At noon today, Evan Bayh of McGuire Woods will legally be permitted to lobby the U.S. Senate. And so will Bob Bennett, who runs his own lobbying shop while also serving as a “Senior Policy Advisor” at lobbying firm Arent Fox.
Add to this list all the senators and congressmen who retired or lost in 2010 and then joined K Street lobbying shops or industry lobbying associations. Federal law prohibits them from lobbying their former colleagues for two years after leaving Congress, and those two years end today.
“Prairie Populist” Byron Dorgan spent his days in the Senate inveighing against ”corporate lobbyists” and the “legions of lobbyists” swarming Capitol Hill. Now he works with Bennett at Arent Fox, and today he can become part of that legion.
Missouri Republican Kit Bond and Arkansas Democrat Blanche Lincoln left Congress two years ago today, and both work at lobbying firms. Chris Dodd runs Hollywood’s lobbying operation. All three are now allowed to legally make lobbying contacts on the hill.
Don’t forget the House members. For instance, Bart Stupak and Earl Pomeroy delivered the game-winning RBIs for ObamaCare and both joined lobbying firms’ healthcare practice. Michigan Democrat Stupak, according to his lobbying filings, was already lobbying the House earlier this year. I’ve placed a call with him to ask how he legally did that.
North Dakota Democrat Pomeroy, at Alston & Bird, has been representing the likes of Aetna for at least a year, but presumably only before the administration, which is certainly appreciative that he threw himself on the sword, voting for ObamaCare even though it cost him his seat.
Former Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey has been at the Gephardt Group lobbying firm since 2011. Today, he can start lobbying for earmarks instead of simply advising clients how to get them.
Arizona Republican John Shadegg is already a lobbyist at Steptoe & Johnson, and today he can lobby the House.
Congratulations to these former public servants!
p.s. If this list seems Democrat heavy, it’s because it focusses on members who retired or lost in 2010, which was mostly Democrats.