Behind every great man...

For some reason, I had forgotten that former OC congressman and current chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission Christopher Cox is married, but married he is, and to a very industrious woman. Like many who belong to the bedrock traditional values strata of the Republican Party, which loudly proclaims the value of a stay-at-home wife, the Coxes are a two income couple. And a good thing, too, because while political appointments like hubby's have a limited shelf life, Mrs. Cox's business is evergreen: she's a lobbyist. And just last week, according to a report in Roll Call, Mrs. Cox was able to incorporate a little souvenir of her days as an OC political spouse into her work. Roll Call, "The Newspaper of Capitol Hill since 1955", reports today that:

House and Senate aides are buzzing about a late-night lobbying incident last week involving Rebecca Cox, the wife of former Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Calif.), who now serves as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

La Cox was up on the Hill to advance the interests of her client Continental Airlines as Congress attempts to cobble together a bill "to shore up the U.S. private pension system". Continental, which has underfunded its employee pension fund to the tune of $1.2 billion, doesn't feel the ten year grace period to make good on this obligation currently in the bill is generous enough, and wants to be granted the 17 year grace period offered to airlines that have declared bankruptcy, even though it is still solvent. So what did lobbyist Cox do in pursuit of those extra seven years that created a buzz? The rest of the Roll Call story is available only to subscribers, but the good folks at TPMmuckraker.com have posted the meat of it. (scroll down to "Lobbyist wife of Former GOP Lawmaker...")

"While lobbying for Continental Airlines on the pension bill, [Rebecca] Cox [wife of former Rep. Christopher Cox (R-CA), now SEC chairman] wore her Member's spouse pin, which, of course, gave her access to restricted areas of the Capitol where conferees were meeting until the wee hours of the morning Friday.

"Aides saw Cox at 1:15 a.m. standing outside the office of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), where conferees were scheduled to be meeting (though, in reality, they had moved down the hall to another Senator's hideaway). Cox, they said, was wearing her spouse pin conspicuously on a necklace.

"'She had it prominently displayed on her necklace,' a senior Republican aide to one of the Senate conferees [said]. "No other lobbyist could have gotten into that area.'"

Industrious? Well, it shows a willingness to make an effort. Incompetent? Since she couldn't actually find the meeting, yes. Unethical? You bet. Illegal? Possibly, but then again possibly not. After all, as the old saw has it, the real scandal in Washington D.C. isn't the illegal activity, the real scandal is what's legal. Something couples like the Coxes know all too well.


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