K Street :: the Rodeo Drive of Influence Peddling

Congresswoman and presidential wannabe Michele Bachmann recently said this:
"Gingrich has built a multi-million-dollar business from his perch on K Street,
the Rodeo Drive of influence peddling in Washington, D.C.
Got me thinking about the great 60 Minutes episode where Jack Abramoff, a contrite former lobbyist, blasted the Lobbying Industry. Here are a few quotes from his "Capital Punishment" book complements of the Huffington Post ...
"As a lobbyist, I thought it only natural and right that my clients should reward those members who saved them such substantial sums with generous contributions," he writes. "This quid pro quo became one of hallmarks of our lobbying efforts."

He also describes wooing congressional staffers -- particularly chiefs of staff -- with the lure of future employment. "After a number of meetings with them, possibly including meals or rounds of golf, I would say a few magic words: 'When you are done working for the Congressman, you should come work for me at my firm.'

"With that, assuming the staffer had any interest in leaving Capitol Hill for K Street -- and almost 90 percent of them do, I would own him and, consequently, that entire office. No rules had been broken, at least not yet. No one even knew what was happening, but suddenly, every move that staffer made, he made with his future at my firm in mind."

Abramoff points out that he was "not alone in this method" and that "it continues today, unabated by reform campaigns or public ire at the Congress."
Sadly there are few candidates running that are blasting this sort of activity. Says a lot about the systematic corruption that exists in our government. Even Bachmann is supported by and gets mega-bucks from Super PACs.


  1. Hi Bob,

    I just saw something about four Congressmen having gotten very friendly loans from Countrywide. Names haven't been named yet, but the Ethics Committee is expected to take a look at the allegations. While I know D.C. is an extremely expensive area to live, I do not believe elected officials should be allowed to be coddled by financial institutions and corporations. It's time for term limits and voting better people into office!

  2. As far as I know Huntsman and Roemer are the only candidates calling for term limits. Sadly, these are not being taken very seriously by GOP conservatives.


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