WASHINGTON – A columnist in a conservative Washington publication is questioning U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu’s realtor husband selling a home for a top lobbyist.
Lobbyist Tony Podesta, of The Podesta Group, lobbying firm is using Landrieu’s husband, Frank Snellings, as his real estate agent for a Capitol Hill townhouse that is on the market for $1.89 million.
Snellings also was the agent when Podesta first bought the home four years ago.
Columnist Timothy Carney, of the Washington Examiner, wrote that Podesta’s clients include BP and defense contractor Lockheed Martin. Landrieu’s office says that Podesta has not lobbied her for those clients.
Still, Carney questioned the appearance of the matter for a senator who sits on the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee.
“But even though this wasn’t free money, the arrangement reeks of influence peddling,” Carney wrote. The Washington Examiner was founded as a alternative conservative political publication.
For his part, Snellings switched from a law career to a D.C. real estate career after his wife was elected to the Senate.
“At that time, he and Sen. Landrieu received guidance from the Senate Ethics Committee that stated it is completely permissible and appropriate for Mr. Snellings to be a real estate agent for anyone,” said Landrieu’s communications director, Matthew Lehner, in an email response. “Mr. Snellings and Sen. Landrieu have always abided by the committee’s rules and guidance, and they disclose their finances every year.”