Skip to comments.Departing congressmen cash in for big bucks (Daschle, Gephardt, Glickman)
Posted on 12/22/2004 3:44:14 PM PST by Libloather
Departing congressmen cash in for big bucks
By MATT STEARNS
Posted on Tue, Dec. 21, 2004
Knight Ridder Newspapers
WASHINGTON - For many congressmen and senators, Congress is something like the Eagles' song "Hotel California": Members check out, but they never really leave.
With the 108th Congress now passed into history, another Washington tradition is playing out this month as departing members of Congress, rather than returning home, trade their years of service for big paychecks from lobbying groups, investment banks and law firms.
Rep. Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., is sifting among offers. Rep. Jack Quinn, R-N.Y., will join one of Washington's top lobbying firms. Rep. Billy Tauzin, R-La., who helped write the prescription drug law that Congress passed last year, will become president of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, a powerful drug-industry trade association.
Critics call the moves exemplary of what's wrong with a Washington culture of insiders that mainly benefits deep-pocketed special interests; others say lobbying is an important part of congressional accountability to society's various interests and that former lawmakers bring needed expertise.
Former members of Congress decide to stick around for many reasons beyond money: They've made friends here. Their kids are in school here. And for many, it's hard to let go of the heady Washington life.
"I met with Dick Cheney yesterday and we talked about the Ukraine presidential election," said Jack Buechner, a former Missouri Republican congressman who lobbied for a few years and now runs a Washington-area nonprofit. "That's not a conversation you're going to have at the Silver Dollar diner in Maplewood."
To be sure, one of the biggest pulls is the big pay.
(Excerpt) Read more at mercurynews.com ...
Something special underneath my Ramadan tree this year...
Just be grateful they can't sell pardons.
I don't see why people criticize former Congressmen and other government officials so much for going into lobbying after their government careers are over. It makes sense for them because they are working in a field they are interested in and making more money than they probably could anywhere else. And, it makes sense for the lobbying firms because they have hired someone with a great deal of experience in Washington and someone who knows what current Congressmen like to hear. That kind of expertise can not be found just anywhere!
Their whole purpose was to line their pockets. That was it from the start, so there are no surprises here.
This is a surprise....how...?
Gotta "cash in" on the favors owed somehow.
You suffer from being logical and fair. The issue here is indulging in envy and egalitarian fantasies. Good post but it will not be accepted because of envy and egalitarianism are the dominant political themes of many, perhaps most, voters.
These former Congressmen are not planning on ever running for office again, though. What should stop them from living the high life if they can?
What a racket.
Indeed it is. What I find most amazing is how the "net worth" of our politicians increases so remarkably during their time in office, far beyond what one can attribute to their salaries.
They were whores long before they "retired" from public office. The asking price has changed-that's all.
The most venal guys I've met in business are ex-legislators. A public company risks scrutiny and stockmarket pressure for dealing with ex-officers and ex-directors, but ex-legislators go back to Congress and ask for favors for their new clients with impunity, and they're not particular about the character of their clients. This system encourages 2nd-raters and glad-handlers whom you would never want to deal with in your own affairs.
We need to drain the swamp and reduce discretionary goodies by government.
If the ex-politicians and current lobbyists were not being paid any money, no one would complain. The big issue here IMHO, is that they are paid well; hence, they are easy targets for,"..it ain't fair...they are using their previous network to make outrageous sums..." and so on and so on. In a word--envy is the basic underlying problem for the complaints.
In my humble experience, they often don't add any value. If it's a policy wonk like a Pat Moynihan or a Jack Kemp, that would be different.
You really feel like taking a shower after meeting with one of the former kind.