Who knows exactly what our former governor Tommy Thompson (“Tommy!”) has been up to since his days as Wisconsin governor? We do have some clues, as it turns out. For one thing, he’s very right with a lot of lobbyists. And as he sits on many corporate boards, he’s very tight with big-money interests—the sort who hire lobbyists.
At this point, even, many of those big-money interests are in fact lobbying firms themselves. Take, for example, Akin Gump. That is not the name of a sequel to the movie “Forrest Gump” in which the aforementioned Forrest becomes formally known as powerful lobbyist for the commercial shrimp fishing industry. (And I’m sure they never have heard that before…) No, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is one of the most powerfully connected lobbying firms in D.C. It’s the firm where Tommy! has long hung his hat. And they would love it it if Tommy! ran against Russ Feingold for the U.S. Senate.
Yes, a U.S. Senate bid by Tommy! would make the lobbyists at Akin Gump very, very happy. See for yourself:
• Reports have surfaced that another D.C. lobbyist is buying potential website domains for Thompson.
• This article in Politico quotes a Thompson aide at Akin Gump as saying Tommy’s hankering to recapture his glory. While the Politico article doesn’t say the aide works at Akin Gump, an article in the Village Voice does just that.
And it gets better:
” ‘Tommy G. Thompson, a partner with Akin Gump, was a member of VeriChip’s board of directors from July 2005 to March 8, 2007, and, as a result of his directorship services, as of December 31, 2007, holds fully vested options to purchase 55,556 shares of our common stock.’ [SEC records]
“A subsequent SEC document filed earlier this year clarified things: VeriChip got a bill from Akin Gump for legal fees of $1.2 million during 2005 and 2006. As a result of his being a director for less than two years, he got fully vested options to purchase 100,000 shares of stock.”
Wow. Just to be clear, Tommy! was on the board of VeriChip, the RFID chip firm. And he made a pretty mint from that.
Of course, if Tommy! ran for the U.S. Senate, he would have to release his financial records. I just hope he’s been more honest with his taxes than one of his possible opponents in the race. We’ll see!