March 25, 2012

Second Congressman Explicitly Pledges Not To Become A Lobbyist

Congressman Dave Loebsack (D-IA)

Earlier this week, Republic Report was the first to note that Tea Party Congressman Scott Rigell (R-VA) promised a crowdof constituents recently that he would not become a lobbyist after he retired, and that lawmakers should all take a pledge to impose a lifetime ban on influence peddling. “Lead by example,” Rigell exclaimed, to a roar of applause.

Now, the National Journal is reporting that a second lawmaker has made a similar pledge. Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA) has made a “vow” never to become a lobbyist:

Far too often people come to Washington just to cash in.” […]
“That’s why I vow to never follow in the footsteps of so many others and engage in lobbying as a way to cash in on having served the people of Iowa”

As we’ve reported, members of Congress taking jobs on K Street can expect paydays of several hundred thousands; sometimes millions. They are valuable for the lobbying industry because they help gain access, provide insider information, and they often trade policy for pay before they leave office. An analysis by Republic Report found that out of the few lawmakers-turned-lobbyists who have been forced to disclose their salaries, they received over a 1,400% pay raise on average.

  • Great Job! Although it can appear that everyone is completely corrupt, this reporting proves that we can leverage our allies to weed out the bad apples and influence meaningful change in the way politics are done.

  • Ei

    If Repubs have to sign a pledge not to raise taxes before entering Congress it should be MANDATORY that all congressmen/women sign a pledge to never be a lobbyist when leaving office.

  • That Chris Dodd is MPAA head today was the ‘quid pro quo’ for shepherding the faux-Fund/Bank regulations through without burdening them with any really odious provisions about actually REGULATING the industry.

    • CatKinNY

      How does rewarding Wall Street wrongdoing with weak regulation (though Dodd and Frank would both tell you that they couldn’t get Republicans to go along with anything with real teeth) get you a job at the Motion Picture Association of America?

  • Doninbrewster

    It should be against to law to lobby after serving for anyone in congress. Actually, it should be against the law to lobby. Lobbyists have access to congress that the general public does not. Should be a law against it.

  • Let’s make this part of the Oath of Office they swear when they are inaugurated.

  • Eagles View

    This should be mandated into law. There is absolutely no reason for a retired Congressman/woman to “change” sides or create the conflict of interest because their previous position granted them access to key issues that special interests would like to have in their favor. In view of the fact that over 90% of Americans believe their Representatives and Senators are incompetent, corrupt and/or just dysfunctional – We need to reform the system, otherwise, we’ll certainly going to go over the cliff.

  • So, 0.46% of Congress has committed to a reasonable standard of ethics after leaving office…

  • For those who want to “make it mandatory” or “make it a law” that politicians can’t take jobs as lobbyists after they leave office- just how do you propose to do that, since the very politicians affected would be the ones writing the bill and voting it into law?

    (Hint: try “court ruling” or “executive order.” Fat chance with the first, with SCOTUS packed with conservatives, and not a snowball’s chance for the other without POTUS risking impeachment from both parties.)

  • Maybe the answer is to start a campaign. Get sitting members to sign the pledge. Ask it of first timers.

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  • MH

    Who wouldn’t want a 1400% pay raise after leaving Congress to lobby Congress? An honest person, that’s who. My vote is for an executive

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