Just in time for campaign 2010. A reminder to the voters that we can't go back. From Politico.
Former Speaker Gets Pricey Perks
U.S. taxpayers are spending more than $40,000 per month on office space, staff, cell phones and a leased SUV for former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, even as he works as a lobbyist for private corporations and foreign governments.
The payments are perfectly legal under a federal law that provides five years of benefits for former speakers — but only if Hastert never makes use of his government-funded perks in the course of his lobbying work. Ethics experts say that sort of separation is hard to maintain.
Hastert "has to be meticulous in his schedule to make sure there is no bleed from his publicly subsidized office into his private practice," said Kenneth Gross, a former Federal Election Commission general counsel and congressional ethics authority. Steve Ellis, vice president of the watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense, called the arrangement "really concerning."
Hastert, who served in the House for almost 21 years, signed on with Dickstein Shapiro in 2008. He is now a registered foreign agent, representing in Washington the interests of the governments of Turkey and Luxembourg. He also lobbies on behalf of three U.S. corporations.
Democrats enacted new lobbying restrictions in 2007 in a bid to curb the influence of registered lobbyists after Hastert’s Republican colleagues were entangled in a slew of ethical and legal scandals. These restrictions curbed gifts from lobbyists to lawmakers and lawmaker travel paid for by federally registered lobbyists, and they instituted a period during which former members could not lobby Congress. But those measures do not prohibit what Hastert is doing now.
This doesn't help Hastert's son Ethan Hastert who is trying to take Daddy's seat back Dubya style, from Bill Foster in IL-14.
One of the themes for Democrats in 2010 will be we can't go back. This will be a reminder to voters.