Whopper: Howard Dean

Roy Neel, the lobbyist who never … lobbied?

Q: You brought in somebody from Washington, D.C., who was in the Clinton White House, promised he wouldn’t go to work as a lobbyist, then immediately went to work as a lobbyist. He is a quintessential Washington insider, admired by a lot of people in the party. But doesn’t that change the whole DNA of the Howard Dean campaign?

A:  … We did bring in Roy Neel, and I think he is going to do a great job, former President Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, Al Gore’s chief of staff.


Q: Now a telecommunications lobbyist.

A: Who never lobbied[italics Chatterbox’s] and kept faith with his ethics pledge, I might add.

Howard Dean, being questioned about his new campaign manager, Roy Neel, at the Jan. 29 debate in Greenville, S.C. *


Neel left the Clinton administration, where he served as a senior staff member,and in 1994 became president and chief executive officer of the United States Telecom Association, a position he left in March 2001.

Jonathan Finer and Brian Faler, “On the Stump, Remarks Don’t Always Match Up With Facts,” in the Jan. 30 Washington Post.

 … USTA’s most important job:  promoting the industry’s interests before Congress, regulatory agencies and other policy makers.

“Company profile” page of the United States Telecom Association’s Web site.


Roy Neel

First entry under “Name of each individual who acted as a lobbyist in this issue area” on Page 3 of the United Stated Telecom Assocation’s year-end registration for 2000. The issue in question was “Internet/DATA Services Regulatory Relief.”

Roy Neel

Same as above, on Page 2 of the year-end report for 1999.

Roy Neel

Same as above (except this time the issue was “FCC Re-authorization”) on Page 5 of the year-end report for 1998.

Got a whopper? Send it to To be considered, an entry must be an unambiguously false statement paired with an unambiguous refutation, and both must be derived from some appropriately reliable public source. Preference will be given to newspapers and other documents that Chatterbox can link to online.

Whopper Archive:
Jan. 10, 2004: President Bush
Jan 5, 2004: Laura Bush

(Click here to access the Whopper Archive for 2003, here  to access the Whopper Archive for 2002, and here  to access the Whopper Archive for 2001.)

Correction, Feb. 3, 2004: An earlier version of this column stated, erroneously, that the debate was in “Greensboro, S.C.” (The error was picked up from a debate transcript on the Washington Post’s Web site. Return to the corrected sentence.)