Hi. it’s Chad once again. We will be filling in this week once again. Hope the holidays found you refreshed and ready to kick it back into the discussion.
So Trent Lott has joined Dennis Hastert with this “sudden” need to retire so quickly. And unlike Hastert, who is leaving with a year left, Lott has 5 YEARS LEFT. Then again, the speculation is that Lott and Hastert aren’t motivated by a better/higher/further calling, well, except for money.
This nugget from Op-Ed News says it all:
“Once 2008 rolls around, new laws will require legislators to wait two years, instead of the current one year before starting as a lobbyist.”
So the integrity of finishing out your term, as I mentioned last week, is replaced by the need/greed for money.
Yes, being a Congressman or Senator gives you tremendous power and opportunity. And perhaps a small advantage isn’t so bad, given the sacrifice of being in Congress. But the Gingrich mentality of “grab all you can” abuses that understanding.
Congress shouldn’t be seen as a gateway to lobbying. And while it’s Republicans who are taking this path so far, and Republicans are doing more than fair share, Democrats lobby too once they leave.
The Billy Tauzin story is particularly egregious. Not that I like to quote from Wikipedia, but once again, this nugget says it all.
“On January 3, 2005, the same day he left Congress, Tauzin began work as the head of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, a powerful trade group for pharmaceutical companies.
Two months earlier, Tauzin had played a key role in shepherding the Medicare Prescription Drug Bill through Congress, which had been criticized by opponents for being too generous to the pharmaceutical industry.”
So do we need to truly clean House (and Senate)? What proposals would you make to clean up this mentality in Washington?
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