Trent Lott joins Hastert in sudden retirement; is it all about lobbying?

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.

It was reported that they had offered more than $2.5 million per year for his services, outbidding the Motion Picture Association of America, which had offered Tauzin $1 million to lobby for it.[1]

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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10 Responses to “Trent Lott joins Hastert in sudden retirement; is it all about lobbying?”

  1. Says:

    Trent Lott joins Hastert in sudden retirement; is it all about lobbying?…

    Trent Lott and Dennis Hastert can’t wait to leave Congress, and Lott’s term doesn’t even expire until 2012. They’re healthy, yet they are leaving NOW. Well, the lobbying laws are changing. Perhaps, money is the motivator. Congressmen? Senators? Mon…

  2. FreeDem Says:

    The actual facts are hardly ever the apparent facts at the time. There is a mad rush of the Gang Of Pirates to suddenly “Retire”, and indeed they might have to wait an extra year to “Lobby” the new congress, but that does not really add up.

    #1 the new congress is likely to lean Democratic, and having someone as high profile as Trent Lott walk into my office pushing some bill would be a good reason to vote the other way or at least look at doing so. I would presume the same for any Democrat.

    #2 That extra year of “cooling off” will have many holes. You might not get that multi million dollar lobbying job, but you could easily get that much in speaking “Honorariums” and other such perks if that is what your buds felt you were due (as was the case with Saint Ronald). This while you waited for the job to become legally available. And holding themselves strictly to the law has not been the GOP hallmark.

    #3 By retiring mid term with a Republican Governor, A newly minted Pirate can arise in the job, pure as driven snow, not at all connected to all the sex and sleaze that has defined the GOP for 20 years, and can thus get the advantages of the incumbent without all that stinky baggage, for a couple of election cycles anyway. At that time they can start the game all over again..

    The most generous thought. Trying to defend Piracy is a drag, and perhaps like Ashcroft the sleaze is so great that even they are gagging from it. Also (assuming any real elections) even if they do not personally get removed from their seats by scandal or just angry constituents, the GOP is at record disrepute, and they would feel like they were playing Chess at a Queen and Rooks down, rather than that much advantage, never any fun.

    The less generous thought. Perhaps there is already negotiations, such as occured at the end of the last Bush era, and also at the stopping of the old 1933 coup, that those who stand down from power won’t be prosecuted.

    I hope they do not do the latter. The only way that Fascism will be buried for at least a few Generations is to make all those who would do so fear at least as much doing that, as any other form of murder.

  3. olenska Says:

    Hastert has some mighty soiled laundry in his closet. I have assumed that was the reason for his quick departure. wondering if the same may be true of Lott

  4. spikeheels Says:

    The only way to begin the end of corruption in Washington is to start firing EVERY incumbent. The folks in DC just don’t get the fact that we, the people, are sick of their corruption. Everyone thinks THEIR senator or member of Congress is great. As long as every member is OK, we’ll never see a change. They all must go. We need a new Congress or our democracy will be dead soon. VOTE NO to every INCUMBENT in 2008!

  5. willymack Says:

    The plot sickens. At least it’s interesting. The impending election debacle for the rethugs should be considered as a reason for the defections(retirements or resignations) of bushie stooges.It makes sense that they’d want to distance themselves from dubya’s sinking ship. On the other hand, who knows what’s going on behind the scenes regarding possible investigations and indictments? Lott is DIRTY;make no mistake about it. Service to our people is light years from his mind. If nothing else can be said about this vile regime, it’s that there’s never been a dull moment.

  6. Larkrise Says:

    The Senate, in particular, still tends to be collegial, although less so than in the past. Nevertheless, they know a lot about each others dirty little secrets. Thus, when a former Senator comes into the office, he is most likely greeted cordially and with a wink and a nod. Then, there is money, money, money. These guys have tasted the poisoned fruit of avarice and cant wait for the next bite. With the economy on the brink, who knows whether Speaking Honorariums will be that lucrative. Signing on as a lobbyist is a guaranteed paycheck. Got to keep those secret accounts in the Cayman Islands, Belize, and Switzerland full and grasping for more. These charlatans see the writing on the wall. They know that the economy is headed for a trainwreck. They are going to get while the gettin’ is good. They have rubberstamped Dimwitted Dubya and all of his disastrous policies and incompetent idiocies. The end is near and they want out before the whole shebang goes over the cliff. As for prosecuting the crooks for obvious misdeeds, dont bank on it. Cant you hear the new President intoning that “We must move forward and not dwell on the mistakes of the past. We must come together and heal the wounds of divisiveness.” If another Repug (God forbid) wins the election, they wont even say that much. Sure, there are negotiations to exonerrate all the past players in this farce that call itself a government. Once they get to Washington, as I’ve said in the past, they mutate into self-serving monsters, that dont give a rats hairy heiny about the people, their well-being, or justice.
    A very few maintain a personal sense of integrity. The rest are just politicians, playing a game, lying through their teeth, and feathering their nests. Sorry to be so cynical, but we have wandered in the wilderness for too long.

  7. Larkrise Says:

    Proposal to clean up Washington:
    Shut down K Street.
    Forbid any lobbying
    All corporations, organizations, special interests
    can have no more access to lawmakers than the average citizen.
    Any lawmaker caught doing otherwise, loses his/her seat. They must consider a proposal on its actual, factual merits and demerits.

  8. dannyvee Says:

    They’ve bankrupted the treasury, left the U.S. trillions in debt, and feathered their own nests. Now they’re cashing out. The GOP knows the next president will have a supreme challenge trying to undo the damage of the Bush regime and, if a Democrat, will have to do so under withering Republican criticism. They plan to pin the blame for the mess they’ve created on the other party.

  9. Weirdharold Says:

    Check out the” Billy Tauzin story”. It only has meaning if you must buy drugs and purchase health insurance. Maybe it might be nice to check out the profits of insurance and pharmaceutical companies. You might see what a bargain they got, when our congress pass laws at 3:00 AM

  10. Revelation Says:

    Given everything we know about this administration and this report, does anyone here believe the results will have any effect on Chuhchuhcheney/Bush. They don’t give a flying **** about truth, justice or the American way.

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