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Thursday, Jan 12 2023

Wisconsin Congressman Mike Gallagher Decries TikTok Lobbyists But Has No Problem Taking Their Dough

Jan 12, 2023

Over the past few months, Wisconsin Republican Congressman Mike Gallagher has gone on talk radio and cable news shows calling TikTok “digital fentanyl” and decrying the “army of lobbyists” the company has hired to do their bidding. But a new report from The American Independent found that what Gallagher has failed to mention is that he’s taken thousands of dollars from these very same lobbyists. According to the report, Gallagher has been taking money from these lobbyists “as recently as May and September 2022.”

Take a look at the key points from the report below. 

The American Independent: GOP Rep. Gallagher blasts TikTok’s ‘army of lobbyists’ but takes their campaign donations

By Josh Israel | January 12, 2023

Key Points:

  • Wisconsin Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher is leading the charge for a ban on the social media platform TikTok, citing concerns that it is addictive and claiming that it is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.

  • Meanwhile, Gallagher has taken thousands of dollars in campaign cash from lobbyists who represent TikTok’s parent company.

  • On Nov. 27, he told Fox News: “TikTok is digital fentanyl, addicting our kids, and just like actual fentanyl, it ultimately goes back to the Chinese Communist Party. … Oh, and oh, by the way, TikTok is using the swamp against us. They’re hiring an army of lobbyists, including former congressmen, senators, 31 former high-level congressional staffers, in order to do their bidding. No paycheck is worth that. Okay? We need to ban TikTok.”

  • While TIkTok and ByteDance, its parent company, have spent more than $1 million on lobbying the U.S. government, Gallagher did not mention that he has taken campaign contributions from that “army of lobbyists.”

  • According to lobbying disclosure records, at least $480,000 of ByteDance’s lobbying money has gone to the multinational law firm K&L Gates, which has represented it since October 2019.

  • Gallagher has accepted $3,500 from the K&L Gates LLP corporate PAC since that time, including a pair of $1,000 donations as recently as May and September 2022.

  • He also received $750 from K&L Gates government affairs counselor James Sartucci, a former legislative director for Republican Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi, who lobbied for ByteDance on “Issues related to internet companies” in 2020, according to the disclosure records.

  • Gallagher immediately responded to requests for comment for this story.

Published: Jan 12, 2023

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