Revolving Door in the Appropriations Committee:
Which came first: the lobbyist or the congressional staffer? The answer in the case of Jeffrey Shockey, aide to Appropriations Chairman Jerry Lewis (R-CA) profiled in Time Magazine, is just as difficult to determine as the original chicken and egg version. Shockey began his career on Capitol Hill working for Rep. Lewis for eight years. He then left his post in 1999 to join a lobbying firm whose chief partner Bill Lowery was a top donor and close friend of Lewis. “Many of his new clients, including municipalities, hospitals and lesser-known universities, were from Lewis’s district” and had business before Lewis and the Appropriations Committee. Shockey “helped win at least $150 million in pork for an array of clients,” with the help of earmarks added to appropriations bills. When Lewis took over the Appropriations Committee he brought Shockey back to work for him, while Shockey’s wife went to work for the very lobbying firm that her husband had just left. Shockey received a $600,000 buyout from the Lowery firm and continued to receive payments from the buyout even as he worked for Lewis.