Posted by Laura Miller on July 27, 2005

"Election to Congress used to be an end in itself. Now, for nearly half of federal lawmakers, it is a steppingstone to a second career: lobbying," the Washington Post reports. According to a new study by LobbyingInfo.org, a project of the liberal group Public Citizen, 43 percent of Congressional members who have left office since 1998 have registered to lobby. “The revolving door is spinning faster than ever,” said Frank Clemente, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. “When nearly half the lawmakers in Congress use their position to move into a job that pays so handsomely, it’s time to change the system.”

Comments

I did a research paper that touched on this subject and found Jonathan Rauch's book, "Demosclerosis," a great source of info. In Rauch's book which was published in 1994, it was said that 40% of Congressmen had become professional lobbyists upon leaving public office. If that number has only risen to 43% today, then the trend is not increasing at an alarming rate, but is still something that needs to be carefully watched. As with any position of power, the tendency to abuse the privilege becomes greater when people believe that no one is watching. If anyone out there has any suggestions for other books, publications, or other sources of further information regarding this phenomenon, please post it or email me as I am very interested in this topic. ehoff1@mail.csuchico.edu Thank you.