The lobbying career of Republican congressional candidate Wayne Parker of Huntsville in the late 990s is drawing criticism as he seeks the open 5th District seat.

When he started a lobbying firm in Washington, he acknowledged
needing to avoid the appearance of capitalizing on his father-in-law's post as chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.

But over the next five years, he worked almost exclusively on tax issues over which his father-in-law held sway.

And he quit lobbying shortly after the powerful congressman, Republican Bill Archer of Texas, retired.

Parker maintains that he lobbied only for causes that he believed in and that the work is irrelevant to the current campaign.

But his opponents - including Republicans in this summer's GOP primary and now Democratic nominee Parker Griffith - say Parker took advantage of family connections while advocating for special interests on Capitol Hill.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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