Friday, February 06, 2015

Saxby Chambliss, American Loser


Less than a month after leaving office, at least five former House members and one U.S. senator are already on the payroll at firms that make millions lobbying their congressional colleagues. The findings, provided to Vocativ by the Center for Responsive Politics, a government watchdog group, also show that a second senator who left office at the beginning of January, Alaska’s Mark Begich, took the extra step of starting his own public affairs consulting firm, which has already secured clients in health care and aviation.
 
If there was a walk of shame for so-called Congressional “representatives,” this list would serve as an excellent starting point. Their actions serve as definitive proof that the vast majority of politicians are only in it for money and power. They could care less about “public service” or being statesmen. If that was truly their calling in life, they wouldn’t immediately turn around and join lobbying firms the moment they leave office.
Yet all they do is cash in. That’s all they ever do.
The most amazing part about this article is that “by law, ex-House members are required to wait one year before they can officially lobby lawmakers on the Hill.” Naturally, professional liars and thieves won’t let something as pedestrian as ethics or rules get in the way. If there’s one thing politicians are good at, it’s finding loopholes.
From Vocativ:
It didn’t take long for these lawmakers to cash in on their careers as public servants.
 
Less than a month after leaving office, at least five former House members and one U.S. senator are already on the payroll at firms that make millions lobbying their congressional colleagues. The findings, provided to Vocativ by the Center for Responsive Politics, a government watchdog group, also show that a second senator who left office at the beginning of January, Alaska’s Mark Begich, took the extra step of starting his own public affairs consulting firm, which has already secured clients in health care and aviation.
 
While Washington’s contentious revolving door spins in perpetuum—allowing a stream of money, influence and access to flow seamlessly between the private and public sectors—the speed with which these public servants have offered themselves up to big business may raise a few eyebrows.
 
“It’s not like they were calling up their new employers on the morning of Jan. 5 and asking for a job,” says Russ Choma, a CRP spokesman. “It would seem very likely that as these lawmakers were still voting on bills and debating policies, they were simultaneously negotiating with lobbying firms whose clients may have a direct interest in these issues.”
 
By law, ex-House members are required to wait one year before they can officially lobby lawmakers on the Hill, while former senators must wait twice as long. Many, however, are able to work around those requirements at firms by signing on as consultants, counsel and strategic advisors, as a recent analysis by CRP and the Sunlight Foundation shows. That study’s conclusion: “The many loopholes limiting who can lobby whom in Washington and whether that lobbying must be disclosed to the public make a hunk of Swiss cheese look like the Berlin Wall.”
Here’s the graduating class of 2015. Congratulations guys, you finally made it!
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.)
Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.)
Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-Penn.)
Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah)
Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.)
Rep. Bill Owens (D-N.Y.)
Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK)
Four Democrats and three Republicans. Unsurprisingly, selling out is a bi-partisan affair.

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