Donald Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, recently charged with battery, has been one of those Washington lobbyists Trump supporters tend to hate. Furthermore, Lewandowski’s claim to be committed to conservative causes was belied by his actions as a lobbyist.
In 2008, Lewandowski became the head of the New Hampshire chapter of Americans for Prosperity, a fiscally conservative advocacy group founded by the Koch brothers. At AFP, Lewandowski fought government regulations, particularly the Obama administration’s green-energy agenda. At the same time, however, he was working as a registered federal lobbyist for Schwartz Communications. One of his clients was Borrego Solar, a California-based solar-power corporation. Russ Choma writes in Mother Jones,
According to federal filings, Lewandowski lobbied on various appropriations bills, suggesting that he was striving to obtain government contracts and subsidies for his clients. In one case, he helped to land a lucrative earmark for the type of solar power project he publicly has criticized as government waste.
He lobbied for Borrego Solar to receive a $500,000 earmark from the 2010 Energy and Water Appropriations Act. This bill allocated $33.5 billion to major energy and water infrastructure projects. The earmark Lewandowski helped procure funded the sort of solar-power project he had decried as government waste.
He didn’t let his lobbying efforts to promote pro-solar legislation prevent him from leading an AFP campaign against similar policies. Choma notes that he published several columns criticizing government green-energy spending during that time:
In early 2011, Lewandowski penned an op-ed for the Concord Monitor in which he railed against a regional program that sought to address climate change by spawning investment in green-energy projects. And, with AFP’s president, Tim Phillips, Lewandowski co-wrote another op-ed condemning green energy and the government policies, including subsidies and grants, that support the industry.
Lewandowski’s hypocrisy was even starker than reported in the Mother Jones article, though. Consider that on April 6, 2009, he held a rally for AFP at which he decried the stimulus; six days later, his firm, Schwartz, touted in a press release that his clients Borrego Solar and Logical Images were seeking stimulus funds. Lewandowski then publicly criticized the stimulus again in 2012.
Trump claims not to be bought and paid for by lobbyists — he just hired one to run his campaign. But like his boss, Lewandowski has a history of conning people into thinking he’s conservative.