SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
The revolving door

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013

* It’s difficult to argue too much with this editorial

State legislators can take jobs as lobbyists immediately after their time as lawmaker is done.

That means a lame-duck legislator can support a particular bill that sends money into one business or sector and then leave the General Assembly and begin working for that company or in that sector the next day. It stinks, but it’s still legal.

Thirty-five states have laws that force lawmakers to wait between six months and two years before taking a job as a lobbyist.

It’s time for Illinois to pass a law making lawmakers wait at least a year before becoming lobbyists.

Congress has a similar rule, but members get around it by being “of counsel” to lobbying firms until the revolving door ban expires. Reforms ain’t always what they’re cracked up to be.

Still, what bothers me is not so much that members take those jobs, it’s that they apply for them and negotiate their contracts while they are still legislators. Several members, for instance, applied for the bigtime Illinois Hospital Association gig which then-Sen. AJ Wilhelmi got. That process went on for a while, and some pretty prominent members served for weeks while the decision was being made.

And I don’t mean to single out Wilhelmi or the IHA here as a particularly noxious example. AJ is a decent guy and the IHA does good work. He was eminently qualified for that job. I don’t blame them at all for hiring him and he’s proved to be top notch.

But something needs to be changed here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


25 Comments
  1. - Meaningless - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 11:03 am:

    Would a law really make much difference when we already have big business forces (i.e. - Civic Committee) standing shoulder to shoulder with political leaders announcing THEIR legislative propasals?


  2. - shore - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 11:03 am:

    members of congress start negotiating and having informal talks about these things long before they take them, there’s stuff you can do, but those other parts of this that are less well defined but more important are virtually impossible to deal with.


  3. - Norseman - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 11:05 am:

    This is especially irritating since many state employees are prohibited from taking a job for a year under the ethics law. What’s good for the Goose should be good for the Gander.


  4. - Uggie - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 11:11 am:

    Agree with Norseman. Coincidentally, I just received an email where I have to acknowledge receipt of a document outlining the revolving door provisions of (5 ILCS 430/5-45).


  5. - Allen Skillicorn - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 11:12 am:

    Getting rid of the lame duck session would solve a lot of these problems.


  6. - Jimmy - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 11:14 am:

    All of these limitations make it more difficult for good folks without trust funds to serve in government. The public sector can be a great source of experience but more limitations on career choices after a stint in public service may keep some good folks from ever considering it in the first place.


  7. - iThink - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 11:14 am:

    Although I would like to see a law with a well-defined waiting period to try to limit the blatant vote-buying, I doubt it would do much. There is far too much graft, corruption, and political gamesmanship for such a law to ever be vigorously enforced.


  8. - Montrose - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 11:20 am:

    “Getting rid of the lame duck session would solve a lot of these problems.”

    How?


  9. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 11:24 am:

    Well thank God someone’s finally paying attention. When Marlow Colvin leaves the chamber as a legislator on a Friday and returns the following Tuesday as a top lobbyist for ComEd, then you’ve got a problem.

    When Kevin McCarthy leads the fight for the big ComEd smartgrid bill through the session, and suddenly leaves mid-session only to return as a contract lobbyist for, you guessed it - ComEd, then we’ve got a problem.

    The problem with reform efforts in this state is not that they have existed, but that they haven’t gone after the main issues. Revolving door is a great place to start.


  10. - Jimmy - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 11:27 am:

    Should we also prevent state’s attorneys and public defenders from practicing criminal defense law in the private sector for a year after leave their public post? Doctors working at county hospitals from opening a private practice for a year? Some folks seek public sector experience to do a better job in the private sector down the road. Since we have a very transparent lobbyist registration system in this state, that system should be sufficient for voters (and newspapers) to keep track of who is lobbying and who they represent.


  11. - walkinfool - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 11:33 am:

    Pass the law with a one year period, and let the members beware. At least if they, and their new employers, are caught evading the law, it will be more embarassing.

    There is actually very little, if any “blatant vote-buying”. The problem is more cultural: unstated mutual expectations, and feelings of earned trust and loyalty.


