Lobbyist-turned Congressman Dennis Rehberg, who failed to appear at several of his own campaign events last weekend, is cashing in on his "K Street Cred" to help out his struggling Senate campaign.
Fellow lobbyist-turned-politician John Thune, a U.S. Senator from South Dakota, is now stumping for Rehberg in Montana. Thune's work as a lobbyist "raised questions about whether there should be curbs on lobbyists-turned-lawmakers." Like Thune, Rehberg is also a former lobbyist who became a politician.
Congressman Rehberg has no problem with the revolving door between his congressional office and DC lobbyists. In fact, in a recent speech to lobbyists, Rehberg singled out his former staffer Kristin Smith, who later became a lobbyist, as a reason why "clearly the revolving door doesn't make me nervous."
"Sen. Thune must be in Montana to get Congressman Rehberg warmed up for his return to lobbying on November 7," said Ted Dick, Executive Director of the Montana Democratic Party. "Because Congressman Rehberg would rather be a lobbyist, he'll probably be asking Sen. Thune to protect taxpayer-funded pensions for millionaires like himself from the other side of their revolving door."
In the same closed-door speech to lobbyists, Rehberg said: "I ran for Congress. I probably, if I had been smart I would’ve said nope, no, I think I’ll stay out of the political arena and go into lobbying."
If Congressman Rehberg returns to lobbying, he could have a special taxpayer-funded retirement waiting for him, along with the money he's made as a land developer. Rehberg voted last year to protect government pensions for former members of Congress who make more than $1 million from lobbying [Politico, 5/11/12].