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Jim Oberweis

When interests overlap for Durbin, lobbyist wife

When interests overlap for Durbin, lobbyist wife

Sen. Dick Durbin has long said that he and his wife, Loretta, an Illinois lobbyist, take pains to separate their work and avoid conflicts of interest.

But a Tribune investigation has found instances in which Loretta Durbin's clients have received federal funding promoted by her husband, raising questions about whether the power couple have done enough to avoid inherent conflicts of interest as they go about their jobs.

The Durbins sat down for an hourlong interview with the Tribune last week, and the U.S. senator acknowledged occasional "overlap" in which his wife's clients received his help, but both insisted that she limited her lobbying to the...