13 December 2011

Washington's revolving door keeps spinning

As reported at BoingBoing, citing Politico:
Allison Halataei (former deputy chief of staff for House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas)) and Lauren Pastarnack (former senior aide on the Senate Judiciary Committee) have cool new jobs. Having written the Internet-destroying Stop Online Piracy Act for their bosses while drawing a salary at public expense, they've now accepted massive raises to go work for the entertainment companies who stand to benefit from the law they wrote. Their new job? Helping to run the campaign to push their law through..
The former aides will face one-year lobbying bans, which means they cannot lobby the respective committees where they previously worked. But those bans don’t render the former aides useless to their new employers...
Additionally, the Senate and House panels work closely together, and both Halataei and Pastarnack have ties to staffers in the chambers they didn’t serve in and aren’t banned from lobbying...
More at the link.  It never ends.  I'm so freaking tired of it.


  1. I know I'm of a different political persuasion than you, but I've got to agree with you on this. I'm sick and tired of it, too . . . from either side. It just seems like us "average Joe's" have absolutely no control over what is going on no matter WHO we vote for. I find myself just shaking my head while a growing rage simmers inside.

  2. My latest favorite Washington issue is legislative insider trading which is illegal for you and I but they say is legal for them, and they are putting that in stone by running a bill saying it will be illegal in "the future".
    The present congress is the most corrupt in history IMO.

  3. So, if you are an elected official, you can lobby to get lucrative, humongous contracts for companies, then you can quit your political career to make tons of money working for the company you lobbied for?

    Argh! My naive-self just died horribly!

  4. Wow, how can I get that job?

    ... Contract with the devil? Okay, no thanks.

  5. Brad, these particular rascals weren't elected per se - just hired by the elected officials. But the same thing happens with elected officials, too.

    National politics is one giant racket.

  6. Local politics are a racket, too - we just benefit more directly from the corruption on a more frequent basis...

  7. Were things ever different? They weren't better when we lived under monarchies, and I don't imagine the likes of the East India Company were any better. Perhaps what's frustrating is that democracy gives you the illusion of equality. The reality may not have changed, but you've been told it has.

  8. I work in DC and I can tell you that the only people you can blame is the voter. The voter hardly does any research into who they vote for, never keeps in contact with the elected official, and almost never ever spend ANY time understanding the bills that get passed. They take the "set it and forget it approach". What the hell did you think was going to happen?

  9. Anonymous,

    Ummm, no. If you vote for someone, and they turn out to be a scoundrel, a thief, and a liar, it is not the fault of the voter. It is the fault of the lying thief scoundrel.

    Don't blame the victims, bub.

    And secondly, the twelve of us out here who do contact our representatives get to be upset about it. If you work in Washington, and you think it is the voters fault that D.C. is full of scoundrels, I vote to fire you in favor of someone else. If we all had time to read every bill that passed the legislature and give our thoughts on the details of them, then we wouldn't need to hire politicians to do that for us, would we?

  10. Brad WIlliams,

    If you look at the re-elect rates of congress you would understand why I see things they way I do. The voter at large, barely does 5 minutes of research into the person running for office and is far more likely to be swayed by slick 30 second tv ads than anything else, also, most voters go into the booth voting for either the name they remember most or the party they usually vote for. So in this case, the voters are the ones to blame. Heck, people vote more often, and with more thought into American Idol contestants than elected officials. And trust me, calling your congress person does little to sway them, they only thing they respond to is lobbyists and their money. Take it from an "insider"


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