“Former Senator Joins Firm as Strategic Adviser.” Such headlines appear in business sections and political rags with banal regularity as members of Congress, agency heads and high-ranking congressional staff decide to trade their government contacts for cash.
It may be difficult to close the revolving door, but it shouldn’t be hard to find out what those who cycle through it are doing or for whom they are doing it.
Unfortunately, it is all too common for the influence peddlers with the best connections to go underground when they leave government service. People like Tom Daschle, Newt Gingrich, George Allen, Chris Dodd and Jon Corzine have all joined the political influence industry but have taken advantage of a loophole in the law that means they don’t have to register as lobbyists. It’s time to uncover the stealth lobbyists. If you are paid to lobby, you must report your lobbying activities.