented, while continuing to receive funds from its traditional Nevada gambling industry patrons, as well as the expanding Indian casino industry. Indian casino associates of lobbyist Jack Abramoff contributed to Searchlight during this period. In early 2002 Abramoff sent a list to Louisianas Coushatta Indian tribe recommending donations to campaigns or groups for 50 lawmakers he claimed were helpful to the tribe. Next to Reid's name, Abramoff wrote, 5,000 (Searchlight Leadership Fund) Senate Majority Whip. On March 6, 2002, the Coushattas wrote a check for $5,000 to Searchlight.
Like Abramoff, Oldaker applied his lobbying leverage to numerous Congressmen and Senators. For instance, he lobbied for appropriations-related interests while collecting $30,000 for Washington Democrat Patty Murray, who sat on the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Oldakers grasp also reached into the Executive Branch. In September 1999, President Clinton appointed Oldaker to serve as Member of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission. The White House press release announcing the appointment mentioned that since 1997 Oldaker had been serving as cofounder and general counsel to the College Park, Maryland firm NeuralStem Biopharmaceuticals Ltd., which owned a major stem-cell technology patent.
In 2004 Oldaker helped found WashingtonFirst Bank, where he sits on the board of directors. Meanwhile he served as general counsel to Wesley Clarks Presidential campaign, before shifting his support to John Kerry. During July 2004, Searchlight FEC filings began listing an address of 422 C Street NE, Lower Level in Washington, DC, which is near Stanton Park, a couple blocks from the Dirksen and Hart Senate Office Buildings.
An October 2005 report by the Center for Public Integrity exposed Oldakers glaring conflicts of interests, forcing Senators Kennedy, Reid, and Byron Dorgan to publicly dissociate themselves from him. In early 2006 Reid was forced to remove Oldaker as Searchlight Leadership Fund treasurer.
However, the Searchlight Leadership Fund continued to maintain Oldaker as an unpaid trusted adviser, Reids office was quoted as stating by reporter Eric Pfeiffer. Oldaker soon surfaced again as the custodian of the Democratic Freshmen PAC, formed by newly-elected Democrats in November 2006. The new groups treasurer was James Smith, a lobbyist with the American Continental Group.
Oldaker was exposed again by the Majority Accountability Project in April 2007, and by June 2007 he was forced to resign again. Meanwhile in May, he joined the board of directors of his lobbying client Neuralstem.
His duties at the Democratic Freshmen PAC were reportedly going to be taken over by the law firm of Perkins Coie, which lobbies for various interests ranging from natural resources and computers to Indian casinos. Perkins Coie advised President Clinton during his impeachment hearings and currently serves as counsel to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). A June 22, 2007 FEC document recorded that the PAC was now based at 607 14th Street NW, Suite 800 and was using an email address of PLGroup@perkinscoie.com, indicating Perkins Coies offices. The PACs website continued to list an address in Oldakers law office at 818 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 1100 as of early September 2007.
As a Democratic Senator from California, Tunney also worked closely with two of the unnamed KGB agents other contacts: Senator Cranston and Governor Brown. Cranston, who was Tunneys senior as California Senator, was quoted in a 1971 article describing the growth of his relationship with Tunney, and in 1974-1975 he supported Tunneys efforts to cut off US aid to Angola.32 At the 1976 Democratic National Convention, where Jerry Brown was one of Carters leading rivals, Tunney and Cranston attended a private unity meeting between Browns camp and the Carter camp.33 Carters California campaign was aided by Brown, Cranston, Tunney, and Democratic State Chairman Charles Manatt, who had guided Tunneys 1970 Senate campaign and later became Tunneys law partner when the former Senator joined the firm of Manatt, Phelps, Rothenberg & Tunney (now Manatt, Phelps & Phillips). . .
While Tunneys relationship to the KGB before the 1976 election remains only a hypothesis supported by circumstantial evidence, there is more direct evidence available after the 1976 election, when Tunney joined the law firm of his friend Charles Manatt, who would serve as the Democratic National Committee Chairman from 1981 to 1985. Soviet archives indicate that another firm Tunney was linked to, Agritech, had a relationship to a French-American company called Finatech, which was run by David Karra KGB agent associated with Armand Hammerand served as an intermediary between the KGB and Ted Kennedy between 1978 and 1980. KBG reports also mention Tunney carrying messages between Kennedy and Moscow in 1983. . .
WILLIAM C. OLDAKER is a founding partner of Oldaker & Willison and The National Group. He has had an extensive career in Washington holding high-level positions in the federal government, practicing law and government relations and serving on the board of directors of banking institutions.
From 1968 to 1975 Mr. Oldaker served as assistant to the Chairman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Mr. Oldaker later served as General Counsel to the Federal Election Commission from 1976-79. During that time, he litigated several of the Supreme Court cases that define the scope of federal campaign finance laws today. From 1979 to 1980, Mr. Oldaker served as General Counsel and Treasurer to the "Kennedy for President Committee." President Clinton appointed Mr. Oldaker to the National Bio Ethics Committee where he served until 2002.
