This is just too easy, but it has to be said. In general, if a Congressperson is negotiating for a job prior to leaving office, it's the very definition of the "appearance of impropriety" — if not the fact itself.
It's the reason I've been calling Congress (almost all of it) the "House of Retainers" — as in paid retainers of the Top 0.01%. They take the cash and do the bidding.
Now comes Barney Frank, who's retiring shortly. Lee Fang has covered this kind of story before, as explained below, and had a request to make (my emphasis and some reparagraphing):
Selling out pays. We looked at just a dozen Members of Congress who became lobbyists and other advocates for special interests after they left office and found that they received an average of a 1,452 percent raise.This is real investigative reporting, folks. Note the activist approach, sending out letters that put people on the spot and on the record.
So we here at Republic Report sent a letter to all 36 retiring Members of Congress asking them to commit to disclosing any job negotiations they have with anyone during the rest of their time in office. That way, we at least know who they’re potentially selling out to, and we can watch out for signs that, while still in office, they are working to please a future employer. ...
The most powerful Wall Street lobbying group, the Financial Services Roundtable, which represents the big investment banks like Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, and Bank of America, is now seeking a new chief lobbyist.
On Friday, Politico Influence, an insider’s publication, floated Rep. Barney Frank’s (D-MA) name as a top recruit after he leaves office this year.
I myself find Congressman Frank's record filled with some "triangulation" of the public's interest, as well as evidence of banker-backed funding. Indicative but not dispositive, as some might say.
But let's go back to Mr. Fang, who spoke with the Congressman:
[Mr. Frank] told me that he does not need to sign our letter because he is not having job negotiations nor does he plan to have any negotiations while he is still in office.When pressed to sign anyway, however, Frank demurred. I'll let you read why.
Is Frank currently negotiation with future employers? He says No, and there's no reason not to believe him. Will he pledge to disclose if he does? Again, he says No.
What's a person to think? Congress is a sea of iniquity, some might say. A pledge of clean living is not an inappropriate request.
But let's be generous and side with Mr. Fang, who requests only that Frank provide "leadership [that] could go a long way toward inspiring others to make this commitment to the American people" — by signing the pledge.
Fair enough. I add my small voice to the other Smalls, making the same request. Over to you, Mr Frank.
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