Wednesday, November 01, 2006

All in the Family

From Newsday:

" Not only does Rep. Peter King's son Sean work for former Sen. Alfonse D'Amato's influential lobbying firm Park Strategies, but King's daughter and sister also work in lobbying.

Daughter Erin King Sweeney manages government affairs, which oversees lobbying operations, for Swiss International Air Lines, in Uniondale.

And his sister, Barbara King, is a registered lobbyist for Continuum Health Partners Inc., which operates Beth Israel Medical Center, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center and Long Island College Hospital.

King's challenger in next week's election, Democratic Nassau Legis. David Mejias, has made an issue of Sean King's job at Park Strategies because it lobbies King and the Homeland Security Committee he chairs.

Sean King said he has never worked as a lobbyist, though he was listed on a New York State lobby registration.

King's opponents point out that other family members are involved in lobbying. Records bear them out.

Not only is Barbara King a lobbyist, but she is also treasurer of the High-Need Hospital PAC, which gave Peter King's campaign fund $5,650 from 1999 to 2004.

On the issues on which she lobbies, her brother has been a leader, according to the Greater New York Hospital Association. It has praised him for taking the lead in efforts to preserve Medicaid and Medicare payments for hospitals - an action often at odds with the House GOP leadership.

When asked about her relationship with her brother, Barbara King hung up the phone. Erin Sweeney did not respond to a phone call or to e-mail.

Peter King called with a terse statement that said he told his family not to answer questions and accused Newsday of a "smear" for disclosing family lobbying jobs.

"Neither my daughter or my sister has ever lobbied me or my committee," he said."

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