  12. - Irish - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 11:41 am:

    We just received a monthly letter from the Office of the Inspector General and they were touting their success in stopping someone in a position there from moving to a private enterprise that he had overseen in his state job.

    It is about time for us to take the annual ethics test which we have to take and pass in order to stay employed with the State of Illinois. One of the statements that is pounded into your head throughout the test is “If something appears to be unethical whether it is or not. It must not be done.” In other words the mere thought that something could be unethical is reason for the employee not to do it.

    SB51 that was passed a couple of years ago sets all sorts of rules that MUST be followed in the procurement process including any state employee who has any conversation with any person who might be a vendor for the state about any product or service whether the vendor is used or not, MUST record the complete actual conversation on the State’s Procurement website. ( It must be noted that this law does not apply to Constitutional Officers or GA members or their staffs.)

    Why do none of these apply to the legislators? Wouldn’t our state be so much better off if everyone was made to comply with all of these rules? Rather than have legislators stand up and proclaim that they are not going to take advantage of their legislative pensions, I would like them to stand up and proclaim that they will hold themsaelves to the highest ethical standards and will pledge to resign if they are found to have violated any of the above rules.


  13. - Pension is a promise - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 11:41 am:

    This is no different than the Department of Juvenile Justice that brings retired employees getting a pension check back on a phony “emergency” 75 day contract several times to do the same job they retired from.


  14. - b - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 11:42 am:

    Something needs to be done. One year? I say make it 5. To have so little respect for the institution, for the voters that sent you to do a job to make their lives better (not enrich yourself) I think is a real travesty. To retire, or get beat and then go to work for the interests that lobbied you is one thing(after a year or 5), to negotiate with and apply for jobs as a sitting legislator to go to work for interests lobbying you is something entirely different. And people think corruption is only a problem in developing countries. Ha!


  15. - state worker - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 11:45 am:

    It’s crude and disgraceful. It also suggests that legislators are in the statehouse to find an eventual partner in big business, and not to serve the people. The medical marijuana bill hit up against Cross’ former chief of staff.


  16. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 11:56 am:

    =Should we also prevent state’s attorneys and public defenders from practicing criminal defense law in the private sector for a year after leave their public post?=

    Isn’t that comparing apples to oranges? Once an attorney–any attorney–joins a firm, conflicts of interest checks kick in and walls are raised if there’s a conflict unless you seek and get a pass due to some extenuating circumstance. And from what I know, there is no expiration date on that practice.

    As a general response to the question, if everyone played nicely, they wouldn’t do anything that would even raise a “perception of impropriety,” possibly avoiding same through full, public disclosure.


  17. - SO IL M - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 12:25 pm:

    In the words of the late Paul Powell
    “You cant pass an ethics bill that I cant get around”


  18. - Eileen left - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 12:36 pm:

    This is a solution looking for a problem. Check the lobbyist registration list and you will find that of the thousands of registered lobbyists only a handful are former legislators.If you are a company looking for representation wouldn’t you want someone who at least knows the players and the issues that they represent? All of the former legislators turned lobbyists that I am familiar with are not only ethical but are intelligent and hard working. Lets try not to rat hole former legislators and staffers as second class citizens.


  19. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 1:08 pm:

    I betcha Pat Quinn will be hired by the great wide Mississippi River as their PR man. He’s a natural!


  20. - OH BOY - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 1:10 pm:

    OR THEY CAN VOTE FOR A BILL THE GOVERNOR WANTS PASSED AND RESIGN THEN GET A CUSH DIRECTOR’S JOB UNDER HIM


  21. - He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 1:23 pm:

    But a State employee that is on an RFP committee cannot accept a jobfor 1 year (I think) from a company that bids on that RFP. HHHHMMMMMMM


  22. - siriusly - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 2:57 pm:

    Eileen, good point. However small the number, the appearance is very bad especially for the several who resigned mid-term last session and started lobbying immediately after. That’s just wrong.

    There should be a revolving door prohibition for former legislators, I think anywhere from 6 to 12 months is appropriate.


