Capital Eye Opener, Jan. 2: Bennett Poised to Register as Lobbyist After Sounding Off, and AIG Paves

January 2, 2013

Former Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) will officially register as a lobbyist tomorrow and he’s coming out swinging — at limits on former lawmakers becoming lobbyists.

As it stands, former members of the House of Representatives must wait one year after leaving office to become registered lobbyists; former senators must wait two full years. Tomorrow, Jan. 3, marks two years to the day since Bennett left office, and he has told his hometown paper that he will be registering in the afternoon.

But the ban that made him wait two years is a “really bad idea,” Bennett told the paper, and an example of the “let’s-punish-politicians-for-being-politicians attitude.”

In the interview Bennett dismissed the idea that, as a former senator, he would get unusual access to lawmakers he now will lobby. But the reality is that an important reason former members of Congress are highly prized by K Street firms (Bennett will be joining Arent Fox) is precisely because they do have special privileges.



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