Exactly How Many State Senators Plan to Immediately Become Lobbyists?
I ask the question because after listening to last week's State Senate debate on HB 1979, it seems glaringly obvious that there's a contingent of lawmakers planning to jump right back into the influence-peddling business once they leave office—this time for some of the interests lobbying them today. The apparently contentious issue is a reform that would require legislators to wait a period of a year or more before they can turn around and lobby their former colleagues. That reform is reasonable; taxpayers deserve clear assurances that their representative's loyalties are not unduly divided between their taxpayer employer today and a representative's potential lobbyist employer tomorrow. Stopping the revolving door of legislators turned lobbyists isn't about "career barriers" to legislators, as was argued repeatedly last week. It's about good governance.
So: How many Senators, charged with working for the public interest today, intend to seamlessly curry favor with their former colleagues on someone else's behalf immediately after leaving office? The public deserves to know.