In the course of following the health care debate, in which millions upon millions of dollars have been spent to persuade Democrats to tailor their legislation to the interests of various components of the health care industry, one thought may have occurred to you: Is Tony Coelho making any money off of this? Coelho, if you don't know, is an innovator at pushing the boundary between politics, special interests, and the mutual profit thereof.
I. In January, as the value of the Mexican peso plummeted, President Clinton, Majority Leader Bob Dole and House Speaker Newt Gingrich agreed to a U.S. Treasury plan guaranteeing $40 billion of new loans to the Mexican economy. The loans, it was hoped, would stop the peso’s fall and also save the investments of American banks and mutual funds that had bought high-interest Mexican bonds after the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). As Congress began debating the deal, hundreds of CEOs and business lobbyists led by John W.
"Let me begin," says White House aide David Dreyer, "by contesting the premises of your question." It's a windless evening in November, and Dreyer is in his West Wing office, listening to a new recording of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier and defending the role of Tony Coelho, for whom Dreyer once worked, in the Democrats' electoral debacle. "First," he says, "Tony was not the party chair. He was never, to my knowledge, actually in the dnc building. Second, the role of party chair in a midterm election is relatively unimportant anyhow.