EDITOR OF REDSTATE
Jane Norton: AARP Lobbyist During Hillarycare Fight
Recently Jane Norton gave an interview to the Colorado Statesman. There is this curious exchange in it:
CS: Did you used to work for AARP?
JN: I did, I did.
CS: What did you do for them?
JN: I was — gosh, what was my title? Oh, that was so long ago. I’m sorry, can I get back with you on that? I can’t even remember what it was.
CS: I don’t think it’s on your bio. Is there any reason for that?
JN: No, no.
Curious, ain’t it. She doesn’t remember and it is not in her bio.
Well, how about we go through the wayback time machine and see what we can uncover.
According to the Denver Post on December 19, 1998, Jane Norton “Served as executive director, Office of Strategic Relationships, and director, office of state government relations. AARP/Vote legislative representative, 1993-94.”
But this conflicts with Norton who according to Business Word on April 27, 2010, is quoted as saying, “I have never been a lobbyist. I am not the Washington insider in this race. That would be Ken Buck.”
Now, let’s ignore, for purposes of this post, the “Washington Insider” denial despite being sister-in-law to Charlie Black, John McCain’s consultant and serving as John McCain’s state chair in 2008. She is denying she is a lobbyist.
In every world except Jane Norton’s world, there is no arguing the semantics. Government Relations = Lobbyist. She was a lobbyist.
Don’t believe me?
From the Rocky Mountain News on October 21, 2002: “Afterward, Norton lobbied briefly for the American Association of Retired Persons before going to work the Medical Group Management Association in Englewood, a national trade group representing health maintenance organizations and physicians groups.”
From the Rocky Mountain News on March 4, 2001: “Norton, who was previously a medical lobbyist and Western regional director of the federal Department of Health and Human Services.”
From the Colorado Independent on January 29, 2010: “MGMA confirmed to the Colorado Independent at the time that Norton headed the associations lobbying department. Yes, this is the lobbying arm of the organization, a spokesperson at the Department of Government Affairs said. Human Resources staffer Jenny Morales said that the group Norton headed used to be called the Office of Strategic Relationships and is now simply called the Department of Government Affairs. Ms. Norton held a number of positions at MGMA. One of which was Director of Government Policy in 1994. When she left the Association, her job title was Executive Director Strategic Relations.”
But let’s go back to 1993-1994. Jane Norton was the Executive Director for AARP’s lobbying arm in Colorado. Exactly what was AARP pushing for then? Hillarycare.
To be fair, AARP did not formally endorse Hillarycare until August of 1994, after Norton left, but from the end of 1993 through August of 1994, the AARP was almost singularly focused at the state and federal level building a network of grassroots activists to support Hillarycare.
Jane Norton might want to come out and say that’s why she left the AARP. But doing that would mean she’d have to admit she had, in fact, been the lobbyist she’s told everyone she never was.