Houses on the hill are not for living. They are for lobbying.

Houses on the hill are not for living.  They are for lobbying.

On the multipurpose allure of Capitol Hill mansions:

“We did a cost-benefit analysis because we’ve been renting a house for years and years and rents have gone up, and everything essentially became astronomical to just rent. It’s almost like a trifecta. First, we save on hotels because our members can now stay there. Two, that’s our office. We do not rent office space per association. So we use the house. And third, the icing on the cake, is that, as everyone in Washington, DC knows, it’s about building relationships. That’s how you get things done. And now we can organize events where congressmen can come in a much more relaxed atmosphere. But also, and here’s the icing on the cake: location, location, location. … We’re there on New Jersey Avenue. In fact, we’re kidding about it: Some members of Congress could almost scream in their voices how close we are…” — Brian Bell, pilot attorney for the Allied Pilots Association

On the lobbyist effort to influence lawmakers:

Some of it is unconscious, right? They want members to think highly of them and think highly of their organization only… if the member is having a good, positive time in their mansion. And so I think there’s hope that in the long run it will create a positive relationship, so that if this group ever needs something, they have to ask a favor, that that relationship is there. A big part of Washington’s advocacy and influence of Washington is just building long-term relationships so you have that relationship if you ever need a favor. — Hailey Fuchs

“One of the reasons I think the row houses play such a vital role in the business we’re in, you know, especially in this new normal that we’re in, people can come here and not worry if the restaurants be open or not.” — Scott Eckart

“We have a lot of meetings with the staff, but there’s just something special when you actually talk to that member of Congress and say, ‘Sir, Madam, Congressman, Congressman’. What gives us credibility or authenticity is, you know “I’m an active flying pilot. I fly triple sevens for American from Dallas. So in my conversations I might say, “Hey, you know what we’re talking about? Hey, I had this last week. I observed it.” ‘ It’s there for them. It’s the real deal, instead of someone who might be lobbying up there who isn’t a pilot and say, ‘Hey, I heard from a pilot.’ Now they can really say, ‘Wow, okay. I spoke to Brian or I spoke to Jonathan and I spoke to Sean, and it happened to them.’” — Brian Bell

On the risk that lobbyists go beyond legal boundaries:

“The concern is always there, but I think the way we run our procedures, that control is gone because we’re going to follow the law, whatever it is, and make sure we don’t even come close to the gray areas or something like that.” — Brian Bell

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Rachel Meadows

Rachel Meadows

Trending topics news writer who enjoys cooking, walking her dog and travel.

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