The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette dusts off the old “legislators turn into lobbyists” story, which runs every two years like clockwork and nothing ever changes. But not this time, and we mean it!
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel declares he’s gonna do some attorney generalin’, and first up is calling for a “cooling off” period of one year before a legislator can register as a lobbyist:
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said he plans to propose as part of his ethics legislation a provision to ban lawmakers, the state’s constitutional officers, and their chiefs of staff and state agency directors from lobbying for a year after they leave office.
“It is going to cause some hurt feelings among my friends, but I think it is the right thing to do,” said McDaniel, a former one-term member of the House of Representatives.
By the way, the other night I told your mom that we might need to take a “cooling off” period, and she did NOT take it well. She’s pretty volatile since your dad walked out on her, man. What’s that about?
But back to the lobbying thing: House Speaker Robert “Robbie” Wills says not to worry, because all this ethics stuff is way overblown:
“This is not a problem I’ve observed in Arkansas,” he said. “Term limits prevent anyone from staying in office long enough to gain an unfair advantage and very few term-limited lawmakers become lobbyists. This idea sounds nice, but in reality it’s a solution in search of a problem.”
This lobbying sounds like a pretty sweet gig, so I think I’m going to be a lobbyist, too. To recruit my services, you can send your checks to me c/o The Arkansas Project. Keep in mind that I don’t really have any significant connections in state government, and I’m not very smart so I don’t understand legislative process or some of the finer points of policy, and I’m lazy and unreliable and most people don’t like me very much.
Where the hell was I going with this? Oh, yeah. Send money.