Thursday, April 23, 2009

From pols to lobbyists

Posted By on Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 6:39 PM

USA Today on lawmakers-turned-lobbyists:

Despite congressional pledges to stop the revolving door between Capitol Hill and the lobbying industry, 16 of the 62 lawmakers who left Congress last year have landed jobs with groups that seek to influence policymakers, a USA TODAY analysis has found.

Former House members are barred from lobbying their former colleagues for a year after leaving office and former senators must wait two years. But nothing prohibits former lawmakers from immediately starting to advise clients on how to navigate the congressional process, having contacts with administration officials, or working as a state lobbyist.

Two of the 16 are Louisianans: Richard Baker, former Rep. from the state's 6th District, now president and CEO of Managed Funds Association; and Jim McCrery, former Rep. of the 4th District and now a partner in the "government relations firm" Capitol Counsel.

The story also carries this quote:

Craig Holman of the non-partisan watchdog group Public Citizen said the moves reflect "an utterly failed revolving-door restriction. They can't call or visit a congressional office for a lobbying purpose but can do all the work on a lobbying campaign," he said.

Like Captain Renault in Casablanca, I'm sure we're all shocked, shocked.

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