Ex-lawmakers face new scrutiny over lobbying
Lawmakers who head to K Street are facing new scrutiny from critics who say former members are often taking on lobbying work even when they don’t officially register to lobby.
The issue is getting new attention as 2020 Democrats step up their criticism of the lobbying world and with a number of former lawmakers making headlines.
Critics say former lawmakers have been the biggest offenders when it comes to working in the influence world without formally registering.
“This is the easiest playbook in the world for former members who want the dollars from lobbying firms but not the scarlet letter that comes with lobbying jobs,” a former senior Senate staffer told The Hill.
Former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) faced criticism over work for the Chinese telecom company ZTE earlier this year. An ethics watchdog, the nonprofit Campaign Legal Center, pressed him to register as a foreign agent. Lieberman initially said he would not be lobbying for the company, but in January registered as a lobbyist for ZTE.