Concord - Charlie Bass hasn't even been sworn in yet, but already he is going back to his old D.C. insider ways and has hired a Washington lobbyist to run his office. Earlier this afternoon, Bass announced the hiring of John Billings as his Congressional Chief of Staff .
"For someone who claimed he wanted to 'change America' hiring a Washington lobbyist is an awful way to start," said Harrell Kirstein, press secretary for the New Hampshire Democratic Party. "Apparently now that the election is over Bass is going back to his old Washington ways, putting special interests and his relatives' companies before the needs of New Hampshire citizens."
John Billings has spent the past several years working as a Washington lobbyist for the Food Marketing Institute. FMI lobbies on behalf of food manufacturers, and recently has been fighting to limit the Food and Drug Administration's requirements for placing nutritional information on food packaging. (The Atlantic, 10/29/2010) In this afternoon's release, Bass called Billings, "a seasoned Capitol Hill veteran."
"Apparently Congressman Bass is confused. He should be fighting for New Hampshire Veterans, not Capitol Hill veterans," continued Kirstein. "This is exactly like the last time Bass was in Congress when he voted to slash Veterans' benefits while simultaneously voting to raise his own pay eight times."