Skip to comments.Former speaker gets pricey perks
Posted on 12/21/2009 7:13:17 AM PST by Cheap_Hessian
U.S. taxpayers are spending more than $40,000 per month on office space, staff, cell phones and a leased SUV for former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, even as he works as a lobbyist for private corporations and foreign governments.
The payments are perfectly legal under a federal law that provides five years of benefits for former speakers but only if Hastert never makes use of his government-funded perks in the course of his lobbying work. Ethics experts say that sort of separation is hard to maintain.
Hastert has to be meticulous in his schedule to make sure there is no bleed from his publicly subsidized office into his private practice, said Kenneth Gross, a former Federal Election Commission general counsel and congressional ethics authority. Steve Ellis, vice president of the watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense, called the arrangement really concerning.
It is specifically prohibited federal dollars cant be spent on lobbying operations, Ellis said. We are paying for his staff [and] for a car, and we need to be very sure that he isnt spending a dime of that money on lobbying operations. That all needs to be above board, in the clear and transparent. And its not.
Hastert declined to discuss the situation with POLITICO.
(Excerpt) Read more at politico.com ...
The federal government pays $6,300 per month to rent an office for Hastert and his staff in Yorkville, Ill. Photo: AP
Hastert should be beaten with sticks on general principle alone.
For Five Years??? Why? For what purpose? Repubs and Dims use federal power to make themselves princes of the realm... To hell with them all!
Gotta pay for his food bill.
This pisses me off. My husband and I are paying 35% tax on our income, while we work are rear-ends off and this is what our money gets spent on and worse? What an absolute and utter waste.
I am sure Foley, Newt, etc all had this benefit. Seems they are only mentioning this republican.
What a waste of money.
Anyone who works in Congress retires with perks. They vote for those themselves.
Right, and when Nazi Pelosi gets booted from Congress, she’ll get those benefits Hastert gets too.
And Daschle and Mitchell and bubba?
The beat begins. Bash republicans to save the dems in 2010.
Especially for his defense of William Jefferson, D-LA.
I still have a hard time believing we paid him anything while he was Speaker of the House. If he, Lott or Frist had half the gall of Nancy Pelosi, we would be the top energy producer in the World, Bush’s tax cuts would be permanent, Social Security would be on the road to recovery, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would have been jailed before the economic collapse ever got started, Obama’s 1st and only term as Senator would soon be over and Al Gore would be sitting in jail cell with Bernie Madoff.
What a waste of space. Hastert=A Hole
And Pelosi, much like Hastert will also be an A-Hole
Its time bash of them. Just because they have an R after their name doesn’t mean they are any better than the commie pinko libs. We need to start calling crooks what they are— crooks. Both sides need to be culled.
I can understand a two year (one term) transition period. Former constituents, current members, etc. would be maintaining contact with a former Speaker (I think a lot of folks miss how major a role that is). But after two years they should be 100% off the public dole.
Similarly, former POTUSes should have security details and leave the perks beyond any pension at that. They all make more $$ in retirement than they make as POTUS.
The situation may have changed but SCOTUS justices and former VPs don’t get any perks after leaving office.
That’s what members of the status quo are, A-hole’s.
Right, especially for his protecting the status quo. I’ll never forget the day Hastert got in front of the camera and basically told the American people to back off and go to hell.
The only reason the Republicans are in the minority is they were accused of what the Democrats are doing now: Digging this country into a deep hole that it will take several generations to get out of. There isn’t “hope” or “change” with this current governement. Same $hit, different party.