@ddwriter was the runaway winner of our Lobbyist Editing Challenge with 2,827 points. In addition to winning a LittleSis t-shirt and books, her other prize was to be featured on this blog. So here she is, the woman behind the glasses:
Diana Dominguez is a self-described pitbull. As a debt collector for many many years, she prided herself on her ability to find anyone. “If I can’t find something, I just keep digging, digging, and digging,” she said. She is also writing a series of mystery novels, for which she does a lot of research. So when she got an email about being part of the Huffington Post Investigative Unit‘s team to identify 500 former congressional staffers turned health care lobbyists, she jumped at the chance. The project didn’t only appeal to her curious side, but to her family life. Both of her adult sons are without health care.
Her youngest son recently moved to Texas and when he needs medical care, he goes to clinics with long waits. “He’s basically flying without a net,” Dominguez said. Her eldest is 31 and a waiter. He’s been 10 years without health insurance and has paid for it dearly with a few hospital visits that he’s still in debt from. He has two children, who have insurance through his wife, but Dominguez still worries about her son.
Dominguez has a history of getting involved in politics. She took part in some local campaigns in her area and has done her own research on immigration. She has filled out FOIA requests to get statistics on immigration fatalities, been down to the U.S.-Mexico border to take photos and talk to workers, and she proudly got a call from David Aguilar, Chief of the United States Border Patrol, himself.
Her husband thinks she’s glued to the computer chair. Admittedly, she says she’s “consumed” by it. She works on her laptop at coffee shops during the day and then moves to her home office in the evenings. She’s fascinated by the research, however, and says she’s learning new things about how government works every day. “It’s overwhelming,” she admitted. “I’m definitely getting an education. I always prided myself on being politically aware, but just learning how involved lobbyists are, the intricacies of how money flows back and forth, and about lobbying firms/companies that are related to Congress is just fascinating. Politicians that I wasn’t even aware of have long tentacles.”
She lives in Ventura County, California, with her husband, who used to work for the oil industry and now works for the county. She’s thankful to be on her husband’s excellent health insurance policy, but worries that if she ever were to lose it, she may not be able to get new coverage because of a preexisting condition. When she’s not making edits on LittleSis or working on her novels, she is closely following the health care debate in Washington. “We definitely need some sort of plan,” she said. “There’s got to be some sort of basic health care plan. How many millions do we have without health insurance? The Clinton administration tried to get something off the ground, but this is our best shot. We have the president who made it his major platform and we have control of Congress, too. It’s going to be a tooth-and-nail fight.”
Thanks for your great work, Diana. We here at LittleSis salute you!