Say these names out loud: Dan Rostenkowski, Jim Wright, James Trafacant and NOLA’s homegrown corruptocrat William Jefferson. All these men had used the revolving door at the front entrance to the Congress as the entry point to lives of “public service” and all of them spent part of those lives from behind another revolving door, made of thick metal bars. Jefferson will spend the next 13 years behind a federal iron curtain for his crime of bribery1. What is really amazing about that is how so few of his former colleagues are ever even indicted for the crimes they commit in broad daylight, every day of the week3.
Another amazing fact in the sad saga of Jefferson is the paltry amount he accepted in return for his “services”- $100,0004. Newt Gingrich famously accepted almost $2 million for his efforts at legal bribery, some call it lobbying2, after he left the House of Representin’ and that was just for ONE john, I mean client, Freddie Mac3.
Former Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate, Tom Daschle and his wife are millionaires ten times over5 thanks to their post-legislative bribery… I mean lobbying activities. This is nice work if you can find it and find it you can if you can just win that one seat inside our imperial legislature in DC.
Former – almost – Speaker of the House and New Orleanian Bob Livingston is also raking in millions turning over the pages of legislative deals for clients on K street instead of bedsheets for a mistress but don’t misunderstand, there is still an awful lot of screwing going here.
Our Federal overlords will legally confiscate from you and me, then legally redistribute over $2.5 TRILLION this year with men like Daschle and Livingston acting as legal middlemen. What a pity for Mrs. William Jefferson, his five daughters and the city he once represented that Jefferson never pursued a life of legalized crime.
3 http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57333818-503544/newt-gingrich-not-technically-a-lobbyist-but../ – According to the watchdog group Public Citizen, between 1998 and 2006, 43 percent of all members of Congress took lobbying jobs after leaving Congress, landing positions with an average annual salary of $2 million.
6 http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/lobby00/former.php – For example, in his first year as a registered lobbyist, former Appropriations Committee Chairman and almost-Speaker of the House Bob Livingston (R-La.) was able to collect over a million dollars in lobbying fees.