Nice dudes with nothing to hide, former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and former Senator John Breaux (D-La.), filed an LD-1 disclosure form with both houses of Congress on the Friday before Labor Day, declaring themselves as lobbyists for Russia's Gazprombank regarding "sanctions." Sounds good.
Gazprombank is the third largest bank in Russia and the financial arm of its mammoth state-owned energy company Gazprom: just a couple of the many Russian firms fearing the impact of U.S.- and NATO-led sanctions over the Totally Eighties cold war in Ukraine. The day before the downing of Malaysian Flight 17 over Donetsk, the U.S. Department of the Treasury added Gazprombank to a list of Russian companies barred from debt financing with U.S. institutions. Five days later, it was added to a list of sanctioned companies by the Treasury in accordance with an executive order from the White House.
Anyway, as a citizen of the United States, just like you or me, Gazprombank should totally be allowed to petition its elected representatives through the employment of seasoned legislative advocates. Right?
Lott and Breaux left public service almost a decade ago and are among more than 300 members of Congress who've become lobbyists, and begun petitioning former colleagues on behalf of clients, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. In 2008, they started a lobbying firm with their sons, Breaux Lott Leadership Group, which was acquired by D.C.-lobbying powerhouse Patton Boggs in 2010. Patton Boggs merged with Squire Sanders to form Squire Patton Boggs in June.
Last month, Russian gas firm OAO Novatek retained Washington, D.C., public relations firm Qorvis to lobby the administration and Congress after one of its largest shareholders, an associate of Russian president Vladimir Putin, was similarly targeted for sanctions by the United States.
It's mostly been a Libertarian and a Tea Party issue in the past, but anytime someone wants to talk with you about the scourge of "career politicians" and the need for "term limits"—please consider bringing this up as a counter argument:
Why would you want the revolving door between Capitol Hill and K Street to move any faster?
[photo, left to right, former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and former Louisiana Senator John Breaux sitting down in front of the senior members Patton Boggs LLP who acquired their Breaux-Lott Leadership Group four years ago, via Patton Boggs]