The practice of leaving the Senate to become a lobbyist is all to common:
“It used to be that lawmakers were coy about any ideas they had about heading for K Street, waiting until their terms ended before announcing they were beginning a more lucrative career,” Politico’s Kenneth Vogel opines.
Florida Sen. Mel Martinez — who recently quit the country’s top legislative chamber — joined up with lobbying firm DLA Piper less than two weeks after resigning his seat. Martinez was recently replaced by the former chief of staff to Republican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who is now seeking Martinez’ former seat.
Martinez resigned to “spend more time with his family”. Well I guess that is the most honest thing we have heard out of Washington in a long time. We just misconstrued what he meant by family. It was supposed to mean his extended family of lobbyists.
This is one of the greatest threats our young democracy faces. Lobbyists have far too much influence in Congress, and finding elected officials to stand up to that influence becomes harder when they have to fear chances of future employment outside of the realm of elected official.
What we need is true reform. We need the same type of agreements that countless U.S. workers have to abide by, known as “no compete clauses”. An elected official in our government should not be allowed to go work for a lobbying group for a minimum of two years after leaving office. Also there should be immediate triggers. If an elected official leaves office to work for a lobbyist an ethics panel should automatically review that officials past contacts and perks with that lobbying firm to insure the voters that the person wasn’t working in bad faith.
We are supposed to be a government by the people for the people, not one by the people for the special interests/lobbyists. Its actions like these that have helped fuel things like the tea parties, and the most dangerous threat to our government is that people on all sides of the aisle get fed up to the point that they decide to join in the tea parties, putting aside their political difference and engaging solely in their disgust for the contempt Washington shows towards the people of this land.