Disturbing Trend of Lawmakers Quitting to Work as Lobbyists

September 25, 2009

(ChattahBox)— Raw Story has a piece today, noting the more brazen trend of late, of former lawmakers and their staff leaving public life for an immediate lucrative job with a lobbying firm. A recent case in point is former Republican Senator from Florida, Mel Martinez, who quit the Senate mid-term and walked through the front doors of one of the most prestigious lobbying firms in the country, only two weeks after leaving office.

In years past, it was looked upon unfavorably, if a lawmaker became a political lobbyist so soon after leaving public office, but it’s becoming a growing trend, as the money is becoming too tempting to turn down for many.

Martinez took a position with the lobbying firm, DLA Piper, which until recently employed former Republican lawmaker Dick Armey. DLA Piper says the firm didn’t discuss a lobbying position with Martinez until he announced he was leaving office.

Under Senate rules, Martinez will be barred from lobbying his former colleagues for two years.

Meredith McGehee of the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, is calling for stricter ethics rules regarding lawmakers working for lobbying firms.

“The reality is that the money has gotten so big and so tempting these days, that I think a lot of these members are saying, ‘I don’t think I’ll go back into political office, first of all, and, the money is just too big to turn down,” said McGehee.

Since 2007, five lawmakers have abandoned their terms of office mid-term to work for lobbying firms.


2 Responses to “Disturbing Trend of Lawmakers Quitting to Work as Lobbyists”

  1. Pam Walter on September 26th, 2009 9:34 am

    Is your concern that the law makers are leaving mid-term or that they are working as lobbyists at all?

  2. Internetto on September 27th, 2009 12:43 am

    Republicans have poopypants.
    Never vote for a Republican.

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