Stimulating Lawyers’ Incomes

As a lawyer, I am generally happy to see my fellow lawyers make money. But do they really need help from the government to do it, in the form of “stimulus” payments? I didn’t think my opinion of Obama’s “stimulus” program could fall any lower until I saw this:

An international law firm, which gave substantial political donations to President Obama and fellow Democrats over the last three campaign cycles, received its own significant stimulus award to advise on a controversial Department of Energy loan transaction with a struggling electric vehicle manufacturer.

The firm, Debevoise & Plimpton LLC, received $1,842,180 in Recovery Act funds to provide legal advice, conduct due diligence, and review documents for two loans from DOE’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program.

Did you have any idea that stimulus money was going to Wall Street law firms? I didn’t. This appears to be another example of the Obama administration’s corrupt cronyism in action:

According to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, employees of the law firm gave $199,944 to Sen. Barack Obama for his 2008 presidential campaign, compared to $9,650 for Republican nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona. Over the last three congressional election cycles (two cycles for the presidency, including this year), Debevoise staff members have donated $746,535 to Democrat candidates and political committees, including $284,420 to the Obama campaign. In contrast, Republican candidates and their support groups received $57,451 from employees of the law firm. Debevoise’s media relations manager, Suzanne Elio, is a former Democratic National Committee fundraiser, and top lawyer David Rivkin reportedly served on President Obama’s National Finance Committee, even hosting a fundraiser for presidential candidate Obama in his home in 2007.

As of 2010, the average Debevoise partner earned $2.06 million. I don’t begrudge them a penny of it, but in a sane world does the federal government pay them $1.8 million to facilitate an unbelievably stupid and corrupt waste of taxpayer money? And then call it a “stimulus?” I don’t think so.


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