Corruption? 5400 Lawmakers Have Become Lobbyists in the Last Decade
More proof that Washington is corrupt? A new Legistorm study reveals there is a "revolving door" between Congress and lobbying firms, showing that almost 5400 lawmakers have jumped from the government to lobbying firms in the last decade. Washington Post:
The report, which tallies a greater number of workers moving between Congress and lobbying than found in previous studies, underscores the symbiotic relationship: Thousands of lobbyists are able to exploit experience and connections gleaned from working inside the legislative process, and lawmakers find in lobbyists a ready pool of experienced talent.
Of the 5,400 lobbyists with recent Hill experience, the study found that 2,900 were registered to lobby on behalf of clients this year. Twenty-five powerhouse firms and organizations employ 10 or more former Hill workers. The largest number are at the Podesta Group, followed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which employs at least 21.
“People who are experienced in Washington tend to be better at doing this kind of work than people who have never worked in the government before,” said Tony Podesta, founder and chairman of the Podesta Group, one of Washington’s most prominent lobbying firms.
The study also documents the reverse movement, finding 605 former lobbyists who have taken jobs working for lawmakers in the past decade.
“For every person the American people have elected to sponsor legislation of public benefit, special interests have more than one former legislative advocate now working on the inside in Congress,” said Jock Friedly, founder of LegiStorm. “That represents a large network of people to influence decisions and to provide valuable intelligence.”
Lobbyists working for lawmakers working for lobbyists: it's not exactly what the founding fathers had in mind. Legistorm also reports that of 14,000 people working on Capitol Hill, 11,700 are registered to lobby. Read the full report here.