March 30, 2012

Senator Joe Lieberman, Congressman Jerry Lewis Reject Republic Report’s Backdoor Bribery Campaign

Republic Report investigates political corruption of all types, and we’ve become increasingly concerned about retiring lawmakers. A study we produced earlier this month found that, out of the members of Congress who have become lobbyists and disclosed their salary, lawmakers moving through the revolving door can expect a 1,400% raise on average. The multimillion-dollar salaries are made possible in part by corrupt laws — pork barrel spending, lucrative government contracts — supported by members before they leave office. The evidence suggests retiring lawmakers begin selling public policy in exchange for K Street paydays. “Being a Congressman is like being …

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March 22, 2012
Being a sellout pays when you're a member of Congress. We unveiled last week that retired congressmen and congresswomen got 1,452% raises for becoming lobbyists for powerful special interests. So we sent a letter to the 36 retiring members of Congress asking them to disclose any job negotiations they're having for their post-congressional careers -- so at least the public would know what's being offered to lawmakers who are still governing our lives. This week, Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI) committed to disclosing his negotiations. But earlier this week, we approached retiring lawmaker Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) to ask her to make a similar pledge. She refused to respond to our questions, and wouldn't even respond when we asked her whether she is even contemplating becoming a lobbyist:

Retiring Lawmaker Rep. Jean Schmidt Won’t Commit To Revealing Her Job Negotiations With Lobbyists

Being a sellout pays when you’re a member of Congress. We unveiled last week that retired congressmen and congresswomen got 1,452% raises for becoming lobbyists for powerful special interests.

So we sent a letter to the 36 retiring members of Congress asking them to disclose any job negotiations they’re having for their post-congressional careers — so at least the public would know what’s being offered to lawmakers who are still governing our lives.

This week, Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI) committed to disclosing his negotiations. But earlier this week, we approached retiring lawmaker Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) to ask her …

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March 21, 2012

Rep. Kildee Agrees With Republic Report, Says Retiring Lawmakers Should Disclose Job Negotiations With Lobbyists

Last week, Republic Report sent a letter to 35 retiring Members of Congress asking them to reject backdoor bribery and publicly disclose negotiations they’re having with lobbyists and others for jobs after they leave office. Current disclosure laws are full of loopholes, leaving constituents in the dark about these negotiations. We’re outraged that Members of Congress are getting 1,452% raises to sell out their constituents and become lobbyists for special interests like health insurers, the drug industry, or big banks.

On Monday, we asked Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI) how he plans to respond to our letter. He went beyond disclosing that …

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March 20, 2012

VIDEO: Republican Congressman Calls For Lifetime Ban On ‘Revolving Door’ Lobbying, Audience Cheers

Casual bribery goes on almost every day in the nation’s capital. One way special interests game the system is by heavily recruiting members of Congress to leave public service and instead serve powerful corporations as lobbyists.

Congressman Scott Rigell (R-VA), a freshman lawmaker, talked about this issue at a town hall last week. Rigell received an enthusiastic response when he called for a “self-imposed lifetime ban on lobbying” for members of Congress. “Leadership by example,” he called it:

RIGELL: Leadership by example. In every respect, I sought to lead by example and do exactly what I thought needed to be done, …

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March 15, 2012
republicreport

Republic Report Sends Letter To 36 Retiring Members of Congress: Stop Backdoor Bribery, Disclose Your Job Negotiations With K Street

Is your member of Congress serving you, or serving himself? Many lawmakers, when they approach retirement, begin negotiating with lobbying firms to receive multimillion dollar salaries after they leave office. In some cases, a Senator or Representative will slip language into a bill or write an earmark that benefits a special interest, and when they leave Congress, a big paycheck is waiting for them from the very same company.

While the process of public officials going to work for lobbying firms is often called the “revolving door,” we think this issue deserves more emphasis and urgency. With members of Congress …

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