Wife of Obama's Ag Secretary raking in the lobbyist bucks 

Tom Vilsack was a registered federal lobbyist in 2008, and then he was Obama's Agriculture Secretary in early 2009. Now, his wife is running for Congress, and she's having great success on the fundraising front -- pulling in two-and-a-half times as much as incumbent Steve King.

Turns out K Street is helping her out a good bit. I perused her donor list, and immediately spotted some familiar names: Top health-insurance lobbyist and former Ted Kennedy staffer Mary Beth Donahue contributed to Vilsack, as did Democratic superlobbyist Steve Elmendorf. Matthew Hartwig, chief of staff at the ethanol lobby Renewable Fuels Group is a Vilsack donor, like Jennifer Mullin of the Democrat-heavy lobbying firm Glover Park Group.

Of course, the abortion lobbies EMILY'S List and Planned Parenthood are bankrolling Vilsack, as are green energy lobbyists like Eric Washburn.

These are just the first names I noticed. Don't be surprised, though, if you see Christie Vilsack try to run as some sort of scourge of the special interests.

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Timothy P. Carney

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