Anna Burger Update: Secretary of the Senate Responds to AWF's Investigation Request
While the Alliance for Worker Freedom and Americans for Tax Reform’s request to investigate Anna Burger’s status as a, potentially, unregistered lobbyist remains unanswered by U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips and Clerk of the House of Representatives Lorraine C. Miller, the Secretary of the Senate Nancy Erickson’s office responded to AWF/ATR’s late last month.
To view the Secretary of the Senate’s letter click here.
Ms. Pam Gavin, writing on behalf of Ms. Erickson, informed ATR/AWF that “we intend to close our file on this matter,” thereby NOT recommending that U.S. Attorney Channing Phillips to review Ms. Burger’s status as an unregistered lobbyist.
So on what grounds did the Secretary of the Senate’s office decide to dismiss AWF/ATR’s case documenting that Anna Burger may, in fact, be an unregistered lobbyist? What was the evidence that vindicates Anna Burger? We have no idea.
After receiving letters of potential lobbying violations, the Secretary of the Senate and the House Clerk inform the accused party of the claim levied against them. I suspect the series of letters between the Secretary of the Senate and the SEIU went something like this.
Dear Anna Burger:
I received a request from Americans for Tax Reform and the Alliance for Worker Freedom inquiring about your status as a lobbyist. As you well know, the LDA defines a “lobbyist” as a person who spends over 20% of his/her time on “lobbying activities” and has two or more “lobbying contacts.” In short, did you spend more than 20% of your time lobbying?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Upon receiving this letter, Anna Burger might as well have responded as such:
Dear Nancy Erickson:
Ps: Disregard my 2008 LM-2 form which states I spent 37% of my time on political or lobbying activities.
In an attempt to figure out why the Senate Secretary decided to close Anna Burger’s case, the Alliance for Worker Freedom sent this letter to Ms. Gavin, an excerpt of which follows:
We are formally requesting any correspondence between your office, Ms. Burger or the SEIU and/or any other entities in relation to this matter. Further, we are requesting any documentation or evidence provided to you by Ms. Burger, the SEIU or any third-parties which indicates Ms. Burger is not in violation of the 20 percent threshold.
Humorously, just days after AWF received Anna Burger’s letter of exoneration, the White House released an updated White House visitor list showing the incredible amount of access Ms. Burger has to Obama officials. The December White House visitor logs clocked Anna Burger in at an impressive 31 White House visits since Obama took office.
If nothing else, Anna Burger’s cozy relationships with elected officials deserves closer scrutiny. We ask the administration that once promised “a new era of transparency” and campaigned against special interests groups to not forget these burdensome, but important ideals.
To view AWF/ATR’s original letter that more clearly outlines Ms. Burger’s questionable non-lobbyist status, click here.
We will continue to keep you updated with any new developments.