WHITE HAT LOBBYIST MAKES GOOD (AND REPS BONO!)

I’m biased because I’ve known Tom Sheridan for a few years now and, by sheer coincidence, I happened to be having dinner with him, his partner (who is my real estate agent) and his cousin last night when this profile of him first posted on The Hill’s website. But there's no denying that the progressive lobbyist truly is one of the good guys. The Sheridan Group he founded and heads is one of the best white-hat firms in town.

As Roxana Tiron points out, Sheridan represents Bono which, I’ll grant, is pretty damn cool. But Sheridan’s day-to-day political life is far less glamorous:

Through Sheridan’s lobbying, Congress passed legislation to create specialized foster care programs and high incentives for foster parents willing to take [children born with AIDS]. It was considered the first piece of legislation ever to deal with AIDS.

These are the tough, unappreciated fights. And although it’s a bit of a stretch in Tiron’s closing line to say “Sheridan always wins,” the Democrats' capture of the Congress last cycle and the possibility of an Obama presidency means Sheridan and others like him will exert more influence in Washington than they have in the past, winning bigger victories and winning them more often. (Also see Lee Drutman's piece for some new ideas on lobbying reform.)

--Tom Schaller

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