A quick look at the firm's 2006 and 2007 client lists begs the question, what's can he possibly do in his remaining time that wouldn't be a conflict with one of the firm's clients? As The Washington Post wrote Sunday in an editorial titled "Mr. Wynn's Ignoble Exit," the reason for his early exit is clear, "M-O-N-E-Y." The Post said it best, "Don't let the revolving door hit you on the way out."Continue reading
Thanks to Craig Newmark, we now know where two more former staffers of resigned, retired or defeated members of Congress are now. Wayne Palmer, the former chief of staff to Sen. Rick Santorum, now lobbies for Astrazeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, while Tim Berry, the former chief of staff for Rep. Tom DeLay lobbies for Time Warner. We now have four lobbyists verified, only 44 to go!Continue reading
This is a pretty amusing take on Washington's revolving door. But the truth is often stranger than fiction. If you want all the facts, check out the Center for Responsive Politics' Revolving Door database. In fact, you can start by looking up the names of some of the people mentioned in the cartoon.
Wow, that was fast. In less than a day, 21 citizen researchers completed the first part of the Where Are They Now?" distributed research project. They investigated 268 congressional staff members whose bosses resigned, retired or were voted out of office in 2006, and found 48 who have potentially gone through the revolving door to work for K Street. Thank you to all who participated--including the 30 researchers who signed up but didn't get a chance to participate in the first part, but remember: There's still more to be done.
So far, only one of these potential revolvers has been verified. Here's your chance to do some old fashioned, person-to-person reporting: Call up a lobbying firm and verify that we have indeed identified a former congressional insider who's moved on to K Street. We give you a really simple script, and an easy way to record your efforts. Just click here to get started.Continue reading
Rep. Mike Oxley, the former chair of the powerful House Financial Services Committee, retired. So did Sen. Paul Sarbanes, the ranking minority member of the Senate Banking Committee. Rep. Harold Ford lost his bid for an open Senate seat, while Sen. Rick Santorum lost his bid for his own. Criminal investigations cost both Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham and Rep. Bob Ney their seats.
When they left office, what happened to their former staffers? Did they go through Washington's Revolving Door? Using the Sunlight Foundation's new Where are they now? distributed research tool, you can find out who's gone from Congress to K Street. The 109th Congress closed up shop nearly one year ago. For the top staff members whose bosses resigned, retired or were voted out of office, the one year "cooling off period" -- during which they are not allowed to lobby their former colleagues on Capitol Hill -- is coming to an end. Lower level staffers have been able to lobby their old colleagues on the Hill all year.
Now you can find out what former aides are now lobbying on everything from S-Chip expansion to bridges to nowhere. Where are they now? also extends the distributed research model by allowing users, in addition to doing the preliminary research on potential revolvers, to verify information, resulting in a 100 percent-citizen-powered project. Where are they now? will thus take our experiments in citizen journalism to a new level—producing high quality, fact-checked facts that any citizen or journalist can quote and rely on.
Using the tool is simple. Pick a lawmaker you want to research from the project's home page, choose one their former aides from the the list taken from the September 2006 edition of the Congressional Directory, and look for any matches in the Senate Office of Public Records online database of lobbyist disclosures. If you do find a match, enter the firm's name and contact info from the SOPR database, and you're done with step one. If you want to verify the data, use the tool to keep track of your phone calls to the lobbying firm. And that's it. A fun little diversion for the holiday season. (P.S. -- For those curious, our friends at the Center for Responsive Politics maintain a pretty good list of former members of Congress who've gone through the revolving door--including those who left during the 109th Congress.)Continue reading
Perhaps the greatest convergance of corrupt activities in Washington over the past few years occurred during the debate and passage of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003. The story in a nutshell is that lobbyists wrote a one thousand page bill that was introduced hours before congressmen voted on it. The vote was then held open for three hours - the longest vote in the history of the House of Representatives - instead of the normal and required 15 minutes. During the open vote the Republican majority twisted arms and used threats and bribes to gain votes for the bill. (Later, Tom DeLay and other Republican congressmen would be admonished by the Ethics Committee for their actions.) When the bill was passed and signed by the President all of the main actors who helped pass the bill went to work for the pharmaceutical industry. Last night 60 Minutes did a great job covering this story. Crooks & Liars has the 60 Minutes footage:
Here's a direct Windows Media Player link.
Here's a direct Quicktime Link.Continue reading
At GoodbyeJim.com, a site that closely monitors the member of Congress from my district--Rep. James Moran of Virginia's 8th district--Jonathan Marks has an interesting post about a small government contractor called MobilVox. In the 2004 election cycle, the firm's employees made modest campaign contributions to a trio of lawmakers--Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, Rep. John Murtha, and Moran. In fiscal year 2005, according to FedSpending.org, the Navy awarded MobilVox a contract worth $507,092. Marks wonders whether it's worth looking at MobilVox more closely.Continue reading
A new Congress is sworn in today with the promise of significant reform. And as Congress is sworn in, the Center for Responsive Politics is releasing a Revolving Door database that profiles more than 6,400 individuals who have worked in both the federal government and the private sector. The practice of lawmakers and staff leaving the Hill and then plying their contacts with their former colleagues on behalf of private interests is one of the most critiqued practices on the Hill. Now we really have a full, factual picture of what's going on.Continue reading
What caught my eye in this morning's Washington Post puff piece on just how much of a maverick Senator-elect James Webb will be was the tidbit that he's hired Paul J. Reagan, a registered lobbyist and former staffer for Rep. Jim "earmark the s--- out of it" Moran. The McGuire Woods LLP bio of Reagan tells us, "In addition to managing Moran’s staff and offices, Paul also handled press and coordinated appropriations issues." (emphasis added.) Reagan's new job with Webb will be to "help his boss navigate the intricacies of Washington and Capitol Hill without losing the essence of his personality," as the Post's Michael D. Shear effervescently puts it.Continue reading
I haven't heard it mentioned much lately, but the online face of the K Street Project -- the Republican effort to make sure Washington's influence industry hired Republicans going through the revolving door -- is still active. Much as I find the project to be distasteful (although truth be told, I never thought that Republican heavies preventing Democrats from landing plum lobbying jobs rose to the level of a national crisis), I hope the Web site sticks around after the November elections. Where else can you find a compendium of job listings quite like this one?Continue reading