Following the 1980 presidential election Mr. Oldaker entered private practice where over the years he represented Senator Biden in his 1988 presidential run, General Wesley Clark in his 2004 presidential run, and was Ethics and Election Law Counsel to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, Chairman Ted Kennedy, Chairman Tom Harkin, Chairman Max Baucus, Senator Edward Markey, Senator Byron Dorgan, Congressman Sander Levin, and Congressman Charlie Rangel.
Prior to founding Oldaker & Willison, Mr. Oldaker was a partner at Epstein, Becker and Green, PC and a partner at Manatt, Phelps and Phillips. Mr. Oldaker has a broad range of close working relationships with Members of Congress on both sides of the political aisle. At the Oldaker & Willison and The National Group, Mr. Oldaker has represented a broad range of healthcare clients, including national healthcare associations, emergency medicine interests, medical device companies, medical schools, insurance companies including Medicare Advantage plans, and some of the largest hospital systems in the country.
In addition to his extensive career in law and government, Mr. Oldaker was an original investor in Century National Bank. Mr. Oldaker was a member of Century National Bank's Board of Directors and a member of Century National Bank Holding Company's Board of Directors for eighteen years until the bank's sale in 2001. In 2004, Mr. Oldaker helped found WashingtonFirstBank and currently serves as an original board member. WashingtonFirstBank has grown to include nineteen branch offices and has assets valued at over $7 billion.
Oldaker, Biden & Belair is a lobbying firm that was hired by 45 clients in 2008, for a total amount of $3,245,000.
Groups That Have Retained Oldaker, Biden & Belair in 2008
Client Total Subsidiary (Lobbied For) Industry
National Assn/Shareholder & Consumer Attorneys $300,000 - Lawyers/Law Firms
Equifax Inc $270,000 - Misc Finance
Adventist Health Systems $200,000 - Hospitals/Nurs Homes
Debt Buyers Assn $122,000 - Securities/Invest
Current Group $120,000 - Telephone Utilities
Industrial Safety Training Council $120,000 - Oil & Gas
Intermountain Health Care $120,000 - Hospitals/Nurs Homes
Regis University $120,000 - Education
St Joseph’s University $120,000 - Education
Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians $120,000 - Casinos/Gambling
Wheelock College $120,000 - Education
Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians $100,000 - Casinos/Gambling
Sharp & Barnes $100,000 - Lawyers/Law Firms
Achaogen $90,000 - Pharm/Health Prod
Westminster College, UT $90,000 - Education
Chukchansi Economic Development Auth $80,000 - Casinos/Gambling
St Xavier University $80,000 - Education
SEARCH Group Inc $72,000 Search Group Inc Civil Servants
College of Idaho $70,000 - Education
Advanced Navigation & Positioning Corp $60,000 - Air Transport
Pulmatrix Corp $60,000 - Pharm/Health Prod
University of Detroit $60,000 - Education
Xavier University, OH $60,000 - Education
Federation/Amer Soc/Experimental Biology $50,000 - Misc Health
Juaneno Band of Mission Indians $50,000 - Casinos/Gambling
Healthcare Quality Strategies $40,000 - Health Professionals
Iowa Foundation for Medical Care $40,000 - Misc Health
IPRO $40,000 - Human Rights
Mpro $40,000 - Unknown Business
TMF Health Quality Institute $40,000 - Human Rights
West Virginia Medical Institute $40,000 - Hospitals/Nurs Homes
Juaneno Band of Mission Indians $30,000 - Human Rights
Lumetra $30,000 - Misc Health
Neuralstem Inc $30,000 - Pharm/Health Prod
Ohio KePRO $30,000 - Health Services
University of Scranton $30,000 - Education
Westminster College, UT $30,000 Westminster College Education
Natl Consortium for Justice/Info/Stats $21,000 - Misc Issues
VeriChip Corp $20,000 - Electronics Mfg/Eqp
Altitude Research Center Foundation $10,000 - Health Services
Municipality of Bayamon, PR $10,000 - Civil Servants
Proteus Environmental Technologies $10,000 - Misc Energy
Air Tractor <$5000 - Air Transport
Commonwealth of the N Mariana Islands <$5000 - Other
Parexel International <$5000 - Unknown Business
A son of Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden was paid an undisclosed amount of money as a consultant by MBNA, the largest employer in Delaware, during the years the senator supported legislation that was promoted by the credit card industry and opposed by consumer groups.
Barack Obama's presidential campaign said Biden helped forge a bipartisan compromise on the measure, which is now law and makes it harder for consumers to obtain bankruptcy protection in the courts.
MBNA's consulting payments to Hunter Biden, first reported by The New York Times, followed his departure in 2001 from the company, where he had been an executive.
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