  23. - Faxfan - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 3:29 pm:

    I agree with the comments that if there is a 1yr ban for all the little fish…the big fish should have to wait at least 2yrs.


  24. - reformer - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 4:42 pm:

    There out to be a waiting period, but legislators aren’t about to adopt one, since it would take the bread right out of their mouths. The most successful legislators-turned-lobbyists earn far more after they leave elective office.


  25. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 9:51 pm:

    Rich, why did you delete my comment? There was nothing gratuitous in it.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* This Just In: Exelon Announces More $$$$ For Shareholders, Higher 2015 Profits And Still Seeks Bailout
* "Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please"
* *** UPDATED x1 - IllinoisGO checking the facts *** "Mug shot" mailer hits Ken Dunkin
* Credit Unions – A Smarter Choice!
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Money, Endorsements, Muñoz, Farnham
* *** UPDATED x1 *** State to close Kewanee youth center
* Today's political videos
* *** UPDATED x2 - Duckworth doubles down - But what about Kirk's Rahm endorsement? *** Because... Rahm!
* As expected, Rauner endorses McCann opponent
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Dunkin mailers, Alvarez poll results and xtabs, etc.
* Pot, meet kettle
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

  
* Shortcut Launcher review
* Sony releases Xperia Beta Program for Android Marshmallow
* [TA Deals] Score a Codeanywhere 3-year subscription for $59
* AT&T shares plans for early high-speed 5G testing
* Looks like Team AOKP will be active again, Marshmallow custom ROMs soon
* ASICS buying Runkeeper
* Galaxy S7 pre-orders, HTC One M10 renders & more – Pocketnow Daily

* White Sox reportedly considering Desmond
* Lefty-heavy rotation not a concern
* Melky: White Sox must play like family to contend
* White Sox remodel in big way this offseason
* White Sox ink Ishikawa to Minor League deal
* White Sox sign righty Latos to 1-year deal
* White Sox sign Mat Latos for one year, $3 million

...............


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress

Loading


* “Get your facts first, then you can distort the.....
* Ray LaHood earns Order of Lincoln Award - WLDS-.....
* Ray LaHood, NPR host among Order of Lincoln awa.....
* Union discloses training guide for Rauner budge.....
* Union discloses training guide for Rauner budge.....
* Ray LaHood, NPR host among Order of Lincoln awa.....
* Ray LaHood, NPR host among Order of Lincoln awa.....
* Ray LaHood, NPR host among Order of Lincoln awa.....
* Ray LaHood, NPR host among Order of Lincoln awa.....
* Ray LaHood, NPR host among Order of Lincoln awa.....


* Illinois to close youth correctional facility in Kewanee
* AP Interview: Police shooting spurs state agency changes
* Illinois roads could benefit from potential $84.7M windfall
* Illinois governor's mansion renovation gets $1M in donations
* Ray LaHood, NPR host among Order of Lincoln award winners
* Chicago-area priest charged with sexual abusing 2 children
* Illinois youth soccer group bans hitting ball with head
* SIU small business center to close due to no Illinois budget
* EXCHANGE: Richwoods swim team includes 4 sets of brothers
* Man found guilty of taking girl to Illinois for prostitution

* Ray LaHood, NPR host among Order of Lincoln award winners
* Rauner closing youth correctional facility in Kewanee
* Gov. Rauner endorses Bryce Benton in Illinois Senate race
* $45M and counting for $315M rail consolidation project
* Lawmakers making second attempt to send AFSCME talks to arbitrator
* President Obama returns to his political roots, connects with past friends, supporters
* Bill aims to create foundation to raise private money for state fairgrounds
* Obama returns to his political roots, connects with past friends, supporters
* Presidential visit notebook: Obama doesn't like horseshoes?
* District 186 misses out on construction bond program

* Here's where Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is selling his amazing rug collection
* A family defends its honor after settling lawsuit over its failed bank
* Autopsy reports found from 1929 Valentine's Day massacre
* Beam Suntory plotting headquarters move to Chicago
* This U of C backed startup makes it easy to split the bill on almost anything


