Politics OnPolitics: Lobbyists flocked to former Vice President Mike Pence

OnPolitics: Lobbyists flocked to former Vice President Mike Pence

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Hello, OnPolitics readers!

A top GOP hopeful for governor of Nebraska was accused last week of groping womenincluding a state senator.

The allegations against Charles W. Herbster, 67, were first published in the Nebraska Examiner. Six women told the online news outlet that Herbster groped them during political events or beauty pageants. A seventh accuser said the gubernatorial candidate once forcibly kissed her.

Each incident occurred between 2017 and this year when the women were in their late teens to early 20s, according to the Examiner. State Sen. Julie Slama was the only accuser identified.

Herbster denied the allegations and blamed Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts, who condemned Herbster over the charges, and Ricketts’ preferred candidate, University of Nebraska Regent Jim Pillen, for what Herbster called a “dirty political trick.”

“It’s only after I’ve threatened the stranglehold the establishment has on this state (that) they stoop to lies this large,” Herbster said in a statement.

It’s Chelsey with today’s top stories out of Washington.

Former VP Pence was a favorite of lobbyists

Former Vice President Mike Pence was lobbied more heavily than any other vice president in the past 24 yearsaccording to an analysis of lobbying disclosure reports by nonprofit watchdog group OpenSecrets.

The difference was so stark that the number of lobbying clients interested in the vice president’s office after the change in administrations fell by nearly two-thirds while remaining about the same for the executive office of the president.

“Those Pence years are the outlier,” said Dan Auble, senior researcher at OpenSecrets. “The number of (lobbying) clients contacting the vice president’s office is back down in what we’ve seen as a more normal range.”

An average 277 special interests employed lobbyists to contact Pence during each year he was in office, compared with 132 during Harris’ first year in office.

The number of clients averaged 83 per year when President Joe Biden was vice president and 70 clients per year when Dick Cheney held the office.

The COVID-19 pandemic also corresponded with an uptick in lobbying outreach to Pence. Pence led the White House coronavirus task force in 2020.

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Real Quick: stories you’ll want to read

Will Texas Gov. Greg Abbott face consequences for border inspections?

In an effort to pressure Mexican governors, Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott imposed additional inspection requirements on commercial vehicles entering Texas from Mexico this month.

The strategy was meant to convince Mexican state heads to institute security measures on their side of the border in exchange for the Texas Department of Public Safety easing inspections in those areas.

But the move interrupted the nation’s supply chain as trucks carrying goods were forced to wait at the border for hours at a time.

Security agreements were reached with the Mexican governors nine days after the inspection program was implemented, but Abbott had already come under fire from White House officials, business and trade group leaders and officeholders from both parties.

“This was a manufactured stunt,” Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke said Friday, speaking to reporters in El Paso. “This was a problem that Greg Abbott created to score political points.”

Abbott argued that the Biden administration had forced his hand by ending the Trump-era policy of expelling asylum-seekers before they could justify remaining in the country legally.

Mass shootings over the Easter weekend have prompted people to question whether malls are safe. Here’s what shopping malls are doing to protect customers. – Chelsey

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