“Meet Chris Dodd, Hollywood’s new man in Washington.”
Yes, the new chairman and chief executive officer of the Motion Picture Association of America is the same Chris Dodd who, as the US Senator from Connecticut, had his name has been mentioned so frequently on SLABBED the listing of related posts cover four pages of search results! Although those pasts date to the early days of SLABBED in 2007, it was two years ago yesterday that Sop made it official with $enator Chri$ Dodd You Sanctimonious SumBitch, Welcome to Slabbed.
According to McClatchy news, “The big question” about the new go-to-the-movies man in Washington “is not why they hired Sen. Dodd. It’s why does he want it?”
The choice stirred some controversy. He’s barred by law from lobbying Congress for the next 22 months, and Dodd told the Connecticut Mirror in August four months before leaving the Senate that he would do “no lobbying, no lobbying.”
Yet the MPAA job is considered one of Washington’s plum lobbying positions.
Dodd said he won’t actually be lobbying, and…[the chairman and chief executive officer]… of Fox Filmed Entertainment…[Jim”]…Gianopulos noted that the individual film companies are well represented in Washington on their own.
“We were looking for leadership, direction and consensus-building,” he said.
History suggests the answer to “why” Dodd would want the position probably has a lot to do with his wife:
Dodd will head a global organization with about 200 employees and regional offices in Brussels, Singapore, Sao Paulo, Mexico City and Toronto. The MPAA also works with content-protection groups and organizations in over 30 countries.
While Dodd can’t initiate conversations about MPAA policy with his former legislative colleagues, nor can he push its positions, those ex-colleagues can ask him questions or discuss matters should they see him socially, as long as he doesn’t lobby on behalf of MPAA positions.
Ethics watchdogs aren’t pleased.
“His position is head lobbyist for the MPAA. He’s going to try to claim he won’t be proactive lobbying members on public policy, but his activity will be social. It’s incredulous,” said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen.
Although “Dodd will face some long-time on-going challenges: The illegal pirating of films, convincing other nations to make it easier to show American films, protecting intellectual property rights and dealing with evolving movie delivery systems, such as Netflix, DVDs, iPads and other new technologies”, Jackie Clegg Dodd will see a launching pad for new business, just as she did when he was Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee:
…Senator Christopher Dodd (D-Conn) went wobbly last week when asked about his February amendment ratifying hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses to executives at insurance giant AIG. Dodd has been one of the company’s favorite recipients of campaign contributions. But it turns out that Senator Dodd’s wife has also benefited from past connections to AIG as well.
From 2001-2004, Jackie Clegg Dodd served as an “outside” director of IPC Holdings, Ltd., a Bermuda-based company controlled by AIG.
Nonetheless, McClatchy reports the former Senator is no stranger to the movie industry:
He appeared in the 1993 movie “Dave” as himself, and he has a long friendship with “Saturday Night Live” creator Lorne Michaels. Singer Paul Simon accompanied Dodd through Iowa in 2007 when Dodd sought the presidency.
Oh, and “when Dodd was single in the 1980s, his friendships included Bianca Jagger, ex-wife of Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger, and actress Carrie Fisher” although, “During his 2008 presidential campaign” Dodd said that his relationship with Princess Leia “occurred a ‘long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away'”.