Former Republican House speaker Dennis Hastert recently joined Dickstein Shapiro, a “powerhouse Washington law and lobbying firm.” He will cash in on his time as a lawmaker and is estimated to make more than $500,000 a year. Today, the New York Times has an editorial on this troubling revolving door:
We never really expected Mr. Hastert to indulge the Jeffersonian fantasy and humbly return to his old calling as a high school wrestling coach. Still, his new job as access-enabler highlights the capital reality that old incumbents never die; they just backslap away.
More than 200 former members of Congress have crowded through the revolving door to lobby in recent years. More are lining up at the pay window. Congress’s designated ethics monitors already are bending the rules to let incumbents job shop their private-sector value while still on the privileged elected perch.