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The Price of Power Viewing: Eager Lobbyists

THE BUSH INAUGURATION

January 21, 2001|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Several companies used their high rise offices overlooking Saturday's inaugural parade route to shelter Washington power brokers from the chilly, soggy elements while offering them food, drink and--of course--a chance to mingle with their lobbyists.

General Electric Co., the National Assn. of Manufacturers and the lobbying firm of Butera & Andrews were among those opening their doors for inaugural festivities.

The Florida-based legal and lobbying firm of Greenberg Traurig threw a buffet breakfast at its posh offices--complete with French toast, fruit and sausage surrounding a centerpiece of Texas boots and red, white and blue straw hats. Four large TVs offered visitors a chance to watch the festivities in warmth.

"Who else could afford these wonderful high-rise vantage points than fat-cat lobbyists?" asked Charles Lewis, executive director of the watchdog Center for Public Integrity.

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