There's something very seriously fucked up about a political system that, within a two week period of time, allows you to go from being a sitting United States Senator to becoming a cash and carry lobbyist flashing your greenbacks and political connections in your former place of business -- the corridors of Washington.
This is not a conservative vs. liberal issue. It's an issue of salvaging the remnants of our Representative Democracy from the clutches of big money and undue corporate influence. In this case it's former Florida Senator Mel Martinez who's the subject of the article.
The article boldly states:
He cannot lobby the Senate for two years, under the Senate's post-employment rules for senators and high-ranking aides.
And you know that's a crock of shit. All that means is he cannot physically be seen on Capitol Hill shmoozing his ex-colleagues or caught on tape doing the same. He'll simply relay his deals through surrogates and peers at his new lobbying firm. The end result will be identical -- just no fingerprints.
It's time to pass a law banning all former Senators and Congressman, or other high ranking government officials, from being hired directly or indirectly by any lobbying firm for a minimum period of 5 years after leaving office. And the penalty for getting involved in any lobbying activities under that law would be a federal offense with a minimum sentence of 5 years in prison with no parole, a $1 million dollar fine and a lifetime ban from working for any firm that does business with, for or in front of the government.
You want to clean up the debilitating and corrupting influence of big business in government real quick and put an end to the revolving door of these political leeches preserving their feeding spot at the public trough? Just follow that criminal statute recipe that I outlined and you'll see the results.