Here is the link to today’s Doonesbury strip [great website, by the way]:
I wasn’t sure how to cut and paste it – this is the link for the 6/1/08 strip, so after today, you will have to go to the right date.
The issue is that former legislators, whether from Capitol Hill or Beacon Hill seem to morph into lobbyists. Why is this?
1) The temptation of money?
2) Self selecting personalities?
3) Inadequate pay and pensions?
4) Tribal allegiances forged while legislators?
Now, it seems to me that if former legislators morph into professors, think tank employees, talk show hosts, and other wonkish billets, this is not a problem at least in my eyes. Granted, too, that after decades working in certain policy areas, I would hope that a former legislator has considerable expertise, that should be used and valued. Also, much lobbying is research paid for by parties in interest, rather than taxpayers. The problem is that most of the payors are those seeking to profit, and that this creates an imbalance.
I suggest that the public would be well-served by a brain trust of the competent policy analysts among former legislators, who are part of a nonprofit think tank, not lobbyists for corporate interests such as “Big Tobacco” or “Pharma”.