News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Thurs. Mar. 3, 2011: At least 130 current congressional chiefs of staff and legislative directors are former lobbyists, new research by the Center for Responsive Politics and Remapping Debate indicates.
And some of these powerful staffers – both Democrats and Republicans – have worked multiple lobbying jobs prior to working in their current congressional capacities, the study found.
CRP said the majority of chiefs of staff and legislative directors represented corporations, trade organizations, or worked for lobbying firms that represented corporations, but a wide range of entities were represented: from the National Right to Work Committee to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; from King & Spalding to the U.S. Public Interest Research Group; and from the American Insurance Association to Human Rights Campaign.
“The bottom line is that many of the most powerful congressional staffers, who are now responsible for working on behalf of the public’s interest, used to make a living convincing the government to benefit a client’s special interest,” said Sheila Krumholz, the Center’s executive director. “Such relationships could present conflicts of interest and deserve continued scrutiny.”
The Center for Responsive Politics is a non-profit research group tracking and reporting on money in U.S. federal politics and its effect on elections and public policy.