A former campaign and legislative aide to the Democratic presidential candidate is seeking government affairs clients in Washington by reminding potential prospects:
“Should ‘CHANGE’ occur in November as polls indicate, we should see a lot of people from Illinois moving to Washington, D.C., and taking key spots in an Obama administration. Now is the time to anticipate these changes.”
The pitch by Dan Shomon, who was political director of Obama’s successful 2004 campaign for the Senate, is part of a growing effort by some supporters and associates of the senator to profit from his political success — and the possibility that he will be president of the United States a scant six months from now.
“We will be in Washington, D.C., August 4, 5, and 6, and we’re interested in scheduling a meeting with your government affairs team to discuss the changing political landscapes and our services and capabilities,” writes a partner in Dan Shomon Inc., a consulting firm based in Chicago.
In response to a query from Politico, Shomon e-mailed: “We regret the impression left by the e-mail. We are not engaged in federal lobbying and this e-mail was a response to specific inquiries into the kinds of public relations and state-level services we do offer. We will take care to avoid any appearance problems like this in the future.”
An Obama official added: “As Mr. Shomon acknowledges, this e-mail was poorly conceived and inappropriate in both tone or content. He has also committed, and we fully expect, that his firm will take the utmost care to avoid in the future actions or any appearances such as that raised by this e-mail.”
Shomon, who bills himself as “Obama’s longest serving campaign adviser and strategist,” was the Illinois Democrat’s staff person in the Illinois Senate beginning in February 1997. He managed Obama’s unsuccessful 2000 primary campaign for the House of Representatives.
Shomon was political director of Obama’s campaign committee from 2003 to 2005 and oversaw his landslide primary and general election Senate victories in 2004.
“Currently we represent clients such as the University of Chicago, Honeywell and Pfizer,” the e-mail says. “Please let me know if we can meet for a half-hour any of those days we are in town to discuss our capabilities and ways in which we may serve your needs during these changing times.”
Shomon has been quoted prominently in national stories about Obama’s Illinois years.
The e-mail says: “Dan is mentioned in every book about Sen. Obama and is profiled in Sen. Obama’s book, ‘The Audacity of Hope.’ Dan has been interviewed in recent months by Time magazine, the Washington Post, ABC’s ‘20/20,’ CNN, the L.A. Times, the Chicago Tribune and many other publications about Sen. Obama.”