Spinning Doors


A couple of days ago, Political Money Line — a high-priced political money research firm — released an analysis (scroll down for a summary) of a new database that shows that 318 former members of Congress are now lobbyists. Seems like it could be really interesting information, but alas, you don’t get much more than a headline from this fee-based service unless you are a subscriber. (And we’re not subscribers.)

From an article in The Hill (also subscription based!) we get some highlights:


Former Rep. Jack Quinn, a popular upstate Republican, retired from the House and took a job as vice president of Cassidy & Associates. His wife has since moved down to Washington from the Buffalo suburbs that Quinn had traveled back to at the end of each week when he was in Congress.


In addition, Sen. John Breaux, a Louisiana Democrat, joined Patton Boggs upon retirement. His colleague Sen. Don Nickles, an Oklahoma Republican, started his own firm.


But former members who register as lobbyists are really only part of the story. There are lots of lawmakers who don’t register, but are still major examples of the "revolving door" because they are chief executives of associations. For example, former Rep. Jim Greenwood is not registered, but is the president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization. Former Rep Billy Tauzin, the former chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee is now President of PhRMA. These two former members are probably among the top 10 most highly paid association executives in Washington and they can probably technically claim that less than 20% of their job duties deal with lobbying but, in reality, when their organization has a major issue in Congress, you can bet that they’re on the phone or having dinner with former colleagues, that is, lobbying.