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Quid pro quo: SOPA/PIPA Congressional Staffers Get New Cushy Entertainment Lobby Jobs

Posted by: , 17:59 AEDT, Mon December 12, 2011

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Two GOP Congressional staffers that worked on SOPA/PIPA, now gets high paying jobs with lobby groups still actively promoting both controversial bills

Two GOP Congressional staffers instrumental in helping to draft the controversial, anti-Internet Stop Piracy Online Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) have landed new cushy jobs at the very entertainment lobby groups that pushed for the bill.

They will now help their respective new employers lobby their former colleagues and bosses to pass the bill that critics have warned could irreparably harm the Internet, while doing little to actually stop web piracy.

Allison Halataei is the former deputy chief of staff for House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas). Rep. Smith is one of the co-sponsors of SOPA, and recently came out attacking opponents of the bill, even claiming that Google was a active promoter of counterfeit drugs, and even compared web piracy to child pornography.

Lauren Pastarnack is the former senior aide on the Senate Judiciary Committee, the committee approved the equally controversial PIPA, before Senator Wyden placed a hold on the bill for fear it violates first amendment rights of American citizens. Senator Wyden is now threatening a filibuster, if the bill moves to the floors of the senate for a vote.

Both now have new, higher salaried, jobs at two lobby groups that may have been behind the initial push for SOPA/PIPA, and are not still actively engaged in helping the bills pass. Halataei now works at the National Music Publishers’ Association, while Pastarnack has been hired by the MPAA.

While law prevent both from actively lobbying their former employees, both can provide "valuable insight" and leverage their connections, according to Washington headhunter Ivan Adler.


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