Earlier this year there was some concern in Alabama that former Congressman Bud Cramer, picked by local leaders to head Huntsville’s “Second to None” lobbying effort to preserve Constellation, might have a conflict of interest: he works for Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates, a lobbying firm retained by, among other companies, SpaceX, a leading advocate of the administration’s plan to rely more on the commercial sector. At the time Cramer said would not support anything “that is contrary to what is in Marshall’s best interest”, a reference to the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville.
On Tuesday Cramer reiterated that stance to the Birmingham News and added something else: he is not working for SpaceX at all and is not registered to lobby on its behalf. “I knew that my firm was registering to lobby for SpaceX and I’m a partner there, and there might appear to be a conflict,” he said. “I think they removed my name from there to be clear about it,” referring to lobbying registration filings by Wexler and Walker.
According to Senate lobbying records, Cramer’s name was listed on a lobbying registration form filed by Wexler and Walker on March 1 that indicated that the firm was working for SpaceX. Cramer’s name was listed with another former congressman, Bob Walker, and Dale Snape. Three weeks later, the lobbying firm filed an amended registration that replaced Cramer with Patric Link. The amended filing gives no reason for the change. According to filings, Wexler and Walker performed $30,000 of lobbying for SpaceX in the first quarter of this year and $60,000 in the second quarter, all on the topic of “NASA Funding”.