INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Did Dan Coats take one position on the controversialcap-and-trade proposal as a lobbyist and then a different one as acandidate? That's what Democrats say.
It's an example of why Democrats are making an issue of thetime Coats spent as a Washington lobbyist. It's easy for them toconnect him to any number of controversial issues and difficult forCoats to explain away the charges.
In this case, the lobbying client is New York hedge fund managerJulian Robertson, an advocate of the cap-and-trade proposal thatwould create an energy tax in the effort to reduce carbonemissions.
In 2007, Robertson hired King and Spalding, the Washingtonlobbying firm Dan Coats worked for. Printed reports at the timelinked the two.
Now, on the campaign trail, Coats is telling audiences that capand trade would devastate Indiana.
State Democratic Chairman Dan Parker said, "This shows thehypocrisy of the Dan Coats campaign."
In fact, Democrats pounced, producing lobbying reports thatdocument big money spent by Robertson for work done by King andSpalding, documents that list Dan Coats as a lobbyist on bothenvironmental and climate change issues.
"He has said when he actually released his lobbying clients thathe never took a client that he didn't agree with," says Parker."Well, here's a case where he's now saying that he did disagreewith it. So, you really can't trust anything that comes out of hismouth."
What Coats actually said was that clients "met hisstandards."
What he's saying now, through a spokesman, is that he neveradvocated for cap and trade.
And that's where this gets tricky. The Coats spokesman, PeteSeat, says Coats did provide lobbying services for JulianRobertson. But those services, he says, fall in the category oflegislative updates that he didn't advocate for cap and trade, justdid things like inform Robertson when a bill was filed or votedon.
By the way, Democratic Senate candidate Brad Ellsworth votedagainst cap and trade.
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