patty murray05.jpg
I just checked and "tone deaf" is two words, not one. I just want to make sure I'm grammatically correct in case I need to

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Sen. Patty Murray's Staff Retreat Brought to You by Your Local Lobbying Firm

patty murray05.jpg
I just checked and "tone deaf" is two words, not one. I just want to make sure I'm grammatically correct in case I need to reference the aforementioned auditory condition.

A reason for such usage might be Sen. Patty Murray's decision to have a two-day staff retreat inside the offices of a local lobbying firm.

This while members of her own party are up in arms over the increasing influence of money in American politics. This while a giant hunk of the liberal electorate is "Occupying" the streets to protest corporate greed and disproportional representation. This while the very term "lobbyist" has come to represent all this is bad about special interest influence.

The Seattle Times reports:

[Murray's] Washington state staff is spending Tuesday and Wednesday at Strategies 360, the lobbying outfit founded by Democratic political operative Ron Dotzauer. Karen Waters, a former deputy state director for Murray's office, is a senior vice-president at the firm.

Strategies 360 represents dozens of clients with an interest in federal legislation and the budget, according to Senate lobbying disclosures. Its registered clients this year include pharmaceutical companies, public utilities and a solar manufacturer.

Murray's communications director Matt McAlvanah called the decision to host a retreat at a lobbying firm a "non story" and said that Murray has held similar retreats previously at local businesses.

Local businesses (unless they're lobbying firms), however, are not solely concerned with getting lawmakers to pass or not pass certain legislation that affects their bottom line.

In short, McAlvanah's comparison is apples and oranges.

Even the Senate Ethics Manual has provisions against lobbyists making contributions "relating to a conference, retreat, or similar event" for members of the Senate, or their employees."

But since the lobbying firm apparently makes its offices free to others occasionally, Murray is able to skirt around the rule.

Whatever the case, both the decision to have the retreat at the firm and Murray's spokesman's seeming willing ignorance of the image that portrays is, like I said, ample reason to look up the correct usage of the term "tone deaf."

Something suggests I may need to use it again soon anyway.

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