Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX), who moved on from working inside Congress to working on Congress as a lobbyist, is exiting his firm, where he once plied members on behalf of RIAA. The rub is conflict between the aims of the lobbying firm and the aims of Armey’s political group, FreedomWorks.
The lobbying firm is DLA Piper, where Armey represented RIAA, Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, Medicines Co. and Jones Lang LaSalle America.
The upshot is that if Armey is planning to continue working as a lobbyist, he’ll have to hang up his own shingle and work as a solo act, or find a lobbying firm that is more comfortable with his extracurricular pursuits.
FreedomWorks is a conservative group with libertarian leanings which has been active in promoting opposition to health care reform, including encouraging protestors to attend town hall meetings. Armey’s prominence, and his connection to both organizations, was leading some to conclude that DLA too opposes health care reform.
It says that in fact it is representing clients who are trying to help pass effective reform this year.
Armey’s departure was amicable. “We understand and respect Former Majority Leader Dick Armey’s decision…to leave DLA Piper,” said firm Chairman Frank Burch.
RBR/TVBR observation: Armey’s exit from DLA does not figure to have a major impact on the battle over the Performance Rights Act, but it’s impossible not to notice that his RIAA stance would put him in close alliance with John Conyers (D-MI). We’ll bet that didn’t happen too often with Armey was in Congress. It underscores the fact that like so many broadcasting issues, you have to toss party affiliation right out the window and make your case on the merits.