Eleanor Acheson, Lobbyist?

June 24, 2009

Update: Stacy and I have been talking on the phone. The real question here, given that Amtrak loses so much money is, are employees being compensated as "lobbyists" when they go to a city, as in the case below, to represent Amtrak? And is that compensation over and above their salaries? And if so, why? Wouldn't lobbying a city for Amtrak be part of their job? Is it a pro-rated compensation based upon their salaries? Or is it another rat hole to throw money down and give Amtrak execs perks? According to the"details" box at link below, Acheson was compensated over 4k for lobbying NYC in one year. Additional compensation in another year.

Update: Stacy's latest on the Amtrak and the Walpin story in the Am Spec.

In working different angles of the AMTRAK story after Stacy McCain's item on Eleanor Acheson's role with AMTRAK, I happened across a curious page.

The answer is that she's the Amtrak vice president and legal counsel whose name is relevant to last week's unexpected retirement of Amtrak inspector general Fred Wiederhold.

According to an official looking page, Eleanor Acheson was, or is a paid lobbyist for the National Railroad Passenger Corporation. (NRPC) = (Amtrak) She's listed from 2007 to the current calender year. Maybe I'm missing something, or there's another explanation for this, but why would a lobbyist be Amtrak's VP and legal counsel?

You would think someone wouldn't be a lobbyist and a VP for Amtrak at the same time, wouldn't you? See Stacy's link for more. Is it something else, and just a confusing page? Seemed strange the way it makes it appear.

Update: A "radical"?

“A more radicalized gay movement will make more progress,” Foreman said. “I don’t think accommodation gets you anywhere. But you need different kinds of organizations… Aggressive activism is not incompatible with behind-the-scenes lobbying. In fact, they’re complementary,” Foreman said.
According to Foreman, about 75 percent of Americans support non-discrimination legislation for gays, and even 77 percent of Christian evangelicals support safe schools laws. But only 17 states have non-discrimination laws, just seven of those include transgenders, and less than 10 specifically protect gay and lesbian kids from violence in their schools. And the federal government gives no protections whatsoever.

Now the NGLTF has expanded its operation in Washington, adding approximately eight new staff members, including long-time Washington hand Eleanor Acheson, who is the granddaughter of former Secretary of State Dean Acheson and was an Assistant Attorney General under Janet Reno. They have been charged with the NGLTF’s agenda of securing federal protections for gays in employment, anti-violence legislation for LGBT youth in schools, and securing set asides to combat violence and substance abuse.

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  1. Acheson. That’s a name with a fairly long history in the railroad business, isn’t it? And a long-standing name in politics as well. . . no wonder they’re in bed together, for better or worse.

  2. SenatorMark4 says:

    Big deal. People in the upper echelons of any organization do whatever it takes, ignore whatever they must, to keep the big checks coming in. When I was at the Texas Education Agency in 2000 I found someone, unknown but a likely suspect existed, fondling the inner workings of our computer systems. According to the splash page on those Federally funded computers it is a Federal felony to access them without authorization. I reported it up three levels of management and then waited a few weeks before filing an open records request for the logs where I knew the evidence existed. That got me 90 days administrative leave with no changes (ie. not a whistle-blower assault) then at 91 days I was ejected from the organization.
    If you believe some high six figure person at any organization has any other interest than feathering their own nest you probably don’t have a clue how stressful it is to manage two or three large mortgages and high tuitions at private schools for their kids. You know they deserve it for thier ‘public service’ing.

  3. Rob Crawford says:

    “Big deal. People in the upper echelons of any organization do whatever it takes, ignore whatever they must, to keep the big checks coming in.”
    And so we should ignore it!

  4. Eric Rasmusen says:

    What is the problem? If Amtrak can have lobbyists, why can’t a VP’s main duty be lobbying? In fact, given the importance of lobbying that organization, shouldn’t hte President’s main duty also be lobbying?

  5. JorgXMcKie says:

    Well, if your main duty as a VP is lobbying, the vwhy should you get paid extra for it?

  6. Fine observations, there is food for thought