A senior staffer leaves the Hill, signs up lobbying clients the very next day, almost immediately making a fortune by cashing in on her ties to senior public officials. How can that be legal? There's gotta be a law, right?
Yet "earmark queen" Letitia White stopped working
for House Appropriations chief Jerry Lewis (R-CA) Jan. 7, 2003 -- and started lobbying for appropriations on Jan. 8 on behalf of at least one private defense company.
Well, there is
a law. And believe it or not, White appears to have just barely squeaked under it. And I mean barely
The law bars certain senior staff from lobbying their former employer for one year after they leave. Which staff in particular? Those who are paid 75 percent of a a House members' salary.
I checked Congressional records on staff expenditures today, and found that when White left her Hill job, she was making $112,420.
Based on the salary of a House member at the time -- $150,000 -- White would have needed to make $112,500 to get banned from lobbying Jerry and his approps colleagues for a year.
Eighty bucks! That's a lucky eighty bucks, that keeps her within the law and capable of earning hundreds of thousands of dollars literally the day after she leaves the Hill. What dumb luck, eh?