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Dellums Became Shill For War Machine and Big Pharma-Dellums takes hit for lobbying
by repost
Tuesday Jul 31st, 2018 8:56 AM
Former Congressman Ron Dellums after retiring became a paid shill for the war machine.
Dellums Became Shill For War Machine and Big Pharma-Dellums takes hit for lobbying

By HEATHER MACDONALD | Bay Area News Group
PUBLISHED: March 20, 2006 at 5:07 am | UPDATED: August 17, 2016 at 7:10 am
OAKLAND — Most Oaklanders know former Congressman Ron Dellums as the progressive stalwart who fought against the Vietnam War, denounced apartheid and demanded universal health care for 27 years in the U.S. House of Representatives.

But after Dellums left Congress in 1998, he became a lobbyist for a drug company, a defense contractor and other firms. His two main opponents in the race to become the next mayor of Oakland contend his client list tarnishes his reputation as the “conscience of the Congress” who refused to compromise his ideals.

In an interview Wednesday in his campaign office on Broadway overlooking downtown Oakland, Dellums said there was nothing wrong with being a lobbyist, which he described as another form of advocacy — the foundation of his public service career.

“Nothing that I’ve done since I left Congress violates my political beliefs or my integrity,” Dellums said.

Council President Ignacio De La Fuente raised the issue a week ago, accusing Dellums of attempting to hide his work as a lobbyist from the voters. A spokesman for Dellums’ campaign called his remarks and criticisms sleazy and misinformed.

Lobbyists — despite their bad reputations and periodic scandals — are a necessary part of the system, Dellums said, adding that he did not feel compelled to justify his choices.

“There are people who abuse lobbying,” Dellums said. “But there are also people who need advocacy, and I’m a good advocate.”

If elected, Dellums said he would use his understanding of the federal legislative process and contacts in Washington, D.C., as Oakland’s “advocate-in-chief.”

De La Fuente, who represents the Glenview-Fruitvale district, said voters are entitled to know precisely what each candidate has done for 10 years. “It raises questions for a person who has criticized a system to lobby in that system and perpetuate that system,” De La Fuente said.

Councilmember Nancy Nadel, who represents the Downtown-West Oakland district, said she is frustrated that more people did not know Dellums worked as a lobbyist after he left Congress, saying he wanted to focus on his family.

“He is held up as a paragon of progressive virtues, a guy that has done everything right,” Nadel said. “But I’ve put myself on the line, making the hard decisions while trying to maintain my integrity. Where has (Dellums) been for the last eight years? He hasn’t been lobbying for Oakland — or even for universal health care.”

Nadel said she fears Oakland voters would be “blinded by celebrity, yet again,” referring to Mayor Jerry Brown, a former governor and presidential candidate.

On the financial disclosure form he filed with the Oakland city clerk, Dellums said he earned between $100,000 and $1 million as senior partner of his firm — Dellums and Associates — in 2005.

The firm is still active, Dellums said, adding that he has a right to earn a living until January, when the next mayor will be inaugurated.

It has not been easy balancing the demands of the campaign and his work as a lobbyist, especially since he has had to fly to the East Coast occasionally, Dellums said.

Dellums and his partners earned at least $120,000 last year for lobbying on behalf of Rolls Royce, which want their engines included in the planes used to transport troops, records show.

Dellums, who ultimately became chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, dismisses criticism that such work is a violation of the principles that prompted him to oppose funding for the MX missile system and the B-2 Stealth Bomber and to propose alternative military budgets.

“I never introduced a zero-military budget,” Dellums said, and his campaign Web site highlights his commitment to improve the quality of life for service men and women.

Dellums’ other major clients are the Dillon Group, a New Mexico-based e-business consulting firm, Chabot Space & Science Center and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Each paid him more than $10,000 in 2005, according to the disclosure form.

According to records compiled by the Center for Public Integrity, the Dellums firm earned $370,000 in 2004. The firm’s largest client was telecommunications giant AT&T, which paid the company $270,000.

De La Fuente issued a press release March 10 mistakenly accusing Dellums of lobbying for Altria, the parent company of tobacco giant Philip Morris.

According to the Center for Public Integrity’s database, it appears that Dellums lobbied on behalf of Altria because he is a member of Advantage Associates, a bipartisan organization focused on foreign policy and governance issues.

However, Dellums said he never did any work for Advantage Associates. “Anyone who says otherwise is a liar,” he added.

Another member of Advantage Associates, former Congressman Robin Tallon, D-South Carolina, is a lobbyist for Altria.

Former Congressman Bill Sarpalius, D-Texas, the president of the firm, said he recruited Dellums because of his expertise on the issue of AIDS in Africa in an ultimately unsuccessful bid to land a potential client.

De La Fuente, who reported earning between

$10,001 and $100,000 as vice president of the Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics, and Allied Workers International Union, plus his council salary, said he is glad Dellums cleared up the issue, but declined to apologize.

“People question my ties to labor,” De La Fuente asked. “What’s the difference?”

Dellums has also worked on behalf of Haiti in the late 1990s, carrying messages between ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and U.S. officials. Dellums earned fees totaling $118,000, according to the Department of Justice.

After leaving Congress, Dellums became the president of a nascent for-profit health-care company in Washington, D.C., that sought to establish managed-care systems in developing nations — dismaying many of his fellow progressives, who felt the work betrayed his legacy as a champion of universal health care.

Dellums has vowed to bring universal health care to Oakland as part of his vision for a “model city.”

The company eventually went bankrupt and Dellums started a consulting firm that morphed into Dellums and Associates, and began prodding government officials through the media to do more to combat the developing pandemic of AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.

Dellums also became a consultant for Bristol-Meyers Squibb, one of the nation’s largest drug manufacturers, who launched a $100 million charitable effort dubbed “Secure the Future” to fight AIDS in Africa.

Critics of the effort contend it did more for Bristol-Meyers’ image than for the millions infected with AIDS in Africa.

Although Dellums criticized drug companies for charging exorbitant prices for life-saving drugs while in Congress, he said this week he was fiercely proud of his work with Bristol-Meyers.

Dellums, along with his former aide and successor Congresswoman Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, was also instrumental in establishing the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, which has committed $4.9 billion in 13 countries and won support from President George W. Bush.

In 2000, President Bill Clinton appointed Dellums as chairman of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV and AIDS.

“I had a voice, and I tried to use it for people who weren’t being heard,” Dellums said. “I don’t have all the answers, but I want to tackle the problems.”


E-mail Heather MacDonald at hmacdonald [at] angnewspapers.com.
by Register Peace & Freedom or Green
Tuesday Jul 31st, 2018 10:40 AM
Ron Dellums supported sanctions against Iraq. See
https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2002/04/04/1207381.php

https://www.c-span.org/video/?30878-1/military-options-iraq

He also supported more anti-missile war spending and opposed gays in the military.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/ronald-dellums-who-entered-congress-a-firebrand-and-left-a-statesman-dies-at-82/2018/07/30/cbc41d76-941c-11e8-810c-5fa705927d54_story.html?utm_term=.aa79e30f6def

Ron Dellums was just another Democrat, talking out of both sides of his mouth. Only Peace & Freedom Party and the Green Party are for peace.