continued "I knew the system. So what I did, first of all, was to go and meet with -- there's a staff person who works for Senator Boxer and Senator Feinstein. I'm trying to remember [his name] because there's two of them, or three of them. You can only take this job for about a year because 95 percent of the people that ask for stuff don't get it, so you're not a very popular person. It's really hard work. Some young 25-, 30-year-old staffer.
"You go in to see them and you introduce yourself and you explain why you're there, you're representing the City of San Diego. I mean, you don't just knock on the door; you get in touch with them. And the first thing is to explain the need for the project and also point out the kind of support you have from the mayor and the council: this is a priority.
"And explain why it's an unusual project: because it came up at the end, it's tied to the opening of the road, and you can't open this big investment all the way from Balboa Park to San Diego Bay because of this thing, and explain why it wasn't in the budget. And this is at the time that they were building the [ball]park too, you know -- the park overrun.
"So you go in, and you meet with them at ten o'clock in the morning. The staff people are the ones that really do this. In this case, I had a friend of mine who was from Vermont who was the chief of staff for Senator Leahy, who knew the chief of staff for Senator Feinstein. So, I forget whether I talked to her on the phone, but he said, 'This is a good guy, why don't you talk to him.' Because, you know, she's got a million people.
"Well, you go in the office, and in these other states, like Vermont, it's nice and quiet. But in California, it's like, there's 30, 40 million people and there's only two senators. What's happened nowadays is that people organize these things, the e-mails and the phones, you know. The phones ring, ring.
"So, anyway, I figure I either met with her or I talked with her, and I met with Susan Davis's person here, a guy named Don Hammer, at the time. I met with her. I went to her office. You know, congress people are a little easier to see because they only represent a small amount; there's 53 of them in California.
"It's very important that you bring everybody up to speed, because it's not only that you want people to help you, you don't want them to hurt you. They never heard about it. It's a matter of respect. So you make sure that all the key staff people are involved, the two senators and the congress people.
"We actually talked with Congressman Filner as well, even though it's not his district. He used to be a member of the council, as you know, and he's also on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. So I went to see him.
"There's this kind of small-p political process where you make sure you know everybody knows what you're doing so if it pops up...because these things are easy to kill. It's a very complicated situation.
"I really like representing public entities and having projects that are easily explainable and defensible. We had this picture, this video. There was this video of people crawling underneath and over the trains at noontime, old people. And so, we're saying this is what the alternative is.
"So anyway, then it just becomes a matter of understanding, continuously keeping in touch, answering questions, trying to keep it on the top of the list, getting feedback. Mostly on the phone. I would go to Washington periodically, once a month or so. But I wasn't one, and never have been one to, you know, I'm not a winer or diner or -- in fact, I don't think I've ever had any social stuff with any of these people. It's all strictly business. That's the way I like it.
"There's really two kinds of lobbyists, the institutional -- well, there's more than two kinds. The people who are in Washington, who're there all the time, they generally come out of either former congressmen or former staffers or former White House people -- there's Tommy Boggs, whose dad was majority leader of the House.
"These people, they become personal friends with these guys. They go out to dinner with them. They do fund-raisers for them. That's the big deal. The way the system works is, it's all perfectly legal, but these guys, you know, they get the calls -- you can give $5000 or $1000, and you're expected to write the checks. It's all part of the whole way the system works.
"And those are the big guys; those are the guys who make $5 million a year, and they have these big offices.
"Then there's a number of people like me -- and there's law firms and all this stuff -- but then there's other independent people like me who work on specific issues. I really focused on working for people who I knew or states that I knew. Right now I'm working for a private company, but it's not for earmarks. It's a San Diego company that's developed a product that has to do with transportation. I'm trying to introduce that product into some government stuff and some private-sector stuff. But on the earmark work that I've done, and the policy stuff, I've always worked for public-sector clients, and I've worked independently.
"I don't do any wining. The Duke Cunningham stuff, that's a whole different deal. Those are the guys who get these private earmarks. I don't know how to do that, and I'm not interested in that. The only area I really know about is transportation, and that's got to do with policy, and it's got to do with earmarks.