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Former speaker gets pricey perks
Politico ^ | December 21, 2009 | Jake Sherman & John Bresnahan

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 can’t 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 isn’t spending a dime of that money on lobbying operations. “That all needs to be above board, in the clear and transparent. And it’s not.”

Hastert declined to discuss the situation with POLITICO.

(Excerpt) Read more at politico.com ...


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: dennishastert; lobbying; lobbyists

The federal government pays $6,300 per month to rent an office for Hastert and his staff in Yorkville, Ill. Photo: AP

1 posted on 12/21/2009 7:13:20 AM PST by Cheap_Hessian
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To: Cheap_Hessian

Hastert should be beaten with sticks on general principle alone.


2 posted on 12/21/2009 7:14:24 AM PST by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
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To: Cheap_Hessian

Acorn anyone?


3 posted on 12/21/2009 7:14:27 AM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Cheap_Hessian

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!


4 posted on 12/21/2009 7:16:33 AM PST by DariusBane (Even the Rocks shall cry out "Hobamma to the Highest")
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To: Cheap_Hessian

Gotta pay for his food bill.


5 posted on 12/21/2009 7:20:34 AM PST by US Navy Vet
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To: DariusBane

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.


6 posted on 12/21/2009 7:21:08 AM PST by Britt0n
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To: Cheap_Hessian

I am sure Foley, Newt, etc all had this benefit. Seems they are only mentioning this republican.


7 posted on 12/21/2009 7:22:10 AM PST by edcoil (If I had 1 cent for every dollar the government saved, Bill Gates and I would be friends.)
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To: Cheap_Hessian

What a waste of money.


8 posted on 12/21/2009 7:23:25 AM PST by bmwcyle (Free the Navy Seals)
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To: Cheap_Hessian

Anyone who works in Congress retires with perks. They vote for those themselves.


9 posted on 12/21/2009 7:25:03 AM PST by BigSkyFreeper ("The Community Organizer better stop bitching that the community is organizing." - Rush Limbaugh)
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To: edcoil

Right, and when Nazi Pelosi gets booted from Congress, she’ll get those benefits Hastert gets too.


10 posted on 12/21/2009 7:26:33 AM PST by BigSkyFreeper ("The Community Organizer better stop bitching that the community is organizing." - Rush Limbaugh)
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To: Cheap_Hessian

And Daschle and Mitchell and bubba?

The beat begins. Bash republicans to save the dems in 2010.


11 posted on 12/21/2009 7:35:10 AM PST by Carley (OBAMA IS A MALEVOLENT FORCE IN THE WORLD)
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To: Lurker
Hastert should be beaten with sticks on general principle alone.

Especially for his defense of William Jefferson, D-LA.

12 posted on 12/21/2009 7:36:09 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: Cheap_Hessian

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.


13 posted on 12/21/2009 7:38:53 AM PST by Dixie Yooper (Ephesians 6:11)
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To: bmwcyle

What a waste of space. Hastert=A Hole


14 posted on 12/21/2009 7:48:18 AM PST by RadioCirca1970 (Victory or Death in the War on Terror)
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To: BigSkyFreeper

And Pelosi, much like Hastert will also be an A-Hole


15 posted on 12/21/2009 7:49:01 AM PST by RadioCirca1970 (Victory or Death in the War on Terror)
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To: Carley

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.


16 posted on 12/21/2009 7:50:14 AM PST by RadioCirca1970 (Victory or Death in the War on Terror)
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To: DariusBane

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.


17 posted on 12/21/2009 7:55:12 AM PST by EDINVA
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To: RadioCirca1970

That’s what members of the status quo are, A-hole’s.


18 posted on 12/21/2009 8:08:57 AM PST by BigSkyFreeper ("The Community Organizer better stop bitching that the community is organizing." - Rush Limbaugh)
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To: dfwgator

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.


19 posted on 12/21/2009 8:10:47 AM PST by BigSkyFreeper ("The Community Organizer better stop bitching that the community is organizing." - Rush Limbaugh)
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To: Carley

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.


20 posted on 12/21/2009 8:14:06 AM PST by BigSkyFreeper ("The Community Organizer better stop bitching that the community is organizing." - Rush Limbaugh)
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To: Lurker

He sure got out of Congress when the getting was good!


21 posted on 12/21/2009 8:40:27 AM PST by Anti-Bubba182
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To: EDINVA

I would agree with EXCEPT that Dennis is a K street lobbyist!


22 posted on 12/21/2009 8:42:24 AM PST by DariusBane (Even the Rocks shall cry out "Hobamma to the Highest")
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To: Cheap_Hessian

Just wait till Nanzi get a hold of her own office,
it will probably include a 747...


23 posted on 12/21/2009 8:45:54 AM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: BigSkyFreeper

And that was the day I no longer considered myself a Republican. I consider myself an anti-Democrat.


24 posted on 12/21/2009 8:56:30 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: Cheap_Hessian
The payments are perfectly legal under a federal law that provides five years of benefits for former speakers

Five years? I'm surprised it isn't life. I suspect congress will address this error soon enough. Clearly they have nothing to worry about as no one will do anything about it.

25 posted on 12/21/2009 9:00:42 AM PST by paul51 (11 September 2001 - Never forget)
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To: EDINVA
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).

Buy him a cell phone.....and publish the number!

95% of these people are flippin worthless..........

26 posted on 12/21/2009 9:08:55 AM PST by Osage Orange (Obama's a self-made man who worships his own creator...............)
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To: BigSkyFreeper

A men!!


27 posted on 12/21/2009 10:34:54 AM PST by RadioCirca1970 (Victory or Death in the War on Terror)
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To: DariusBane
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!

Get a rope.

America -- a great idea, didn't last.

28 posted on 12/21/2009 10:41:10 AM PST by Clint Williams (America -- a great idea, didn't last.)
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To: Dixie Yooper

AMEND


29 posted on 12/21/2009 12:05:09 PM PST by haircutter
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To: haircutter

OOOPS.. drop the D

AMEN


30 posted on 12/21/2009 12:06:37 PM PST by haircutter
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To: haircutter

I have a question??

Does anyone know just how much the Federal Government collects a year in Taxes (an average) they spend like there is NO end,


31 posted on 12/21/2009 12:09:43 PM PST by haircutter
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