* Emanuel downplays police controvery
* Blackhawks will have their first-ever game broadcast in Spanish
* Tales from the Front: When you’re cheap on first date, don’t count on a second
* Watch the Johnny Oduya tribute video from Thursday’s Blackhawks game
* Oxford’s savage upper-crust boys wreak havoc in ‘Posh’
* Dear Abby: To wife’s chagrin, he sees his kids at ex’s home
* Georgia Nicols horoscopes for Feb. 12
* Clinton, Sanders clash over minorities, money — and Obama
* Stars score early and often, close in on first-place Blackhawks
* Sneed: Hillary making time for her buddies on visit to Chicago


* Driver killed in Huntley rollover tied to earlier crash of another vehicle
* Marina City landmark status welcome, long overdue
* Bond set at $50,000 for priest accused of molesting girls in Aurora
* Man charged in kidnapping, carjacking, shooting at mall awaits verdict
* Record number of riders take 'L' but bus use slips in 2015, CTA says
* Matt Forte says Bears won't re-sign him, ending 8-year Chicago career
* Milwaukee man found guilty of taking girl to Chicago area for prostitution
* Wife of Hinsdale man killed in DUI crash seeks leniency for driver
* Girl, 16, shot on way to school: 'I'm a little bit happy, I still got my life'
* Families connect after toddler's tragic death gives hope to ailing girl


* Ray LaHood, NPR host among Order of Lincoln award winners
* Rauner closing youth correctional facility in Kewanee
* Gov. Rauner endorses Bryce Benton in Illinois Senate race
* $45M and counting for $315M rail consolidation project
* Lawmakers making second attempt to send AFSCME talks to arbitrator
* President Obama returns to his political roots, connects with past friends, supporters
* Our View: Illinois officials should heed Obama's call for civility, compromise
* Bill aims to create foundation to raise private money for state fairgrounds
* Bernard Schoenburg: State GOP past $250,000 in support for Rep. Avery Bourne
* Eugene Robinson: Rubio's revealing loop


* Teen charged in connection with Urbana burglary
* Police shooting spurs state agency changes
* 02-12-16 Penny for Your Thoughts.
* Illinois gets extension to determine flooding damage
* SIU business center to close due to no Illinois budget
* Retail sales rise as consumers shrug off stock price drop
* Diplomats aim for temporary Syria truce in a week
* Police: No more danger after 2 teens shot at Arizona school
* Business stockpiles rise, but sales fall
* Diners’ quick response helped cops find restaurant attacker


* Amazon debuts series based on New Yorker magazine
* Pope Francis lands in Cuba for first-ever papal meeting with head of Russian Orthodox Church
* FIFA ethics committee bans Jerome Valcke for 12 years
* Illinois to close youth correctional facility in Kewanee
* The Latest: Kobe goes through his final All-Star media day

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Roger That: Durbin battles McCain over Rus......
* Durbin pays tribute to Phil Rock on Senate......

* Illinoisans Urge Kirk To Take Lead On Cons......
* Kirk calls Duckworth a “naive fool.” - WLS...

* Chicago Police Accountability Task Force Community Forum
* Audience At Chicago Police Accountability Task Force Meeting
* Disability Housing Discrimination Suit Settled In Evanston
* Illinois To Shutter Kewanee Youth Correctional Center
* Black vote
* Illinois Reaches $22.5 Million Settlement With Morgan Stanley Over Risky Mortgage Investments
* Chicago Police Accountability Task Force Members At South Side Meeting
* "GED in IDOC" sign
* Ralph Edwards speaks about his experience in the IDOC
* State Rep. Cassidy speaks about GED classes in the IDOC


* Emergency Management Officials, National Weather Service Encourage Winter Preparedness - November is Winter Weather Preparedness Month in Illinois
* Keep Your Family Safe This Winter - November through February are leading months for carbon monoxide related incidents
* Governor Takes Bill Action
* Illinois Department of Labor Director Hugo Chaviano Awards Governor’s Award for Contributions in Health and Safety to the Illinois Refining Division of Marathon Petroleum Company LP
* State Regulator Elected Treasurer of Interstate Medical Licensure Compact




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller