Last week marked an important anniversary for nearly 100 former members of Congress who lost their jobs in the 2010 elections: their lobbying bans have expired and they’re now free to lobby their former colleagues on the Hill.
Roll Call reports:
Many of these former lawmakers already went to work on K Street while still under their bans, but until Wednesday they had to carefully navigate client relationships without running afoul of the law. They were permitted social interactions with Hill denizens and could offer behind-the-scenes advice to paying clients. But directly lobbying their one-time colleagues was strictly off-limits, and many ex-Members say they rode out their bans steering clear of the Hill for the sake of appearances.
Brian Baird, a former Democratic congressman from Washington, has gone to work for Vigor Industrials and is jubilant about the end of his ban:
“Yee haw,” Baird said… “I can actually speak to people. I lived within the ban dutifully and diligently; now my free speech rights have been restored.”
We think we heard some corporations say the same thing after Citizens United…